Art Pranks

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Norm Magnusson’s NY State Thruway Project on Kickstarter

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism

From artist Norm Magnusson: I’m raising funds on Kickstarter for a project to install one of my ‘historical’ markers in each of the 27 travel plazas of the New York State Thruway. I’d love you to join me in this project. The Kickstarter campaign runs through March 20, 2013.


MagnussonImage-200These are sculptures of cast aluminum and acrylic paint. They look just like the historical markers found on country roads, in front of stone houses, or near scenic overlooks all over America, but instead of commemorating the site of a battle or a place where a famous person slept, these markers deal with contemporary social issues such as gender wage disparity, global warming, illegal immigration, taxes, health care and many, many others.

The markers are expensive to make. The cost of materials keeps going up. Fabrication, installation, transportation, assistants, insurance, van rental, rewards and fulfillment… it all adds up and all of a sudden, it’s a pricey project. 7 people at $10,000 each or 7000 people at $10 each or some combination thereof will get me going. But I don’t just need money, I’m also going to need help installing these things, so if you’re interested in digging holes and planting poles, please let me know.

See more from Norm Magnusson here and here.

Fresh Juice Party Announces FUBAR for Valentine’s Day

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

From Fresh Juice Party:


California Group Mails Chocolate Corpses for Valentines

InCoffinWFlagSm-425

Instead of sending a chocolate heart this Valentine’s, send the entire mutilated body! The limited edition FUBAR comes in both white and milk chocolate and is decorated to depict an American soldier’s corpse returning from war. FUBARs are packaged in refrigerated, flag-wrapped coffins, equipped with hidden sound devices which play the FUBAR Memorial Theme Music when opened. The group has posted this music video that demonstrates these features for those who will not be receiving one of their own.

Who will the lucky recipients be? (more…)

Art Appears… and Disappears… in LA

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Submitted by Lenora:


Updated: Mysterious street artist hoaxes Downtown L.A., signs removed
By Deborah Vankin
LATimes.com
September 19, 2012

A mystery street artist with a sense of humor has turned parts of downtown L.A. into a guerrilla art installation.

A fake city plaque, on the corner of Spring and 2nd streets, attributes a block of palm trees to artist Chris Burden. (Steve Devol/Los Angeles Times / September 18, 2012)

Eight neighborhood landmarks or areas have been marked with official-looking city placards that offer what appear to be background information about the location. One, for instance, says that a downtown dumpster was designed by Andy Warhol.

Though the artworks are unsigned, Culture Monster has learned that they are called “Art Appears” and are the work of the artist who calls himself Wild Life.

[Update, 12:08 p.m. Wednesday: At least two of the signs have been removed since Tuesday, one near City Hall and one near the LAPD headquarters.]

The artist Wild Life was half the duo (with Calder Greenwood) responsible for life-sized papier-mâché installations that sprouted up around town a few months ago, notably as the lounging sunbathers in an open construction pit on 1st Street and Broadway. (more…)

Cacophony Society Zone Show Opens in LA

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Pranksters

‘The Cacophony Society’ is more than just a clown show
by Richard Chang
The Orange County Register
February 10, 2012

Grand Central Art Center is exploring one of America’s most playful fringe organizations in ‘The Cacophony Society – Zone Show.’

Multi-colored fliers line the walls outside Grand Central Art Center’s Main Gallery. A blue banner hangs from the ceiling and reads, “Welcome Homeland Security.”

A red, black and white sign just inside the Main Gallery mysteriously states: “You may already be a member.” Further inside, chaos and mayhem ensue.

