This is "Santa With Butt Plug," a 25-foot high bronze statue sculpted by artist Paul McCarthy for the city of Rotterdam. I just picked it out to illustrate a post I am doing on Art Basel, the Miami art show, even though when I read the fine print I realized this picture was taken at Art Basel, the Swiss art show after which the Miami Art Show, happening now, is named. Don't worry if you're at the Miami one, though! There you can buy a whole set of replica buttplug-wielding Santas, rendered in chocolate. (Oooooh, missed opportunity for a Stella reference! Damn.) Anyway, why am I writing about an art show? What do I know about art? Well, irrespectively, nothing and there is absolutely shit-all going on right now, apparently because everyone, Lance Armstrong and Jessica Simpson and "an insatiable herd of 40,000 of the trendiest, skinniest people on Earth", is in Miami.
As is this guy named William Booth, whose work as the Washington Post's resident reporter on the "clusterfuck" beat I've been reading since I was way too young to realize how much it sucks to have to go to shit like Art Basel. Anyway, want to know what's going on in the art world right now? Who else are you busy hating on, right?
Behold a medicine cabinet. Containing medicines. Peer at the label. The 1992 piece is called "untitled aaaaa" (sort of cute), by Damien Hirst, but only upon asking the gallerina (and thank you, artnet.com) does one begin to comprehend the following:
1. Damien Hirst is/was a blazing nuclear art explosion and a founding member of the YBAs, or Young British Artists, made famously fabulous in shows staged by the Saatchi Gallery in London.
2. Damien Hirst is the dude who put a whole dead shark in a tank of formaldehyde and called it "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living."
3. One of his previous medicine chests went for $19 million, not as thick as his $100 million diamond-encrusted human skull, but not Kmart.
And so on and so forth. Blah blah chains genitalia Paris Hilton disabled kids chains Chinese shitty exchange rate wealth wealth wealth. "Wealth needs to find a place to go." Why does the word "handbag" seem so appealing right now?
Big Walls To Fill [Washington Post]