Monday, August 4, 2008

Red Bull: Can of Bullshit


by Buffalo Sean

Now it doesn’t bother me that they cost twice as much per ounce as any other energy drink. Or that they have introduced a new and legal high to America. No, it bothers me that Red Bull decided to throw their bullshit Art of the Can in Houston.


Haven’t heard of it? Seen the billboards of bauxite pterodactyls? Or their web ads with a shiny tin cowboy boot? Hmm… then you must not be one of the five hundred artists who submitted to the exhibit. Pardon me while I tell those artists FUCK YOU YOU GOT HOSED. Excuse me, but I had a feeling one of them might read this and I couldn’t resist the urge to publicly insult someone. If you are sitting next to someone who entered the show tell ‘em for me. Their ridiculousness is only eclipsed by the willingness of advertisers to use, exploit and degrade you. Three things strike me as particularly stupid in this endeavor, an artist’s willingness to forgo one’s judgment of materials, the inestimable monetary cost of the project and the complacency and triviality of the artworld.

Materials, malleable objects and ideas, are explored through trial and error and practice. Conceptual artists screaming in a dark room go through the same shtick as a watercolor artist painting on a Sunday afternoon. Exploring materials, finding what you like to work with is a big part of artistic identity. Warhol had silkscreens, Rauschenberg had ink transfers and Oldenburg had cloth. Robyn O’Neil has pencils, Bert Long has ice and the Art Guys have their bodies. Why would you limit yourself to a prescribed, corporate material? Barring an intensely enlightened group working together for a very long time I would not believe an exhibit of one material could ever be justifiable. The fact that the show looked like a high school hallway on parent’s night was unavoidable, but shame on you guys for getting duped into thinking this could ever be worth it beyond that navel-gazing moment of delight that comes with being included. On the team.

By the way, in getting on this team, how much did you guys spend on those cans you’ve woven into dragons, moustaches and the Statue of Liberty? Didn’t think about it did ya. Or maybe it just blew by; you were so high on fructose syrup and guarana. No entry fee for the exhibit? What a crock of bullshit. It’d cost you $200 to construct a spaceman out of your product’s encasement. Maybe it only cost a hundred bucks to cover that guitar in $4 eight-ounce cans. It’s kind of like usury. Does it seem stupid to enter yet? Or would you like to hear about Arthur Vaisvilas’ piece? The hapless son-of-a-bitch drew The Ramones wearing Red Bull t-shirts as they rock out in a stilted colored pencil attempt at thankfulness. Unless you’re in high school Arthur, you should be punched in the face. You might be big so I’m not gonna do it- but The Ramones deserve better. The oodles of cash Red Bull throws around all over the country on fun, stupid shit is reprehensible if you’re not having fun, but if you’re part of the crowd you may feel some sense of elation, like there’s something new happening and you’re in the thick of it. Shut the fuck up. It’s all the caffeine.

The jittery feeling you get sometimes, when it seems like there is a comprehensive, wide-ranging spectrum of artists out there and possibilities for advancement; that means that someone should back over you with a truck. Don’t assume that those collectors and critics at the opening spell validation. I am terribly surprised at the ability to bend over backwards and lower their standards that many jurors demonstrated, as well as the media outlets and even well meaning artists. Oh, I mean that I’m so surprised that they can do that when there is money involved. Did that slip my mind? Woops. As one juror stiffly said; “don’t take it so seriously, they’re not artists.” I was staggered. I kind of hoped that they were artists. I kind of believe that they are, even Arthur, and they shouldn’t have to go away when the money leaves. The kvetching that went on when the Hunting Prize patronized to artists sent the community into an uproar, but no one takes this seriously? Damned bull, I would have preferred a pinewood derby or an air show, and this will not do. At least it has proven that corporations have an extensive reach in the artworld, and to resist it is futile. I’m not drinking a can of that shit. I’ll drink the Kool-Aid.

12 Comments:

At August 4, 2008 11:53 AM , Anonymous Sew what said...

THANK YOU for writing this. THANK YOU! I saw the billboard ont he way to work for months and wondered if anyone else in houston thought this "exhibition" was ridiculous and INSULTING AS FUCK

 
At August 6, 2008 10:59 AM , Blogger Free Press Houston said...

red bull tastes like Hawaiian Punch mixed with Goat Vomit

 
At August 8, 2008 6:05 PM , Anonymous tiger lily said...

i think your blog is pretty funny - and i was one of the "artists". thankfully you did not specifically call my piece crap, but i am sure you thought it all the same. lol. i'm not sure about the other artists, but speaking for myself, i only entered out of sheer entertainment. i thought, hell, why not? as for the investment, i am sure that ran the gamut. i was in it for about $75. but alas, i didn't buy a single can of red bull either. even stranger? i had never even had a red bull prior to the opening and even then it had vodka in it! seriously. all my cans were donated to me by the addicts that knew i was entering the competition. oh, and for the record, red bull also provides as many cases as the artist desires of expired red bull to aid in the creation of their piece. thought that was kinda neat.

 
At August 14, 2008 12:33 PM , Blogger b.s. said...

i heard about red bull giving away expired cans to anyone who wanted then- but i heard that after the show opened people started hearing about it- if it was widely known during the months leading up to the competition it was not well used by artists.

 
At August 14, 2008 7:48 PM , Anonymous tiger lily said...

well, the artist liaison sent me an e-mail almost as soon as i sent in the application and gave me the run down on details, including that i could call or e-mail her anytime if i needed cans and she would get them to me. seeing as i didn't know her personally, i assumed i wasn't getting preferential treatment, lol, and that all the artists were offered this deal. haha, maybe i AM more special than i thought! they also had several artist get-togethers prior to the submission deadline where they were supposedly going to have several cases for each artist (didn't get to attend those though so i can't vouch for that). anyway, don't beat 'em up too much. i feel like they tried. ;)

 
At September 15, 2008 10:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

sean

this is art. creator of the red bull ramones piece. would you like to punch me in the face? i'll give you that opportunity to do so. name a place and time. i'll be there. then after i kick your ass you can say that i did an original piece of work on you. but before you go passing judgement on me asshole, let me give you some insight on my background. first off, i've been a ramones fan since 78. i've been to just about every concert they had in chicago. i even met marky(bell) ramone once. i did some artwork for the brudders at one time. boy you shoulda' seen the look on joeys( jeff hymen) face when i gave him the t shirt that i did art work on at one of their concerts. it pisses me off when my favorite band never got the credit they deserved for playing as hard as they did for the 22 years they were a band. what my painting represented was my homage to the band that inspired me to enter this crappy art contest in which i only became a finalist and didn't win shit. unfortunatly, the so called judges awarded the prizes to a bunch of amateurs who wouldn't know a piece of art if they found themselves in an art museum. and i didn't draw this ramones piece. i painted it on canvas using an acrylic medium, asshole! boy, you need to go back to your faggot art school and take a refresher course. but thank you for the kind words. as they say in the art world. you gotta' shake up the art world and piss off a few people to get noticed. and it looks like i did that. thank you. i am new to this art world thing and i not only sent them this painting, but i also sent them three other entries. and i believe i've been ripped off. for i have seen simularities to my stuff that did not get picked in other advertising media. so, pull your head out of your ass and next time do you homework. because i'm really a nice guy once you get to know me. just don't go making threats unless you plan on carrying them out. have a nice day.

 
At September 16, 2008 10:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

buffalo sean,

one more thing you hack. i just checked out your blogger. and i must say. you are one ugly son of a bitch. i'll bet you can't get laid with a mug like that, faggot! i never seen your shit out there you poser. go fuck yourself you ugly prick! art. ramones artist. gabba gabba hey! lol!

 
At September 17, 2008 11:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

buffalo sean,

what kind of fucked up name is that? a college education and you make less than thirty thousand a year? no wonder you're so angry at the world. and you gotta' take a cheap shot at me because you're career went nowhere. maybe red bull isn't exactly what you consider an art medium, but it has inspired some of us real artists to take a chance and show the world what we have to offer. even if it means we get shit on by the corporate world and suffer the taunts by assholes like yourself. you opened up this pandora's box with me pal and i'm not gonna' let dickheads like you live it down. yeah, i am a big guy. when i was a kid i used to get picked on by the bullies. and some of em' looked as ugly as you, you son of a bitch. but you know, i'm now 5'11" and 210 lbs of body building muscle. and yes, you stupid faggot. i probably could kick your winey ass. you talk a lot of shit for someone who is a thousand miles away.
have a nice day
arthur vaisvilas

 
At October 13, 2008 7:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

redbull gives u cans for FREE

 
At October 13, 2008 7:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

redbull gives u cans for FREE

 
At October 13, 2008 7:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

redbull gives u cans for FREE

 
At October 13, 2008 7:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

redbull gives u cans for FREE

 

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