‘The Cacophony Society – Zone Show’
Grand Central Art Center
125 N. Broadway
Santa Ana, California
Through April 15, 2012
11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays
11 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Free
714-567-7233

“The Cacophony Society – Zone Show” is the newest exhibition at Santa Ana’s Grand Central Art Center. It opened Feb. 4 with a massive reception attended by thousands crowding the Artists Village, and continues through April 15. (more…)

Critic Jerry Saltz Offers Sex for a Fake Painting

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New York Art Critic Offers Money, Sex for Fake Painting
by Lisa Derrick
Huffington Post
November 29, 1011

New York Magazine’s art critic Jerry Saltz loves Gerhard Richter’s paintings. A lot. So much so that on his Facebook page, the three-time Pulitzer nominee offered either $1,000 or a sex act (plus the cost of materials) to any artist who

can make me a Richter that looks EXACTLY like an abstract Richter – more or less indistinguishable from the real thing. (You can sign your own name on the back of the damn thing; I just love these and want one.)…Offer: $1000.00 plus materials. I’d like a biggish one.

After several hundred comments and offers responding to his Facebook posting, Saltz further clarified his immodest proposal:

1. We agree that you will make me a Richter. 2. We agree on size and cost. 3. You make it. 4. A curator from a MAJOR NY Museum inspects it. 5. IF he/she cannot distinguish it (more or less) from real thing, then I
A. I pay you the amount of money we agreed on previously.
B. You get a bj or female equivalent.

Saltz, a judge on the Bravo television program Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, is married to New York Times senior art critic Roberta Smith, and has a reputation for being — as behooves a critic — outspoken, irreverent and pranksterish. He relishes discourse and uses his Facebook page as a forum for discussion, bantering and repartee. (more…)

UCSD Senior Prank: Non-Existent Artist Hangs House on Building

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EXCLUSIVE: UCSD: Best Prank Ever
by Walter Mencken
San Diego Reader
November 17, 2011

Senior Class Fabricates Existence of Korean “Artist,” Cons Stuart Collection into Hanging House Off Edge of Seven-Story Building.

Stuart Collection Curator Attempts to Save Face: “Actually, joke’s on them: this prank is so genius that it ascends to the level of art. We’re proud to feature it in our collection.”

High-Fiving All ‘Round, UCSD – “It’s over,” says UCSD Senior Amanda Terwilliger. “Everybody can just stop planning their pranks now, because nobody is ever going to top this. Not, the noose, not the shoe, not the paisley, not even the April Fools’ acceptance email.”

Terwilliger was referring to the installation of “Fallen Star,” the latest addition to the University’s prestigious and silly Stuart Collection of Artistic Oddities. (more…)

Artist Alex Melamid’s Art Healing Ministry

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Satire

Submitted by Steve Lambert: Alex Melamid was once part of Komar and Melamid – an amazing pair of artists. He has now created:


The Art Healing Ministry:

Watch the NY1 video interview of Melamid here.

Harnessing the Power of Art!

…Alexander Melamid, working with Gary Krimershmoys, has started his Art Healing practice. Art is capable of alleviating and even curing psychological and physiological problems of afflicted individuals. It has become evident that there are many benefits of exposing oneself to Art masterpieces especially for those who strive to keep themselves physically fit with flawless skin and flat stomachs.

In our practice, we use treatments such as van Gogh/Seurat Face Peels, Brancusi Slim-Down Projections, as well as home remedies supplements like Art Charged Water, Art Enhanced Votive Candles, Art Anointed Prayer Cards and last but not least our Targeted Maladies Museum Tours like the Frick Collection Vermeer Radiant Skin Therapy or in extreme cases Faecal Encephalopathy Met Visits.

These procedures and supplements, used in concert, along with healthy eating habits and exercise, are sure to bring amazing results. Your skin will radiate with an ethereal glow and your waist will shrink to the size of a proverbial twig. Guaranteed!

Until June 15th, if you write to us and tell us your problem, we will send you a FREE introductory abridged personalized Art Program of appropriated Art Images and Color Combinations (AIACC) remedy targeting your disorder with razor-sharp accuracy!

Avant-Garde Pranks of a Classical Animator

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Filed under: Art Pranks, The History of Pranks

Submitted by Peter Markus: Woody Woodpecker had a higher aesthetic…


That Noisy Woodpecker Had an Animated Secret
by Michael Cieply
The New York Times
April 10, 2011

Los Angeles — Sixteen years ago Tom Klein was staring at a Woody Woodpecker cartoon, “The Loose Nut,” when he started seeing things.

