The Social Event of the Summer Season

by the-biennial-project 13. August 2012 15:47

Critics agree – Bizarre Artist Happenings is the social event of the season!

One can’t truly claim to have summered in Boston without having experienced the multimedia phantasm that is The Biennial Project’s Bizarre Artist Happenings.” Clea Saharoli, noted art critic and curator

Warholian”, Boston Phoenix

“Did you ever feel like you were missing out on all the fun?  Well, if you weren’t at the Biennial Project’s Bizarre Artist Reception this Thursday then you’re correct to think so.”  Stephanie Arnett, critic, and star of the blogosphere

Well-attended”, Boston Globe

They’ll be talking about this one in Berlin for a while”, Alec Onsemska, film critic

Freakin bizarre”, Erica Femino, style icon

“With its summer show at Atlantic Works, the Biennial Project makes a serious effort to satisfy your minimum monthly requirement of horny Boy Scouts, opium-smoking eccentrics, circus freaks, aging hippies, lumberjacks, and sex workers. Even if you missed the opening party…come to the closing reception: Aug 16, 7-10, Martha McCollough, Boston’s Reigning Hippest Person

Free Beer, then more free beer”, Michael St. Germain, the most interesting artist in the world

No Joke – just look at the press we got!

Boston Globe on Bizarre Artist Happenings

More Boston Globe on Bizarre Artist Happenings

Still More Boston Globe on Bizarre Artist Happenings

Boston Globe Pick of the Day for Bizarre Artist Happenings

Boston Phoenix on Bizarre Artist Happenings

Boston Phoenix Pick of the Week for Bizarre Artist Happenings

The Art Blogs on Bizarre Artist Happenings

More Art Blogs on Bizarre Artist Happenings

NOW, If you missed the opening, don’t despair – we’re having another awesome event this very Thursday Aug 16 from 7-10PM.

Bizarre Artist Happenings Pajama Party!

Sleepovers are the perfect alibi for youth around the world.

Tell your parents you are spending the night at your bestie's house and prepare for a night of debauchery and teenage fulfillment. Don't miss one of the last hot parties of the summer of 2012!! Let's show Hugh Hefner how its done in 2012!

Come to the sexy closing party for The Biennial Project's Closing Reception for their show 'Bizarre Artist Happenings' Music being created by DJ Dylan Jones and venue is The Atlantic Works Gallery.

You are encouraged but not required to show off your skimpiest or most comfortable sleep ware. Pillow fights, bedtime stories and steamy sex are encouraged. This also happens to be Madonna's 54 birthday so give the old whore from Detroit some honor and heighten your level of hedonism with us.

Don’t Miss it!!!!!!!!!


Here are some great moments from our opening party!


Hell yes it was crazy!

 PPcrowd2   PPchar

With TONS of people!


And LOTS of LOVE for Biennial

Project ICONS Anna and Eric!


Love ME Love MY Work by Mitchel Ahern


Plus amazing live Performance

and Super Excellent Moving Images!





Many gorgeous Fashionistas!


And let us not forget the

U.S. Launch of The Biennial Project’s

Signature Fragrance STAR OF VENICE!



The U.S. Launch of STAR OF VENICE


 More Art World Glitterati!



PPcutercouple     PPericasteph


They LOVE us in North Korea!

They love us in North Korea!




And Mark Peterson jurying our

Art with the Stars Photo Contest as

well as winning Best Performance

of the evening!


Mark Sends a Shoutout to Dads Everywhere!


 Ok, kids that’s it for now.

See you this Thursday!!!





Bizarre Artist Happenings Pajama Party!!!


Photo by Grandmaster Paul Weiner,

Eric Hess, Jaymes Leavitt,

Schon-Ray M. Joseph, Levi Camacho,

and Anna Salmeron


Video by Branden Harrington, Eric Hess,

Stephanie Arnett, Charlene Liska,

Mitchel Ahern, and Anna Salmeron


































































































Our Shows

Global Biennial Digest August

by the-biennial-project 3. August 2012 13:54

So with the entire world following the opening of The Biennial Project's new
show ‘Bizarre Artist Happenings’ we feel that in respect to our fellow
creators we should update you, our readers, on some of the other
Biennial/Biennales taking place this summer. We will even highlight a few
that you can enter yourself including The upcoming Boston Biennial and next
year's Boston on-line Biennale.


