You want to own this.

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

It’s a social art experiment.  It’s not pretty, it’s not exactly clever.  Is it art?  Why not?  Do you want to hang it in your home?  Would you be embarassed to show it to friends, and tell them you paid $1000 for it (even if you really got it for free)?

Lame was created in 2007 in Madison, Wisconsin, under the weight of looming deadlines.  It is a 3rd or 4th generation canvas (X-Ray imaging will show multiple images layered beneath the final work).  It is a mess of thickly applied paint and a visual testament of hours of mounting frustration, culminating in the thickly applied letters which read, simply, “lame.”  Does it describe the artwork?  The artist?  The purchaser?  The critics?  Does it describe something else entirely or is it just a series of marks that happen to resemble letters in the alphabet favored by 21st century Americans?

I want you to have this painting, but more importantly, you want to own this.  I want to give it to you for free, with but a few stipulations.  1. The painting must be displayed in a place where you will occasionally see it (that is, not on the back wall of your tool shed).  2. The painting must be treated as if it were a respected piece of art created by a respectable artist.  3. If anyone asks, you must insinuate that you paid a moderate sum of money for the painting (you can invent the price, or evade the question on the premise that you don’t discuss financial investments). 4. If you ever sell the painting, you must give one half of the money to charity. 5. You must pick the painting up or pay to have it shipped.  The first person to respond to this wins the contest.  If no one responds, the social experiment will continue in another form.

Is it art?  If not, can we make it so?

9 Comments

  1. Posted September 7, 2008 at 4:24 pm | Permalink