Art is all about shock, awe, and being remembered. It’s about challenging the viewer and the idea of what art is. Beauty in the abject, genius in the absurd, and connecting with the humanity and realness of the artist. In a world where censorship is real, it’s important to push the limits to the furthest point.
Chris Burden was crucified to a Volkswagen Beetle, kicked down stairs, and shot in the arm with a real gun by one of his assistants in the name of art. (He did this way before Jackass). Carolee Schneemann inserted scrolls into her vagina and read them out loud. They are two of my favourites, but compared to what’s happening on the Internet daily, are they even that crazy anymore?
I’ve never physically harmed myself or inserted anything into my body, but I’ve some crazy shit in the name of art. Dressing in drag and pulling flags out of my plush strap-on penis; wearing an adult diaper and riding around on my tricycle; painting canvases with my breasts in front of an audience; and, most recently, stripping out of a Bill Cosby sweater, being covered in pudding, and reenacting “2 Girls, 1 Cup” to advocate consent.
I think the infamous shock video “2 Girls, 1 Cup” is art and not porn. It went viral and was elevated to common knowledge. People who saw it talked about it. Who knew that 2 girls playing with what seemed to be real human feces would become a legend? I even watched it in a college art class, some people left the room, I smiled and was inspired beyond words. That shit eating grin would make even John Waters proud.
John Waters is by far my favorite cult film maker, he is the filthiest man alive. He deals with incest, rape, chicken murder, and debauchery at the highest degree.
In addition, Divine (whom you can see on the featured image above) will always be one of my greatest inspirations. She didn’t care that she was overweight and did vile things on camera, she owned it.
I don’t think the naked human body , no matter how fat or skinny, should shock people like it does. We all have the same parts, more or less. People should not be so prude and scared of nudity. Spencer Tunick created landscapes of human bodies in his work. Mounds of beautiful flesh were his palette. I am obviously not scared of being naked, it empowers me! I am a burlesque dancer and a nude-not-lewd advocate. I recently participated in The Naked Bike Ride in Buffalo and that was incredible!
So much crazy stuff happens in this world and on the Internet that I think the idea of being “shocked” will go extinct. How can you gross out an audience that has seen it all? I look forward to seeing what comes next – what will someone do that makes me go “holy shit, did I just see that?”