First off, we wish we could have made an appearance at the Venice Beach
Biennale brought to you by The Hammer Museum in sunny Los Angeles CA. Years
ago, when we barely knew the ins and outs of the art fair circuit, we found
ourselves on Venice Beach thinking for sure this was the location for the
world renowned Venice Biennale. I mean Venice Beach not only reeks of
marijuana but it reeks of hipness, coolness and creativity. We simply could
not have imagined that ‘the’ prestigious art event would happen in a
decaying, sinking, outdated city in some far away land. We asked many people
where the Gioardini was located but we were always pointed to the many ‘Dr.
offices and medical facilities’ that line the Venice Beach boardwalk. Who
says that the US health system is in trouble? There are ‘Dr. offices’ on
every block filled with patients from every walk of life. They all seem to
offer a cure-all magic prescription known as ‘Medical Marijuana’ and it
helps everything from glaucoma, to stress headaches and numerous mental
illnesses. This cure all seems to be accessible to all without any long
nasty insurance forms to deal with. Any enough with that, The Venice Beach
Biennale was special because it not only ‘high’lighted famous artists such
as Barbara Kruger, Evan Holloway, Katie Grinnan and Nick Herman but it
represented the artists who show on the boardwalk each and every day. The
Venice Beach Biennale was shown in conjunction with The Hammer Museum¹s
’Made in LA’ Biennial, which is running this summer.


The Santorini Biennale of Arts is taking place on that somewhat scenic
island in Greece. The Biennale is the idea of artist, designer and economist
Kikos Papadopoulos; supported by the Municipality of Thera, the Estia
Association of Pyrgos, and the Santorini of the Past Cultural Village in
Pyrgos. This season you may want to redirect your yacht on your summer¹s
Mediterranean cruise and skip Cefalu (I mean we all know Turkish ports are
so last year) and return to the 'vintage cool' destination of Santorini. As
well as having put on a great art show with a list of artists too vast to
repeat, The Santorini Biennale has one of the best and most personable
twitter feeds out there. They are always tweeting us, The Biennial Project,
and we are always excited to tweet them back as well as retweet their twats.

For more information on this biennale go to
santoriniyaytch orgy

So you are enjoying your summer and seeing great art at The Sydney Biennial,
Documenta and Manifesta. Let's not forget that September is approaching fast
and you don't want to get stuck without plans. September is a good time to
travel and see art because those pesky little ingrates, known as children,
are back at school. No more having to push away an entire clan who are
trying to ‘expose’ the young ones to culture while they refuse to look up
from their electronic mobile devises. At The Whitstable Biennale you will be
granted the space an adult should have. Nowhere on the venue's website do
they mention what country Whitstable is located in but we think it is
England just outside on London. We know there are one or two events taking
place in London this summer of some importance but at the moment all we can
think of is this Biennale. We also can not find any information on their
website that lists what artists are showing but it¹s a Biennale so its got
to be great. The Whitsable Biennale is also on twitter and that makes them
cool. So to find out 'some information’ on this mysterious but happening
Biennale please go to


So we told you we would list a biennale or two that you can enter to become
world famous artists much like ourselves. II you follow us on Facebook, and
we know you do, because why wouldn't you, you would see the frequent
Biennale/Biennial opportunities we post for you. For those of you that are
too lazy or stupid to read our Facebook page we'll let you know here of one
or two art shows you can present at.

First there is The University of Hawaii ­Hilo: 2012 Pacific States Biennial
National Print Exhibition. This exhibit is open only to US residents and
residents of the US territories. We really hope all our fans in The US
Virgin Islands, America Samoa and The Federated States of Micronesia read
this and WIN!! Our territories which also include Puerto Rico, Palau and The
Midway islands all sound like warm, tropical paradises and we would love an
invitation to one of these places if the winning artist enters because they
read it in our blog. Hell even if you don¹t win and have a futon near the
beach we will visit you. So all you artists on The Marshall Islands go to
enter by October 1sst.

