15 June 2007

Art & humor are soluble

Mid-May, I was West-Coastin' in San Diego and took an afternoon visit at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (the Kettner St. location; they have others). Well, as luck would have it (and as part of what I can only assume is an ongoing thang called the CERCA SERIES), the MCASD was presenting the art of "Encinitas-based sculptor William Feeney [who] turns assembly techniques and themes associated with the building trades towards self-reflective and conceptual ends." I had never heard of William Feeney before, and I'm willing to bet my car that you haven't either, but now I'll remember his name.

Model for Cabin with machine gun nest - 2005; cardboard, graphite, wood.
(Image stolen from http://www.mcasd.org/exhibitions/index.asp)

Son of a motherf#@^er, when I saw this next one, I think I almost peed myself:

Big Snooz - I couldn't find the work's details online, but it's made out of Igloo cooler material, and it even says 'big snooz' on the lid
(Image stolen from http://entertainment.signonsandiego.com/profiles/events/feeney)

The first room was all Feeney's work, and each piece in that room elicited some reaction. If it wasn't at least a chuckle, then it was some form of nostalgia or deep thought. One of my favorites (not pictured here) was a plastic baby doll wrapped entirely in Band-Aids. It was called Baby Owwee.

And then, as if the Feeney exhibit wasn't enough, I found this monstrosity in the back room next to the bathroom:

The Big Sneeze - 1995; chicken wire, wood, expanding foam sealant, polyurathane, acrylic, metal tank, pump, tubbing, colored liquid, computer with sound chip, speakers, amp.
(Image stolen from http://www.mcasd.org/exhibitions/index.asp)

To blame for this masterpiece are The Art Guys based in Houston, Texas. I wish I could recreate the mini-essay/explanation for The Big Sneeze, because it was pure satirical genius. Basically, these two dudes from Texas have used artistic snobbery as a reason to create things like this. Every 20-or-so minutes, speakers would play the sound of a person inhaling panicked drags of air, followed soon after by gushing green water. Folks, this is art in its purest form: art that appeals to the common man. I stayed to watch it a second time.

For more on The Art Guys, visit http://www.theartguys.com/homebody.html
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any sites dedicated to William Feeney.

The MCASD's permanent upstairs exhibit was lots of fun too. If you're in San Diego, I recommend spending the $5-10 and ~60 minutes it will take you to enjoy this museum.