Specifically, Mr. Klein watched that maniacal red-topped bird smash a steamroller through the door of a shed. The screen then exploded into images that looked less like the stuff of a Walter Lantz cartoon than like something Willem de Kooning might have hung on a wall.

“What was that?” Mr. Klein, now an animation professor at Loyola Marymount University, recalled thinking. Only later, after years of scholarly detective work, did he decide that he had been looking at genuine art that was cleverly concealed by an ambitious and slightly frustrated animation director named Shamus Culhane. Mr. Culhane died in 1996, a pioneer whose six decades in animation included the sequence of the dwarfs marching and singing “Heigh Ho” in the 1937 film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

In the March issue of Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Mr. Klein relates an intriguing theory. He says that Mr. Culhane broke the boundaries of his craft when he worked on the Woody Woodpecker cartoons in the 1940s, going well beyond the kind of commonplace puckishness that supposedly led later animators to stitch frames of a panty-less diva into “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Mr. Culhane’s stunts, Mr. Klein posits, were of a higher order. He worked ultra-brief experimental art films into a handful of Woody Woodpecker cartoons. (more…)

How to Sneak an Art Exhibit Inside a Museum

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Filed under: Art Pranks, How to Pull Off a Prank, The History of Pranks

From Deceptology


How to sneak an art exhibit inside a museum

This sneaky art prank relied on the optical illusion of
trompe l’oell photographs that were not seen as art.
(Such as a keyhole that was not a keyhole.)

Here’s how artist Harvey Stromberg deceived the Museum of Modern Art, as written in New York Magazine in June 1971:

“With the help of a friend, but with no assistance from the museum, Harvey Stromberg put on his exhibition himself. A New York artist, he describes his work as “photo-sculpture.” To prepare the exhibition, he spent some weeks in the museum, disguised as a student with a notebook under his arm, peering nearsightedly at pictures while at the same time measuring and photographing museum equipment: light switches, locks, air vents, buzzers, segments of the floor and bricks in the garden wall. These photographs he printed actual size, covered the backs with adhesive, and one day he sauntered through the museum adding 300 trompe l’oell photographs (“photosculpture”) of museum equipment to its walls and floors. (The floor pieces were a mistake: “I didn’t realize that when they buffed the floors they would buff them right off.” says Stromberg.)”

Read more here.

Brock Enright: Theater for One

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If Your Life Were a Movie
by Jonah Weiner
January 21, 2011

Brock Enright rents a studio in an old Catholic school in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a former classroom that is hard to navigate without stepping on a drawing or kicking a sculpture, but he makes much of his art beyond his studio’s walls — in bars, fast-food joints, Chinatown shopping plazas, rooftops and other locations throughout Manhattan. One evening not long ago, I joined him at the Sixth Ward, a bar on the Lower East Side, to watch him work on a new piece.

Just after 6 p.m., Enright entered, wearing a black hoodie, dirty black jeans and battered canvas sneakers. “I’m excited about tonight,” he said.

Since 2002, a year after graduating from Columbia’s M.F.A. program, Enright has operated Videogames Adventure Services, a company that constructs “reality adventures” for paying clients. If you’re a V.A.S. customer, Enright and his team will stage an adventure — peopled with actors, riddled with mysteries, arranged into multiple acts — designed specially for you. Clients are predominantly thrill-seekers (“Some people jump out of planes, some people do this,” Enright says), and if you don’t know precisely what you want out of your game, Enright will probe, infer and decide. The adventure invades your life and transforms it, for a time, into a work of art. (more…)

Forgery for Love, Not Money

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Pranksters, The History of Pranks

Elusive Forger, Giving but Never Stealing
By Randy Kennedy
The New York Times
January 11, 2011

His real name is Mark A. Landis, and he is a lifelong painter and former gallery owner. But when he paid a visit to the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, La., last September, he seemed more like a character sprung from a Southern Gothic novel.

He arrived in a big red Cadillac and introduced himself as Father Arthur Scott. Mark Tullos Jr., the museum’s director, remembers that he was dressed “in black slacks, a black jacket, a black shirt with the clerical collar and he was wearing a Jesuit pin on his lapel.” Partly because he was a man of the cloth and partly because he was bearing a generous gift — a small painting by the American Impressionist Charles Courtney Curran, which he said he wanted to donate in memory of his mother, a Lafayette native — it was difficult not to take him at his word, Mr. Tullos said.

The painting, unframed and wrapped in cellophane, looked like the real thing, with a faded label on the verso from a long-defunct gallery in Manhattan. Father Scott offered to pay for a good frame and hinted that more paintings and perhaps some money might come the museum’s way from his family. But when the Hilliard’s director of development chatted with Father Scott about the church and his acquaintances in deeply Roman Catholic southern Louisiana, the man grew nervous. “He said, ‘Well, I travel a lot,’ ” Mr. Tullos recalled. “ ‘I go and solve problems for the church.’ ”

Mr. Landis — often under his own name, though more recently as Father Scott or as a collector named Steven Gardiner — has indeed done a lot of traveling over the past two decades, but not for the church. He has been one of the most prolific forgers American museums have encountered in years, writing, calling and presenting himself at their doors, where he tells well-concocted stories about his family’s collection and donates small, expertly faked works, sometimes in honor of nonexistent relatives. (more…)

“Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art” Book Release Party Announced

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Taschen and Wooster Collective, the publisher and authors of “Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art“, are throwing a book release party in NYC September 29. It’s open to the public. Below is the invitation.

Joey Skaggs’ work is included in this encyclopedic effort to, in editor Ethel Seno’s words, “bring generations together around the subject of street art and ‘uncommissioned public art'”, and he’ll be there. Come on by!

Written by Carlo McCormick, Marc Schiller, & Sara Schiller, and edited by Ethel Seno, copies of the book are available for pre-order online at a great price.

Here’s the list of artists included in the book: (more…)

A Cockroach Cure? Again?

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, The History of Pranks

Submitted by Dave Camp, saying “Prescient again”? Dave is referring to a hoax Joey Skaggs did in 1981 called “Metamorphosis“. Skaggs said he was an entomologist who had discovered cures for all of mankind’s common ailments such as colds, flus, acne, anemia and menstrual cramps, by extracting and eating cockroach hormones. Is history repeating itself? Or, was Skaggs really onto something?

Here’s the article:


Cockroach Brains May Be a Source of Antibiotics, Research Says
by Simeon Bennett
Bloomberg
September 6, 2010

Cockroach brains may be a source of new antibiotics capable of killing deadly drug-resistant bacteria, according to research that suggests the germ-spreading pests may be good for something after all.

Insects such as cockroaches have a defense mechanism against bacteria, a “logical” development from living in unhygienic conditions, research from the U.K.’s University of Nottingham showed. Tissues from the brains and nervous systems of cockroaches and locusts killed more than 90 percent of MRSA and E. coli without damaging human cells, scientists said. (more…)

The Pissed Off Legacy of Duchamp

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Filed under: Art Pranks

An homage to Duchamp
found in the yard of Joey Skaggs…
Could it be Fountain #18?








Rogue urinals
The Economist online
March 24, 2010

Has the art market gone Dada?

Critics tend to declare that Marcel Duchamp’s urinal, entitled “Fountain”, is the most important artwork of the 20th century. Yet its standing as a collectable object has always lagged behind its value as an idea. The work questioned notions of authenticity when Duchamp first purchased the mass-produced plumbing fixture and signed it “R. Mutt” in 1917. Now, over 40 years after the artist’s death, the problem of legitimacy remains relevant as unauthorised urinals have been discovered circulating in Italy. The art world loves paradoxical conceptual gestures, but it seems that someone might be taking the piss. (more…)

Look Out for Another Two Feet of Snow!

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Satire

thanks Norman