Entries for The Kaunas Biennial, entitled "Unitext" are due by September 15th.
The 9th Kaunas Biennial UNITEXT will create conditions for immediate
collisions of an artwork and a spectator, allowing the experience of art as
a universal text. Curators of the exhibition together with artists will
pursue a concept that is new and unfamiliar in a cultural context and will
consolidate it by presenting practical examples. We will go into the
question of a unitext, which is the latest link in work -> text -> intertext
-> hypertext -> unitext semiotic chain of a philosophic / art criticism /
artistic field.

Those Lithuanians certainly do not beat around the bush and get right to he
point of what you should create. If the theme wasn't enticing enough we know
That The Most Interesting Artist in The World, formally known as Michael St.
Germain, showed in Kauunas in 2005 before he became as famous and as
interesting as he is today. For more information for this biennale taking
place in Lithuania's second largest city please go to

We cannot wait for information to be released for 21st INTERNATIONAL
one we plan to dominate in ourselves. If you feel, as we do that the Biennial
Project should be the center of attention at this Bulgarian Biennale by all
means let them know.

Finally stay tuned for the details to two of the earth's, hell the solar
system's biggest art events. One being the Boston Biennial being held in
Boston this December as in 2012. Secondly The 2nd Boston Online Biennial
will be held later this spring with another fabulous reception being held
the opening weekend of The Venice Biennale, in fucking Venice, again. Keep
reading our blog, our twitter and our facebook for details.

Also stay tuned for our Global Biennial Project collaborators to update you
on the art they saw this summer. We are hoping Marlene Sarnoff will tell us
all about the Sydney Biennale or that Tom Estes might write about the
artistic happening around that little sporting event taking place in his
town of London right now. We also sent our very own Charlene Liska across
the pond this summer as an envoy todOCUMENTA(13) and Manifesta The European Biennial of Contemporary Art..



Global Biennialism Digest

Guys We’d F**k - #2

by the-biennial-project 24. July 2012 17:40

by Shanda von Shtupper – a Biennial Project Artist

It has come to my attention that people think the Biennial Project would fuck anyone.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We may be sluts but we are sluts with taste.

So I would like to expound on what makes a man fuckable.

Contrary to popular belief, a bulging wallet does not make a man fuckable. It may help but a really sexy man does not need money.

A six-pack abdomen helps but a really sexy man does not need a six-pack abdomen.

So what makes a man fuckable?

To explore this special je-ne-sais-quoi, let’s come up with a short list of Guys We’d Fuck:

1. My top contender for Guys We’d Fuck is Arthur Rimbaud 



He’s the most fuckable man in history.









2. Second most fuckable man in history is Alexander the Great.







What do these men have in common?

They’re gay, they’re really good-looking, and they’re dead.

So evidently we have a thing for formerly good-looking but now-dead gay men.

Being alive and female, that makes us kind of screwed, or not screwed as the case may be. Let us proceed.

 david bowie eyes_img_org




3. Third most fuckable man is David Bowie. A bisexual man with the benefit of being still alive.









  4. Fourth most fuckable man is John Lennon. Another dead man with the benefit of not being gay.




We have doubled our sampling and gotten no closer to getting laid. Especially because Iman and Yoko would string us up by our nipples if they caught us, and that would not be as much fun as it sounds.

However, this sampling is starting to display a trend: we like our men daring, brilliant, and with an obsession for seizing their freedom at all costs.

In other words, we love narcissists.

We love men who are amazingly creative and intelligent and brilliant and nothing – particularly not us – would ever get in their way.

We love men who would not leave their toothbrushes in our bathrooms.

We love men we can’t trust.

We love men who leave us guessing like a bunch of 13-year olds, “Do you think he likes me?”

