Friday, February 18, 2005

Sometimes, I Just Don't Get "Art"

I've been struggling to grasp the point of Christo's latest work, "Gates," which is strewn through Central Park in NYC. I don't really get it, but at least you've got to give him credit for working on a massive scale. But I really don't get the art of Andy Coppola, who recently "performed" in Richmond:

Coppola is a performance artist who makes himself into 'living sculpture' by
adorning his body with paint and clay or by wearing costumes.

He launched his latest 'performance piece' Feb. 5 by donning a hallucinogenically colorful, head-to-toe outfit made of powermesh (normally used for swimsuit lining) and walking from his South Richmond home to Art6, the downtown gallery sponsoring Coppola's performance as part of its 'Orlando Furioso' show.

The result of his piece? He was arrested. Seems that folks in Richmond were a little freaked out by Coppola's performance and called the police. The cops repeatedly told Coppola to stop, but he refused ("In this piece, I walk looking straight ahead with my arms folded over my chest. And I don't speak."). Finally, after a cop said he would "put a bullet through you," Coppola stopped. He was eventually left to go on his way, but was charged with a misdemeanors for obstructing justice by failing to heed the commands of the cops.

The point of all this?

The 33-year-old artist, a Springfield native who studied sculpture at Virginia
Commonwealth University and now lives in Richmond and Orlando, Fla., said
walking in his costume is part of an ongoing process of 'creating compositions
within the city' to 'reawaken people's views of the environment.'

He likened his appearance to that of 'a flower by a Dumpster -- something that makes you take another look at the space.'

Um, OK. I wonder who's paying for all this?

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