Aren't You Glad You're Not At That Art World Clusterfuck Right Now?

Illustration for article titled Arent You Glad Youre Not At That Art World Clusterfuck Right Now?

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, 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]

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@serreca: i'm not really up for the challenge of blurbing thirty centuries of art history (or hell, even like 9 inconsistent years of various secondary school) for ya, and i totally believe it's okay to not *enjoy* art (a lot of art isn't meant to be enjoyed), but i think the briefest way to say "art is important" is the following:

1. art in all its forms encapsulates everything not directly related to survival in humans. think about it. if all you did was go to work and go home, and there was no art, there'd be no music, no fashion, no car design, no architecture, no...anything. if the world even could exist, it would be some matrix-y hell of cinderblocks. so, go ahead and have fun with that, but i wouldn't want to live in that world.

2. art (esp. modern art like the type shown above) is increasingly about communicating perception of the world in different vocabularies. if you studied mccarthy, you'd see that his whole shtick IS about questioning vulgarity. some ppl will say, what's the point of talking about it...but isn't that what we're doing here? discussing j. love hewitt's ass? different modes, similar result. digesting and discussing culture to make sense of it. hirst's medicine cabinet says a LOT about how we anesthetize ourselves just to get through a culture we created, and uses the aesthetics of the medicine industry to discuss it. hell, look at how moe mentions adderol and hangovers in like every other entry, and you'll see that it's still a convo worth having. and so forth.

i could talk about this shit all day but i think my comment's about 4 pages long so this'll have to suffice.