Another thing about these men is that they are completely unreachable.

They’re either dead or famous. Doesn’t that leave us completely safe from rejection!

OK, is there anyone who’s straight and available that we would consider fucking? Let me think.

tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock…

Oh there was that really cute 18-year old with the really slim hips that walked by a second ago.

He would be a “keep your mouth shut honey, don’t ruin the mystery” fuck, but would we keep him around for more than a week?

Even if we could get him to want us for more than a week?

Look what Ashton did to Demi!

Are you nuts?

No really, let’s be serious. Let’s be drop-dead serious. Is there anyone we know we would consider fucking?

Or more to the point, which is why you’re reading this, would we fuck YOU?


Well we would if you were brilliant, gay, handsome, and dead.



XXOO, The Biennial Project


Guys We'd Fuck

Countdown to Bizarre Artist Happenings!!!

by the-biennial-project 17. July 2012 07:29


The opening of The Biennial Project’s HUGE Summer Show is only 2 DAYS AWAY! It’s like waiting for Christmas – only with way more work to do! Today we finished the hanging – and the quality and diversity of the work in this show is incredible.  Here are a few Sneak Previews from the hanging!!!


Guru Mitchel Ahern meditating next to his piece!



Directice of ALL Things Olfactory Samantha Marder getting ready for the US Launch of Star of Venice!!!!!



The Most Interesting Artist in the World – aka Michael St. Germain - hanging his work!



Kristen Freitas putting the final touches on her ground-breaking assemblage!!



John Kennard with his meaningful AND beautiful work!!!


The opening THIS THURSDAY NIGHT JULY 19TH FROM 7 TO 10PM will be SO VERY OVER THE TOP – even by our over-the-top standards.

There will be a real red carpet, with real celebrity photographers snapping pic’s of the arriving crowds.

There will be a real award-winning photographer inside composing pictures of the guests with the Biennial Project life-size cutouts! With LOTS AND LOTS of real prizes for best shots with the cutouts.

There will be a real good-looking man-person bar tending topless all night.

There will be real performative art by many of Boston’s best real performance artists.

There will be all the city’s hippest artists and glitterati decked out in their coolest art duds.

There will be SWAG!!!!!



The event of the summer of 2012. It will be one of those things you will always recall with affection or horror when you remember the Summer of 2012. COME TO OUR OPENING THIS THURSDAY JULY 19th or LIVE WITH REGRET!!!! Atlantic Works Gallery, 80 Border Street, East Boston, MA












Our Shows

Fan of the Month July 2012

by the-biennial-project 8. July 2012 17:23



This month’s Fan of the Month is one of the coolest artists around – Kelly Jo Shows. She’s really just too amazing, and if she weren’t also so super nice we would be kinda jealous of her. OK, we admit, we are still jealous of her, but in a good way.                  


She lives in one of The Biennial Project’s Favorite Towns – Kennebunk Maine (a frequent vacation spot for creative types like us), and she has the house and studio of our dreams. It’s totally gorgeous, and chock full of her awesome artwork. And she has rabbits! And ducks!



She has this cool series of paintings called “Sole of the Artist". Here’s how she describes them: “This is a unique and untraditional collection of portraits. Rather than focusing on the face of the artist, I'm painting different scale images of their shoes. Shoes tell a lot about a person and they speak volumes about the lives we lead. They develop a character over the years & become a visual roadmap to the experiences you have had and the places you have traveled. I'm interested in capturing that character.”



                                                                                                         She’s painted lots of interesting artist’s shoes – including some really famous ones! (Not that things like that matter to us here at Biennial Project Productions, but if they did, how about Ed Ruscha and William Wegman for starters?) And, you guessed it, The Biennial Project is proud to be counted among the soles that Kelly Jo has collected! Check out the BEAUTIFUL painting at the lower left – or BETTER YET, meet Kelly Jo and see this gorgeous paintingat the upcoming Bizarre Artist Happenings presented by The Biennial Project opening July 19th at Atlantic Works Gallery!






