Some things recently finished.
official live debut tonight
more to come
All of the people I know who are artists right now feel invigorated, terrified, liberated, endangered. Full of life and energy. Everybody else is having a panic attack.
I feel like for most of my lifetime artists have been warning about the dangers of Western capitalist imperialism growing out of control. Now they are in full bloom and every institution, from the art world to the Oval Office, seems to be under public review. They maintain control only because a viable alternative has not yet been discovered.
Anxiety is a drive to create something, and I feel the collective panic of the West is a general understanding We Need To Build A New Thing but it has to be completely new and at an unprecedented scale of public accomplishment. (It must not be Silicon Valley neoliberalism.)
It’s a strange time; the world is waiting for a Phoenix, and meanwhile seems content with watching everything burn.
Marshall McLuhan called advertising corporate art. While he’s not wrong, I think his early views of advertising were based in an era where the ad remained a promotion of a product. Products in most ads these days are at least second to brand narrative.1 Enter the Fearless Girl, an abhorrent piece of corporate propaganda which has taken the concept of advertising to an entirely new level of cynicism.
Cara Sheffler did a great job pointing out why the work is an insult to feminism, not a promotion of it. Things being equal between the sexes and all, it’s also pretty bad at a societal level.
What the statue represents is submission to the idea the fight against power exists only within the confines the powerful approve of. This idea originated in a board room and was approved in one. ‘Fearless Girl’ has a presumed acceptance of capitalism; that we may stand up to the market so long as we remain in sight of it.
With ‘Fearless Girl’ now set to remain in the Financial District, we’re witnessing what the next generation of billboards will look like: corporate art in the public space, promoting a subtle dialogue of complicity not to any inspired place of imagination, but rather financial allegiance.2
The controversial discussion on art and race going on with Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmitt Till is fascinating and intense and has no good solution. While the painting may fail because of the many valid criticisms Hannah Black offers, a call to censorship in art sets a dangerous precedent.
There’s not a ton I have to say on the subject that is not better expressed here.
I have been putting a schedule together for some summertime solo shows, which these FF jams will serve as limited previews for. Also it’s a party come out and play some music with us.
These images are from 1964
Obviously if they were from 2017 they’d have Instagram filters and those cops would have automatic rifles
Somewhere other than here
The fact this dipshit President slashed the NEA funding in the new budget proposal should not be surprising to anyone. I feel like the conversation is still constrained to a very insular view of the world—that of not paying attention to governance outside America—and is hurting the very notion of art in this country.1
Existential threats to art aside, let’s just be real about state spending in the arts.2 This is only comparing the US and France, because it’s late and dedicating too much energy to pointing out the systemic issues with capitalism is exhausting.
Sketching out one in a new series of planned illustrations