As I started to watch the documentary Who’s Afraid of Conceptual Art? I thought I should have described my Amazon Fashion Delivery blog post as a readymade art post, as well as an Andy Warhol pop art inspired one.
Marcel Duchamp Readymades
Then the second artist featured in the documentary was Marcel Duchamp, who initiated the readymade concept in 1913. I of course found Duchamp on the XaW Files: Beyond Humanity travel quest for the greenYgrey world’s Andy Warhol, Andy Wolfhol.
I then realised I had been doing readymades during the greenYgrey blogs, by turning photos featuring green, grey and yellow into greenygrey conceptual art readymades.
Here’s one I made earlier; well, earlier than writing this for sure, which I’m adding at the end, but much later than when I started the blog post, which was yesterday afternoon, after first watching the documentary. I had the documentary playing in the background again on the computer while writing this.
To nearly all great greenYgreyliens this image is just a readYmade (note the capital Y for the greenYgrey readYmade version) of an oldish man greenYgreying.
However, to prog rock fans, and his family and friends, it is more importantly, and amazingly to me (jokingly), Jon Anderson of Yes, as featured today on Classic Rock; and the great greenygrey is simply background.
Conceptual Art Self-Proclaimed Genius
Presenting the documentary, Dr. James Fox found that conceptual art was more about the idea than the work – to make society think, laugh and feel. They also said that words could be more important than the images.
As well as appropriating images for greenYgrey readymades, I also use myself, such as recently describing my self-proclaimed toy doctor status as another concept to cement my self-proclaimed genius status. I wasn’t really thinking of conceptual art at the time, but was reminded of it during the documentary.
Examples of Conceptual Art
I have been taking greenYgrey street art to the people around Britain and Europe for the last decade in a similar way. Bruce McLean was probably the closest to my greenYgrey decade, using his own body to redefine sculpture.
I’d never heard of McLean until this documentary. He was also influenced by the European 1960s student movement, but was actually adult at the time. This one seems to have conceptualised my gYg POP, including green, yellow, grey, pink, orange and purple:
Is there in fact yellow there, or does it just appear so to me, somewhere between orange and light green. Maybe light green can be shortened to greenY, like me.
Another artist featured in the documentary was Joseph Boyce, who lived for three days with a wild coyote in an allegory of peace, tolerance and respect for nature.
I often thought I could live in such situations for long periods of time, either for tests or art. My decade of celibacy is probably a much longer example.
Move Over McLean, New Concept (replacing Kid) in Art (replacing Town)
I think XaW Files: Beyond Humanity hits all the conceptual art buttons, and should be considered a modern classic. However, maybe the conceptual art world is afraid of it? As I challenge the classic image of a conceptual artist too much… in the U.K. anyway. Maybe in Duchamp’s France I would fit in better?… although he went to the U.S.A.!
However, if you allow your mind liberty
to connect concepts please feel free,
to consider McLean like an older version of me
born between the years 1945 and 1943,
this poetic interlude a time of coffilosophy
brewing between mugs two and three.
Maybe he is just better understood? Maybe he had a better set of friends and colleagues than me? Maybe he was just in the right time – the free-thinking 1960s rather than the multicultural fascism of the noughties! Or maybe he is all artist, rather than part-artist like me?
Conceptual Artists: Idea Over Aesthetics
Being ADHD, as far as I can see; relating recently to one of the SAS soldiers, who said he was probably ADHD, as he was looking out the window every five minutes when in school, but there wasn’t the diagnosis then; conceptual art appeals to me as an artiste, as I am better at thinking up ideas, which happens naturally, than spending long amounts of time turning them into objects and works – that’s probably why my books have been a struggle, and split into short episodes – good for ADHD readers because they were written by an ADHD writer!
That’s probably also why blogging is particularly appealing to me. I could have written another book or trilogy instead of writing over a thousand blog posts.
Piero Manzoni made art out of his own poo, reminding me of my Poolympics. He said it would be worth its weight in gold, but is now worth much more. Will my work one day be worth similar amounts, or will my objects be worth more? I still have the toe-nail that fell out after last October’s ultra-marathon (good luck to everybody for this year’s, and especially the volunteers) if anyone wants to make some offers. Maybe I should offer it on ebay…? one day…? In the meantime:
Available to buy or borrow on Amazon and some great big bookshops.