Here’s to you Kelly Jo –

ridiculously talented artist,

super cool person,

animal lover,

and Biennial Project Fan!



Check out more of Kelly Jo’s work at:


And don’t forget to come to The Show of the Season!

Invite to Bizarre Artist Happenings









Adult Content | Fan of the Month

The Biennial Project Does The 2012 Whitney Biennial

by the-biennial-project 19. June 2012 11:39

Its been 2 months since the opening of The 2012 Whitney Biennial and
only now has The Biennial Project found the time and energy to share with you.whitney2012-473whitney2012-9461-2whitney2012-480
As usual, there were so many old friends to say hi to and many new Biennial
Project admirers
to pay our respects to. In this weeks blog we’d like to
share with you some our experiences of some of the more dynamic people we
partied with at the opening reception of the 2012 Whitney Biennial.

First off, we want to give a shout out to our main supporter in the press,
Jerry Saltz. Being such a busy evening it was stroke of good fortune that we
bumped into the senior art critic and a columnist for New York Magazine
while leaving the event. It would not seem like a complete biennial without
catching up with our old friend Jerry, who was the sole advisor for the 1995
Whitney Biennial.
In spite of the cold drizzle of late winter NYC we spent
some quality time conferring with Jerry, who is also our favorite judge on
Bravo TV’s ‘Work of Art’
. We learned that he has been praising The Biennial
for being maniacs and then he asked us for our highly regarded
refrigerator magnet. Jerry, who is the senior art critic for the New York
, sees our magnets in all of the most important kitchens in Manhattan
while attending high profile salons. We gave him two and apologized for the

Earlier in the evening we were able to catch up with cutie-putie filmmaker
and Rupaul Drag Race uber-fan Michael Robinson. Mike was there to present
his film ‘These Hammers Don¹t Hurt Us’, footage of Elizabeth Taylor’s 1963
Hollywood epic Cleopatra is seamlessly combined with images of Michael
mid-1990s Egyptmania, culminating in a mesmerizing phantasmagoria
of hypnotic color strobe.’
Mikey also showed  ‘Line Describing Your Mom’ its
title a cheeky nod to Anthony McCall’s canonical ‘solid-light’ film Line
Describing a Cone (1974)-sets altered footage of amateur liturgical
choreography to the sounds of a woman’s You Tube confessional.
Biennial Project member Eric Hess secretly has a major crush on Michael!
Eric follows him around because he is a handsome, young artist who might be
very well hung. Michael smells fantastic. Eric also watches over Michael because he shares the same twisted perception of pop culture. Eric also believes in predetermined
. He knows he and Mikey and he will be bonded in this lifetime and
the next. If not eternal afterlife together hopefully they will at least hook up some weekend. Michael, if you are reading this, and we know you are, Eric would love to spend a weekend, or eternal lifetime in bed with you ‘snuggling’ and watching marathons of ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race’. He apologizes for that incident in Toronto last autumn and feels that theBelgium restraining order won’t matter outside of the EU. It could be fresh
new start to a beautiful, creative, adventurous existence together!!!!!!Michael, If you
make this happen Eric promises to take his meds more regularly.whitney2012-027Michael Robinson 4 whitney2012-029
Speaking of spending a weekend in bed, Biennial Project member Anna Salmeron
was quoted as saying that she would love to ‘swim in the lady pond’ with
Nicole Eisenman after first seeing her inspiring painting then gabbing with
her for a bit on the 4th floor dance floor. The Biennial Project, often gets
misquoted. It is the price of fame. Anna never-ever said this. She is very
happy with her current partner, painter Bo Petran!! Anna did in fact say,
that after meeting Nicole and sharing some light hearted, witty banter,
’that if her life had to be different she could see herself living as a
lesbian in Brooklyn and that she would love to take a dip in the
infinity pool
with Ms. Eisenman’
. Everybody knows Anna does not like the
slimy, muddy, creature lined floor of natural outdoor swimming. The Biennial
very much enjoyed spending time with Nicole and her friends and
thought her paintings were one of the highlights of the entire 2012 Whitney
Anna also promises to take her meds everyday as well.

