[May 17 2016]
You know, the comic is a really neglected field of art — I mean look at the fairs and biennales today — there was very little that was funny at the FIAC last year and absolutely nothing at Documenta. But a lot of pop artists were funny; Charles Ray was certainly very, very funny, though a lot of people disagree. William Wegman was like a precursor for funny in video art, whatever that means. Or Erwin Wurm, Shrigley, Calder–well, Calder was fun, and that’s kind of like funny, right? I like the look of laughter. Of art that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Ken Price is a good example of this: it’s sexy, or at least sexy in the way that makes you feel a bit self-conscious, like that slo-mo Warhol flick of Mario Montez eating a banana (but imagine he then gets up and slips on it,) it’s all in your head really, which is cute and zany and really has more to do with colours translated into emotions that sometimes get it all wrong and arouse the wrong part of your brain. Maybe to put it a bit crassly, moving around the sculptures is a bit like being tickled while having sex, you have these confused responses, it’s all pain and stop, stop but you’re laughing and about to cum, and there’s a lot of feeling that fits into that, though I think I’ve digressed a bit too far. Maybe what I mean is that Price is funny in part because he makes us laugh nervously about mixed emotions and jumbled symbols we aren’t quite sure how to read, like, say, looking at a wave in a little drawing and thinking about a tongue just touching the rim of a cup, if you know what I mean, ha ha…
On view until June 25th, 2016, at Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West 24 Street, New York.
Text Sabrina Tarasoff and photo Paige Silveria