rip robert delford brown
A colleague of artists like Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg and Nam June Paik, Mr. Brown was a central figure in the anarchic New York art scene of the early 1960s, a participant in — and instigator of — events-as-art known as “happenings.” He saw the potential for aesthetic pronouncement in virtually everything. His métier was willful preposterousness, and his work contained both anger and insouciance.

His raw materials included buildings, pornographic photos and even meat carcasses. He often performed in the persona of a religious leader, but dressed in a clown suit with a red nose and antennas hung with ripe bananas. In the end his message to the world was that both spirited individualism and unimpeded creativity must triumph.
hat tip t moody
- bill 4-06-2009 1:15 pm

- bill 4-06-2009 4:26 pm [add a comment]

According to an interview with Brown in the Re:Search "Pranks" book, Hermann Nitsch was inspired by Brown's meat performance. I've had no success so far determining whether Brown's work preceded or followed Carolee Schneeman's Meat Joy. Most accounts make the two contemporaneous, e.g.:

The relationship between carnage and carnality is explored in some of the earliest recorded art using meat. Carol Schneeman’s 1964 performance Meat Joy – shown first in Paris and then again in New York City – was a Dionysian piece in which eight partially nude figures danced and played in raw fish and chicken, sausage, paint, and paper. It was meant to celebrate flesh as a material.

The same year, American performance artist Robert Delford Brown’s Meat Show also used meat to invoke sexuality. In the Washington Meat Market, he created brothel-like rooms out of tons of blood and raw meat strewn with yards and yards of sheer fabric suggestive of lingerie. Visitors walked through the decorated meat locker in white coats and were then fed sausages. Brown, notorious for invoking shock and scandal in his avant-garde art, located the viewers’ own consumption of meat while meat surrounded them. The show only lasted three days.

- tom moody 4-06-2009 4:54 pm [add a comment]

thats very interesting. paul thek was "doing" meat as well in the "mid" 60's. oldenburg too. but were talking about real meat. 1964, the year meat was in the air.
- bill 4-06-2009 5:11 pm [add a comment]

and theres francis bacons 1952 figure with meat whole thing. and van gogh. but theyre more to do with game still life (nature morte) painting. go fish!
- bill 4-06-2009 5:30 pm [add a comment]

I think of Chaim Soutine as the "meat man."

Double Happiness entered the field this year with Party Tray.
- tom moody 4-06-2009 7:49 pm [add a comment]

thanks tom.

The subject of meat and food had long played a part in Soutine's work, often hearkening back to Old Master prototypes and predecessors. Soutine's knowledge of the Old Masters was profound as well as reverential. During his earlier, poor years in Paris, he had spent days in the Louvre and painted after the pictures he saw there. Sometimes he was there partly in order to stay warm, partly because he could not afford models or props for his pictures. He therefore resorted to the art of others, creating brooding reimaginings of Old Master works. Soutine must have come to know Rembrandt's famous 1655 painting of The Slaughtered Ox. The similarity in theme and in composition between Le boeuf écorché and its Rembrandt predecessor is unmistakable. Even Soutine's painterly manner appears to pay homage to Rembrandt.
ive had the opportunity to visit the barns collection. soutine's was some of my favorite work there, unfortunately i dont think there were any meat paintings.
- bill 4-06-2009 9:02 pm [add a comment]

Possible too gory for the good doctor. I have never been to that collection. As I recall it was having troubles for a time--I don't know what the status is.
- tom moody 4-07-2009 2:06 am [add a comment]

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