Art, Over-Calculated PR Stunt, or Both?

Posted by Tim Mikulski On February - 13 - 2012

I sat dumbfounded last night as the often-flamboyant Nicki Minaj attempted to, as a local TV personality put it, combine Madonna’s controversial “Like a Prayer” performance with Lady Gaga’s stage death performance on The Grammys.

There was a pope (who joined her on the red carpet), dancing monks(?), and an apparent ascension/exorcism…oh and there was singing and rapping in there, too.

While many non-artists (like me) are mostly just confused and wondering why Minaj’s performance looked like bad theater, I’m wondering how the artists who visit ARTSblog feel about it.

Like many “controversial” art pieces, Minaj was out to make a point, but was it an artistic one (as Lady Gaga often attempts: see her performance art piece in drag from a the MTV Video Music Awards) or simply a PR stunt?

I know what FOX News and my local TV morning program think, but they’re not necessarily my standard go-to source for art critique.

What do my fellow arts administrators and artists think? Add your comments below.

ARTSblog holds week-long Blog Salons, a series of posts by guest bloggers, that focus on an overarching theme within a core area of Americans for the Arts' work. Here are links to the most recent Salons:

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Alec Baldwin and Nigel Lythgoe talk about the state of the arts in America at Arts Advocacy Day 2012. The acclaimed actor and famed producer discuss arts education and what inspires them.