A Synonym of Ridiculous: “Barf Art”

The reason that I am infatuated with the art world is that it allows people to express themselves through a myriad of mediums. Nowadays, for better or for worse, anything can be considered art. The one thing that has always irked me about the art world is when the art makes no sense to me, but I’m supposed to stand there and act as if it’s okay.

I used to live across the street from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA and would visit frequently when I need to get lost in my own zone. I remember seeing a plain wooden chair during one of my visits with a sign on it that read, “Do not sit on the exhibit”. So, you’re telling me that this plain wooden chair is art? It looks like a chair that I could find in anyone’s kitchen, but because it’s in a museum it is art. I looked on the wall to read about it, hoping that there was some purposeful message behind the piece and to my dismay all it read was the artist’s name, year of creation, and title which was accurately named, “Wooden Chair”.

This is the kind of thing that irks me about the art world. Pulling randomness out of a hat and expecting me to give a round of applause. It’s not that I am against randomness in art, but I would prefer that it had some degree of forethought in it, so the viewer can better understand where the artist is coming from.

Yesterday, I was watching one of my favorite shows, “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” and came across an artist by the name of Lance Ozanix who creates what he calls, “Barf Art”. Yes, it is exactly what you think it is. Below is the video showcasing his work.

Admittedly, Mr. Ozanix is not the only artist that uses bodily fluids and functions in their work. In 1961, Piero Manzoni exhibited “Artist’s Shit” in the Albisola Marina. The display consisted of ninety cans of preserved “100% Pure Artist’s Shit” which he eventually sold for the price of their then-current weight in gold. There was also Keith Boadwee, who used to apply paint to canvas by squirting it out of his butt. When asked about his choice of artistic medium Boadwee once said, “I wanted to prove that I can make just as good a painting as (the ‘abstract expressionists’) can with my butthole.”

A can of "Artist Shit" by Piero Manzoni, 1961.

What do you think? Is there a limit to what is considered as art, or should it depend on the eyes of the beholder?

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *