Sometimes I think contemporary art is a total wank. I pride myself on ‘getting’ most things, but simply can’t understand the artistic merit of a $100 million diamond-encrusted skull. It’s silly, self-indulgent and just not fun.
Mike Chavez (finalist in the 2009 Archibald Prize with Portrait of a Bad Muthaf***a [below]) is a refreshingly wank-free contemporary artist. Here he shares his thoughts on the above piece, from his Menagerie a Trois series:
“Sure, I could go on about how I wanted to explore the “nature of human relationships, courtship rituals, gender politics and sexual dynamics by juxtaposing our conversational intimacies and pillow talk with anthropomorphic animal couplings”. But really, I just thought it would be fun to paint a pair of pandas rooting.”
The contemporary art scene needs more rooting pandas and more of Mike Chavez, if only to be reminded that, above all, art should be about having fun.