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.

Having a Girl Living in a Bubble Inside My Apartment for a Week Changed My Life

Posted by Philippa P.B. Hughes On July - 29 - 2011

Art Really Can Change Your Life! from The Pink Line Project on Vimeo.

“For one week, artist Agnes Bolt moved into the home of the very sociable and curious Philippa Hughes to playfully explore the dynamics between an artist and an art collector. With a naive optimism and subtle social critique the project manifested itself with a large obtrusive structure situated within Philippa’s home in which the artist lived.

The presence of the artist was impossible to ignore. A series of rules, exercises, communication systems, and bonding experiences dictated the interactions between the two and video cameras were given to both parties. Both were required to follow the rules but mischief and expectations of an open spirited dynamic was highly encouraged. Read the rest of this entry »

Sending An Arts Message to the President

Posted by Sheryl Oring On June - 20 - 2011

Penny Ross eyed my “I Wish to Say” office from across the room and I beckoned her over and invited her to dictate a postcard to the President.

It was early in the morning at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Diego, and Ms. Ross clearly had something to say.

She started her postcard to the White House like this: “I live in Chandler, Arizona. Arizona has eliminated all of the funding for the arts.”

Ms. Ross went on to tell me that she’d been teaching art to junior high students for 12 years, but that her job was just eliminated. “They don’t want to spend money on art supplies,” she said. “But the annual budget was $500. And that served 1,000 students.” Read the rest of this entry »