Umm... Meow, baby. In plain fact, Telly, I feel the joy (This, Mark Pauline's "ultimate transgression" to my addled eyes, is but the prelude to everything else he's cooked up). Whether you agree or disagree, please don't send me any 'theoretical underpinnings' - I've already had my day ruined twice.
Is this art?
Wrong question; everyone says it is. But for the wrong reasons: this is not a conceptual barbarian at the gates of art history and our culture; this is a very beautiful, compositionally balanced abstract sculpture of great aesthetic refinement, which you would see if you would just pull your minds out of the sewer! (😉jk). Found art yes, Duchamp was teaching us to see, in the same way Cage was teaching us to hear, but nobody heard, or saw; afraid to see and hear, and I understand that, I'm afraid too. Sun Ra published a poem on a similar theme, but I'll get into that later on a monumental post I'm afraid...
Is this art?
|Oh Johnnie Ray (my brother) (detail), 2010|
It damn well oughta be thought so, as many similar pieces were on view in the Studio Museum of Harlem's 2007 solo show for Henry Taylor ("Hell yeah!"), who director Thelma Golden thought to remind us was often considered an "outsider", hedging her bets on this uniquely powerful voice with a BA from CalArts , who thankfully continues to forge ahead, yet look back.
I mean look at this man ⬆, so deeply conflicted yet holding on, keeping the faith. His is the existential tension that can lead to hypertension; his, the battle between the internal reality of moral edict and the unrelenting social disintegration of same.
You'll see this profound radar in most of Taylor's work, and occasional transcendence of the "linear narrative" meaning some po-mo shit lays like it should; all his work feels real, grown in SoCal sun, bringing the interiority of its Af-Am, and other, experience in a way photos never could, or would.
I'm only getting started; more questions coming soon...