Sunday, July 31, 2011

A new artistic genius awaits discovery by hoi polloi. (Is This Art?)

The very first Is This Art ever talked about Cory Arcangel, whose art (?) under consideration on that post was Losers Bowling In Video Games.

Cory Arcangel, remember, is the darling of many art circles because of the way he challenges peoples whatevers with the howevers he uses to something the other thing in order to subvert the opposite of the first thing you said.*

*Do my years of art criticism schooling show? I'm trying to hide it.
That is, people like Cory Arcangle because he's an artist. Or he's an artist because people like him. I can't remember which.

That brings me to today's artist, Sarah j00n.

Not a lot of people know j00n, who, at 20, is just breaking into art circles. She hasn't had any major exhibitions yet, but over 28,000,000 people have viewed her first major work:

That's Nyan Cat, and the only reason I know about it because Annie Vang, a blogger I follow on Twitter, posted about it, making me wonder what it was all about.

Ms. Vang was not pleased with either Nyan Cat or the response to it, and when I first went to watch it, I had to agree with her -- it wasn't for me, and I felt a little dumber for having watched it.

But Is It Art? That's the big question -- because Nyan Cat is not just wildly popular with people, but also almost identical to other things hoi polloi think are art - -things like what Cory Arcangel does.

Here's a few of the critically-beloved works by Cory Arcangel:

Super Mario Bros. Movie:

That one garnered about 12,000 views since being posted.

That one appears to have a story line, though, so consider


That's gotten 46,000 views. So by popular measure, Nyan Cat is far more artistic than either Super Mario Bros. Movie or Clouds -- and Nyan Cat appears to have the exact same sensibility behind it as Clouds.

So why is Clouds Art (?), displayed in a museum, while Nyan Cat is despised by bloggers?

Is Nyan Cat art? Is the difference that one didn't post his first on Youtube but submitted it to art museums first?

Or is Cory Arcangel having a laugh at the art world?

Before you go pay full price for an artist's installation, perhaps you should check with Annie Vang about what's popular on Youtube. It'll be just as stupid -- but just as arty, and way cheaper.


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