Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a Member »

Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.

A USB gadget for the geeky pole dancer surfing for work-related YouTube videos (via nerdapproved.com)

It is a sad day for pole dancers, and those who appreciate them, in New York state. This from the New York Law Journal:

The gyrations of a pole dancer may be difficult to execute, but that does not make them art, a New York state tax appeals board has concluded in rejecting an administrative law judge’s finding that the exotic dancing qualifies for a sales tax exemption.

The two-member Tax Appeals Tribunal held that the routines performed nude or nearly nude by dancers at the Nite Moves club near Albany were largely learned from other dancers or on YouTube and the Internet, and are not the kind of carefully arranged and practiced patterns of movement normally equated with the art of dance.

“We question how much planning goes into attempting a dance seen on YouTube,” the tax appeals panel concluded …

I find the panel’s justification strange. Who cares if they learned it on the Internet or in a class? If Lady Gaga can call herself an artist and Jennifer Rubell, the daughter of bigwig art collectors, can be a food artist, than I think pole dancers deserve the same respect. In fact, pole dancers probably have more in common with most artists (working class income, being overlooked by society, no respect … ) than Gaga or Rubell.

It is just me or aren’t we all dying to know PS1 chief curator Klaus Biesenbach’s take on this controversy. So, Klaus, are pole dancers artists?

hat tip The Art Law Blog

The Latest


Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

2 replies on “Who Is NOT an Artist: Lady Gaga, Jennifer Rubell, Pole Dancers”