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Posted inArt

Artist Karen Finley Talks New York of Yesteryear, Women in the Arts, Lady Gaga and More

Has she no decency? At long last, has she no decency? The transgressive, titillating performance artist Karen Finley was denied a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990 because the language and content in her work was deemed “indecent.” Along with three other artists she became part of the infamous Supreme Court case The National Endowment for the Arts v. Karen Finley, which culminated in the discontinuation of individual artist grants. In her interview with Hyperallergic, Finley reflects on the past of New York City, the state of women in the arts, Lady Gaga and more.

Posted inArt

I Fell Asleep in Front of David Lachapelle

David Lachapelle has returned to his career. Much like the similarly-named Dave Chapelle, Lachapelle retreated to a farm after his documentary Rize flopped. But evidently nature wasn’t quite thrilling enough for him, and so he’s back in New York, with a retrospective at the Michelman Gallery and a show of new work at Lever House. I attended Lachapelle’s talk on his new exhibition at the Michelman Gallery, a retrospective of early works from the 1980s. Lachapelle spoke thoughtfully, choosing his words slowly and with great care for how each phrase would be perceived (a good choice, given the reaction to his recent New York Times profile). He was gracious, soft-spoken and polite. The gallery’s tiny audience hung on to his every word. I did not. I fell asleep.

Posted inArt

WTF is… Performance Art?

You may have heard that James Franco and Lady Gaga are performance artists, that their careers themselves are art objects built up over a lifetime. You may also believe that your Uncle Bob farting the alphabet is performance art. And maybe it is! Really, it’s up to you, there’s no quick and easy chart to tell what is performance art and what isn’t. Nevertheless, there are a few guidelines to follow when defining performance, in the context of the medium’s history as well as its current practice. Despite what you’ve heard, there are good reasons that getting carried into the Grammys in an egg isn’t really an act of performance art.