Monday 28 April 2014

Pricasso: Seminal Performance Art

Tim Patch, commonly known by his professional stage name Pricasso, is an Australian artist who is known for using his penis, scrotum and buttocks to paint portraits, landscapes and female nudes... Patch chose the name of "Pricasso" – a portmanteau of prick (a slang term for penis) and Picasso. (Wikipedia)

Sorry, I was mistaken before. Now I can say I've seen it all. As Monty Python would say, "And now for something completely different."

Performance art is, by its very definition, a performance. It may engage us. It may bore us. But however you judge its artistic merits or its entertainment value, it at least made you look.

"There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
-Oscar Wilde

Mr. Patch, as his story goes, was inspired to try his, ahem, hand at this in 2005 after seeing Puppetry of the Penis, a theatre show of naked men contorting their privates into various positions with comic narration. Hey, if the gals get The Vagina Monologues, wasn't it inevitable the guys would do something?

Pricasso said that portrait work is the most challenging type of painting, so he set himself a goal of painting an accurate-looking portrait within 20 minutes. Due to normal paint containing lime, which erodes the skin, Pricasso makes his own water-based paints. Before he begins painting he also covers his penis and buttocks in Vaseline in order to work for several hours without causing irritation to his skin. (Wikipedia)

video NSFW: So, how exactly does he do it?
I thought you would never ask. And voilĂ , I found the following video which graphically, explicitly, unequivocally, shows you precisely how a man uses his genitalia to stir up a controversy... I mean, paint.

Mr. Patch's nom de plume is reportedly a regular attraction at Sexpo, the world's largest adult show. You can come out and have your portrait done and watch the artist in action.

But is it art?
Okay, ignoring the how, what does anybody think of the what? Just what are the final results?

Final Word
There is certainly a novelty factor, no doubt about it. The art seems to be adequate. If you don't have the opportunity to meet Mr. Patch in person, I see from his web site that you can order your portrait for $274 USD. You apparently get a video of the master at work.

When Ordering Please Specifie G, PG, or 18+R for the rating of the Video
(G) Tasteful shots as you would see on TV no penis shots
(PG) Showing the process of penis painting with close up flassid [sic] penis and bum shots from all angles
(18+R) Same as (PG) but about a third of it painted with the penis Erect, to shock your friends

By all means, 18+R. I want the whole enchilada. I want to brag how Mr. Patch found working on my painting to be stimulating. (or fill in your own joke here)

I'm sure your average Joe or Josephine will be dismissive. This is ridiculous. This is stupid. But I do have to admire performance artists as they put themselves out there and leave themselves totally open to ridicule. Now you may say they deserve it, but they do come up with original ideas. And who knows what people may think in a hundred years? Remember Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Cans?

[In 2010 the 6-foot-high painting] “Big Campbell’s Soup Can With Can Opener (Vegetable),” sold at Christie’s International for $23.8 million. (Bloomberg)

Who knows where Mr. Patch may end up in the eyes of art lovers? I wouldn't be surprised if his namesake Pablo would not only approve, but wonder why he didn't think of the technique himself.


Wikipedia: Pricasso
Nicholas Chare, in an article titled "Sexing the Canvas", has linked Pricasso's work with statements by classic modern painters who referred to the activity of painting as a "seminal" or "spermatic" activity with sexual connotations.

official web site: Pricasso Performance Artist

Google image search: Pricasso

Google video search: Pricasso


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