Thursday, May 15, 2008

Let's Get Lost with Found Objects

The Artswipe
Is this found object an Adam Cullen? 2008
Mattress, spray paint, a 'can-do' attitude
Dimensions: queen size bed
Courtesy mid-career

Tonight The Artswipe attended the opening of Let's Get Lost, a mid-career survey by bad man artist Adam Cullen, at the Art Gallery of NSW. I have been a bit of a Cullen fan for some time: his swift brushstrokes do it to me every time. Last weekend's Sydney Morning Herald article on Cullen (Saturday May 10, 2008) quotes the patron saint of paint John McDonald, who says, Cullen's "colours are chosen to be as lurid and as in your face as possible. The images are often chosen the same way. The whole thing is knocked up with a contemptuous speed."

Being so time-poor these days, it's best to just get to the point, I don't have all day, give me speed and make it a double! Thanks Christ for Cullen - while the rest of the Western world is busy with their Blackberry Blue Tooth Redneck Whitegoods, Cullen is busy whipping it out like a sharp shooter whose idea of foreplay is target practice at the firing range. Like a dirty date-rape mattress, Cullen's paintings number crunch the very idea of a zeitgeist into the sound of one back cracking. What's wrong with being "in your face"? It's better than being stuck "up your own ass".

On my way to the Art Gallery, I happenstanced upon an Adam Cullen artwork in the street. Or maybe it was just a found object, I can never tell. Fuck art for getting so so blurred with the everyday. Whatever it was, I believed in my heart, soul and rectum that it was a satellite installation for the AGNSW show. It was beautiful - a lonely, spent mattress propped up against the fence of a block of council flats, a medium with a message of two powerful letters - AC.

I always admired Duchamp for signing a urinal R. Mutt. Perhaps Cullen is following the grand tradition laid down by his anarchic Dada forebears; that by signing his initials he lays claim to an impulse to piss hard and good on an embracing establishment. Maybe he hadn't finished writing on the mattress? Perhaps he took a tea break with every intention of coming back and completing the initials to form the words: A. Cunt.


Skanky Jane said...

Wonderful stuff! Love the image, framed by the driver's gaze! (Parked of course) SJ xx

cash said...

a cunning stunt