Art Defacement 101

The website Gawker has hired an urban planner as an art critic, apparently believing that having a doctorate in one field automatically qualifies one to hold court in others, like the Professor on Gilligan's Island. Commenting on the recent wave of taggers defacing other taggers (presumptively all in the name of art), Dr. Currid offers this not very well informed prognosis:

When it comes down to it, the Splasher(s) and his/her/their ilk (those who believe commercially successful artists are sell-outs) come across as losers who are pissed that their artwork wasn't good enough to get its own gallery show so they had to destroy someone else's. These stunts are the straw man equivalent of hating the Prom Queen because she's beautiful but pretending it's because she's a bimbo.

Dr. Currid is hereby referred to the Dadaist tradition of defacing artworks that extends from Duchamp's mustache on the Mona Lisa through Rauschenberg's erased De Kooning drawing to possibly even the spraypainting of Guernica (which the late critic Paul Taylor argued was a performance work that needed to be considered in the context of late 60s/early 70s antiestablishment practices--however lame it might be). These art historical precedents could bear some reevaluation in light of the "hating the Prom Queen" theory.

Bosko Blagojevic comments on his blog about Dr. Currid's assumption that good commerce makes good art. Thanks to him for including a link to my Art for All video, which is an electronic defacement of some taggers hired by Target.