What is art?
Well, now that we all have the time required to dive into such a contemplative topic, let’s start with a provocative example from this summer’s well known private art fair, Art Basel, in Miami. You may have heard about Italy’s Maurizio Cattelan, who boldly duct taped a half rotten banana to the gallery wall, where it soon sold for $120,000 dollars, only later to be stolen off the wall and eaten in the name of performance art. So was this art or just an expensive snack?
Turn and Talk about it (sorry, that’s just some teacher humor for my fellow educators out there, I see you, but Turn and Talks, amiright?). But truly, discuss among yourselves. Art? Not art? Criminal act? Justified?
Cattelan has used the humble medium duct tape before, taping his very own human gallerist to the wall and calling it “A Perfect Day.” Does this mean I can create my very own “Perfect Day” by taping my almost 4 year old to the wall if I use art as my excuse?
And speaking of humble materials, bananas have always been a popular prop for artists. Warhol’s banana is synonymous with pop culture in both the visual arts and music world. Anyone else in the mood to hear some Velvet Underground right now?
There was also Duchamp, who put a toilet on a pedestal, named it Fountain, and in doing so, horrified the masses by ushering in more speculation about the vague definition of art to his audience. His answer: Yes! Toilets upon pedestals are indeed art, given the context and attention we choose to devote to the subject or even just the idea of it. Trust and believe, A LOT of attention was given to it. ART!
We all remember when Banksy’s costly painting, Girl with a Balloon, went “in the bin,” self destructing moments after being purchased, right before our very eyes, by way of a cleverly disguised paper shredder installed in the bulky frame, making expensive ephemera king yet again, right? Art or brilliant prank? I’d argue both.
Now it’s your turn to experiment with the concept of “ART.”
Duct tape something completely random to the sidewalk, sewer, or fence while out and about. From a safe and socially acceptable distance, observe what people do when they encounter your piece. Film or record their reactions.
You can see just how amused my husband Jeff was with my installation. Classic Jeff reaction.
Make something crafty with humble materials like duct tape. Here, Oz and I are making a duct tape wallet for a pal’s birthday, equipped with all the necessary cards and cash for a good time. Use collage materials, magazines, and found objects to outfit your money holder. 90’s flashback, anyone? How have I never made one of these before? Instructions found here.
Become a journalist and conduct an interview asking your family members their opinions on Cattelan’s banana. Read this article about Banksy’s piece to expand your knowledge or watch the video if you prefer. Look up the words and artists you don’t recognize to broaden your art context.
Be sure to tag #studiomaury on Instagram or tweet at @studiomaury so we can follow along!
I miss you! Be better than well, be AWESOME!
PS-My La Croix was missing from the JUMP bike the following morning. The bike is still parked in the same spot, but my ART is no where in sight!
PPS-Big shout out to the support person from wordpress.com, who helped me get my retired blog up off the ground after a three year respite. WordPress even donated a free upgrade to my plan so that I could add video and more images without a fee in order to reach students and families during this uncharted time in distance learning. May we all find a way to pay it forward for someone else!