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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope


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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Signs of the impending Dark Ages

Just in case you don't move in the elite circles of fine arts academics, here's a brief but terrifying glimpse of what cutting-edge artists are up to these days. Clearly the complete and utter collapse of western civilization is not too far away. Behold - the work of Keith Boadwee, adjunct professor of Fine Arts at the University of California, Berkeley:
Keith Boadwee was born in Mississippi in 1961 and studied at UCLA in the late 80s where he worked with Paul McCarthy and Chris Burden who have both been influential on his practice. Boadwee's work achieved some notoriety in the early-to-mid-90s when he was grouped with other artists who were working in the arena of "identity politics." Works of note from this period include his so-called anal targets and enema paintings. Boadwee's works have been included in the Venice Biennial, the New Museum's "Bad Girls" exhibition, MOCA Los Angeles' Portfolio of Photography, curated by Cindy Sherman, and Bay Area Now 3.

Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Peres Projects, Los Angeles, PS1's Into Me/Out of Me, and the John Waters curated Elimination at the Albert Merola Gallery, Provincetown, MA.
You're probably wondering - what, exactly, are "anal targets and enema paintings"? They involve a technique that Boadwee invented - the anal squirt method:
The professor part-fills his rectum with (non toxic) water-based paint using a rubber hot water bottle with an attached plastic tube. Then, by carefully positioning himself near a large blank canvas placed horizontally on the art-studio floor, he is able, at the appropriate moment, to eject and direct a constrained jet of paint. Thereby rapidly creating one-of-a-kind artworks with an appositely chaotic and spontaneous feel. The new technique was fruitfully employed in his 1995 series of works entitled ‘Purple Squirt’.
For a look at the artist at work creating the afore-mentioned Purple Squirt, check out his website here. (Caution - not for the faint of heart, and definitely not safe for work.) You might also be interested in his "photo-based work", including Old Glory (NSFW) and my personal favourite, Obama (also NSFW). These artworks "address his continued fascination with actionism, the every day, and the abject." Indeed.

Sorry if I ruined your dinner - don't shoot the messenger.

3 comments:

Powell lucas said...

What impending? We've been in the dark ages since the late sixties ever since society has pandered to the devastating policies of the so called progressives. Ask yourselves, those of you who are old enough to have been working during the sixties: has my standard of living increased since then? Do I have more money in my pocket at the end of the month? Do I have more leisure time than I did in the sixties?

Frances said...

In other words 'painted by an asshole'

Philanthropist said...

'Education' funding must be cut by at least 50%.