Another life we’d like to adopt is the life of Liz Deschenes. Liz is a
photographer who teaches at Bennington College in VT. Anna and Eric both
came forth in the art world originally as photographers and Bennington
is one of the coolest little schools we know of. The Biennial
loves, loves, loves The Green Mountains of Vermont. One of the
highlights of last summer, after our appearance at The 54th Venice Biennale,
was a lovely swim in a pond, during sunset, in Bennington VT. This was not
necessarily a ‘lady pond’ and Anna minded the dogs while Eric took the
actual swim but it was still a memorable afternoon. We loved Liz’s
photograms at The Whitney Biennial so much that Anna said that if things
ever went south with Bo or Nicole she would definitely like to assist Liz in
’the Darkroom’ being that Bennington probably has no infinity pool.

Well, there were so many other people to gossip about that you had better
keep your eyes open for future blog posting on our favorite subject -us at
We’ll tell you the story of how Dawn Casper wouldn’t sign her
trading card because we listed that she lived at one time at 545 Terrill
Avenue in Los Angeles, CA 90042. She doesn’t even live there anymore and
even if we wanted to stalk her we know where to find her -at The Whitney
until the end of May. No ‘lady pond dipping’ with Dawn, not with us anyhow.
We want to tell you about the time we spent with New Hampshire born
international art rock star Tom Este whose work was seen all over The
. We can¹t wait to tell you how we did not take Lutz Bacher photo
because she does not want her photo taken. We would have respected her space
even if Peter, from Alex Zachary Peter Curri Gallery didn’t try to prove his
relevance as her gallerina by steppin’ in. We want to show you LaToya Ruby
beautiful gown proving that she looks just as good in her cloths as
she does without. Another lady pond candidate for Anna? We can’t wait to
gossip with you about Nick Mausse and is boyfriend and how great Wu Tsang’s
hair looked that night. We also plan on sharing how we took time out from
the festivities and our limited time with our associates to Skype with Red
who were in Cali and could not attend the events.

whitney2012-533whitney2012-538Nick Mauss1whitney2012-161whitney2012-160LaToya Ruby Frazier2



Whitney Biennial Campaigns

Bizzare Artist Happening

by the-biennial-project 19. June 2012 11:25

at Atlantic Works Gallery




Eric Hess, Anna Salmeron, Mitchel Ahern, Dell Hamilton, SamanthaMarder, Michael St. Germain, Erica Femino, Marlene Sarroff,Tom Estes, Martha McCollough, Kelly Jo Shows, Sonia Domkorova, Matt Keller, Bo Petran, Branden Harrington and Paul Weiner

As featured by Ben Lewis in his TateShots video of the 2011
Venice Biennale, (
video/tateshots-venice-biennale-2011), The Biennial
mobilizes a posse of shit-kicking international artists for
Bizarre Artist Happenings. Expect a rousing good time with
The Biennial Project’s cast of loonies, ne’er-do-wells, circus freaks,
sex-workers, debutantes, opium-smoking rich eccentrics, aging hippies, pill popping
Moms, gender rebels, lumberjacks, the gays, cold-hearted euro trash, dreadlocked trustifarians, horny Boy Scouts, gamers and burners, addicts and of course "’Americas' Next Top Models’.
This far-ranging show includespainting, photography, video, multi-media,
installation and of course the performative antics
the world has come to
expect from The Biennial Project, such as:
- The US Introduction of The Biennial Project's signature perfume, Star of
, designed by artist Samantha Marder.
-An elegant portrait of The Biennial Project’s shoes by Maine painter Kelly
Jo Shows
- "Death in Venice," a moving photo essay on the water burial of The
Biennial Project’s effigies
in the Venetian canals staged as part of the
2011 Venice Biennale and produced by noted Australian artist Marlene
- Participatory Artistic Focus Groups, organized by The Biennial Project
Head of Marketing and Research, Michael St.Germain.
Exhibition Dates: July 19­ until August 18, 2012
Location:Atlantic Works Gallery, 80 Border Street, 3rd floor, East Boston,
Opening Reception: Thursday July 19th 7­-10pm
Closing Reception: Thursday August 16th 7­-10pm
is East Boston¹s Collaborative Space for Art and
Established in 2003, it is a member-operated gallery located on the top
floor of 80 Border Street on the waterfront. It is T-accessible (Maverick
stop on the Blue Line) and there is usually ample parking. For detailed
directions, information about members, future shows, etc., please see
Press contact: For more information or to schedule a private press viewing,
please call Anna Salmeron at 617-913-1832 or email at




Our Shows

Impressions of the 2012 Whitney Biennial

by the-biennial-project 21. May 2012 12:38

Hey Kids!

This weeks post is a two-for-one value: a mash-up of two ongoing Biennial Project features - All-Things-Whitney and Fan-of the Month.

First off, we would like to introduce you to our friend, collaborator, webmaster, and spectacular photographer Paul Weiner.

Paul performs a fantastic service for both us and our many readers - he writes the software for our award-winning web site and blog!

He is also an amazing photographer who specializes in shooting portraits of artists in their studios -using only a small flashlight to “paint the picture” in a totally dark room. He shoots on film and does no digital manipulation of the images.

Since he is constantly working with artists and observing their processes in detail for his portraits, we thought our readers would enjoy reading his take on the 2012 Whitney Biennial.

BYW, The Whitney Biennial closes this weekend - so get down there to see it now and tell them your friends at The Biennial Project sent you - they'll like that!


Paul’s artwork:

  "Night Vision" by Paul Weiner

"Klean" by Paul Weiner


Impressions of the 2012 Whitney Biennial

Last weekend I visited the 2012 Whitney Biennial to enjoy the latest in contemporary American art. At the request of my friends at The Biennial Project, I’m sharing my impressions.  The museum was closing in a few hours so I decided to concentrate on viewing the non-video art.

Performance2"Run, Mary, Run" by Rashida Bumbray

The first gallery I saw had an assortment of tightly packed metal frames and wood building materials. Perhaps some construction work was taking place? I would investigate later since I wanted to see “Run, Mary, Run” by the Dance Diaspora Collective. This high-energy, gospel, dance performance was inspirational and it was hard to leave, but I needed to see other parts of the biennial before the Whitney closed. I was thinking that if the artwork were even half as good as the performance, this would be an exciting exhibition.

Tuazon Oscar Tuazon

The first exhibition room had messy liquids scattered on a plastic sheet across the floor. Hmmm, a work in progress. Another space was filled with boxes, TVs and a bed. With no one there, it looked like a storage area. Around the corner was a small object covered with oatmeal attached near the bottom of a wall. I was beginning to think that this must be a special exhibit, perhaps still being installed, so I asked the guard which floor the biennial exhibition was on. He said that the entire museum, except for parts of the top floor, was the 2012 Biennial.

Sam-LewittSam Lewitt

Normally, I like to interpret my art without reading the artist statements (which is sometimes better than the art and does not always relate to the art!). This is, however, often necessary for conceptual art in which the ideas are as important as the esthetics and emotional impact of the artwork. So, I carefully read the statements.

Dawn-KasperDawn Kasper

It then became clear what I had seen. The “construction” exhibit on the first floor was by Oscar Tuazon. He uses modular parts and building materials to represent spaces we inhabit. The “storage room” was gallery space in which Dawn Kasper had moved her studio and bedroom. She was living there during the exhibition but unfortunately was not there during my visit. The small sculpture on the wall was an oatmeal covered weed trimmer by Michael Smith. Finally, the “messy display” on the floor was an installation in progress by Sam Levitt of ferrofluid material that resists representation.

JuttaKoether - The Seasons "The Seasons" by Jutta Koether

I visited other parts of the Biennial and reinforced my initial impression of a grim, post-apocalyptic world where artists, because of scarcity of funding, made relatively small art with found objects and inexpensive materials. Survival was too difficult to worry much about matters outside of economic crises (photos of LaToya Ruby Frazier) or distractions such as perverse sex (collages and drawings of Richard Hawkins).

Latoya-Ruby-Frazier---Corporate-Exploitation-and-Economic-Inequality!"Corporate Explotation and Economic Inequality" by LaToya Ruby Frazier

The main exception to this post-apocalyptic vision was the work of Forrest Bess. His work was optimistic and peaceful. Art, throughout his life, remained a search for truth and his painting was a means in which “the individual may be come keyed into the Eternal." (2) Many of these paintings were direct renditions of his visions, unfiltered by his conscious mind. It was ironic that an abstract painting I liked very much and thought tranquil was titled “Bodies of Little Dead Children”. Bess had a life of many hardships. He had suffered from mental illness (diagnosed in his later years as paranoid schizophrenia), cancer and alcoholism. Pictures of his self-mutilated genitals were included in the exhibit.

\Richard-Hawkins-- Richard Hawkins

Art that “present perceptual embodiments of important ideas--not only ideas about existential phenomena, such as death, envy, love, and fame, but also conceptions of other-worldly things, such as heaven and hell” (1) were absent from much of the non-video work I looked at. The work was often either devoid of underlying thought (other than the specific intent of the artist) or mostly conceptual.

Bess-Complete-Freedom"Complete Freedom" by Forrest Bess

The dynamic performances and videos did provide a balance, but surely there must be other artists who keep with the intended themes of the curators to balance those in the show and still provide the ambiguity of interpretation in their artwork that is part of great artwork that holds its power across diverse generations.

So, rush to see any remaining performances and the videos. Take the time to read the artist statements and don’t expect to escape the concerns and problems of the outside world.

Paul Weiner
May 22, 2012

1. Michelle Marder, “Art and Cognition: Mimesis vs. the Avant Garde”, Aristos, December 2004.

2. Michael Ennis, “His Name Was Forrest Bess”, Texas Monthly, June 1982,

3. Artists mentioned who are featured on The Biennial Project Whitney Biennial artist cards:





Fan of the Month | Report-backs and Reviews | Whitney Biennial Campaigns

Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma'am!

by the-biennial-project 16. March 2012 09:30

Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma'am!


Renowned practically-British artist (and Director of The Biennial Project Film Institute) Tom Estes agreed to create a documentary with the aim of recording a discrete and tasteful experiment in art making - only to find much more than he bargained for!

Trapped in a no-man's land of depravity and subjected to a relentless cast of "the weird and the pathetic, the ugly, the obscene and the beautiful" this delightfully dubious low budget documentary frequently pushes the limits of the format.

After the glamour of the 2012 Whitney Biennial and the double-whammy of collateral events one might think it was time to go home, put your feet up and have a nice cup a tea... but no!

Boston Socialite, Art World Insider and Windsor- Whitney Biennial curator- Anna Salmeron, pitches herself, body and soul, into the squalid decadence of the New York art scene in an attempt to pep up her flagging art career. But can she escape this secret life she has chosen, or will it destroy her forever?

This short excerpt, offers an instant soft-core art classic - an erotically-charged trip through a virtual alphabet of deviant sexual pleasure, and a who's who of insider art world dealings.

Bonus Features: Also stars one of the the depraved minds behind The Biennial Project and fellow Windsor - Whitney Biennial curator - Eric Hess, who seems to get what he wants by wielding some sort of odd control over his more normal looking co-workers. Hess works his demented way through the back alleys of the big cities to the savage cruelty of the suburbs- gorging himself in an ultra-sleazy, full-frontal journey.

Pre-orders are available now at

WARNING This video clip includes relentless nudity, socio-cultural blathering and interpretive dance that some viewers may find offensive!

the newspaper said what ya doing in bed?

XXOO, Sir Tom Estes,

Director of The Biennial Project Film Institute


More on Tom Estes at the 2012 Windsor Whitney Biennial


Adult Content | Other Campaigns and High-jinks | Whitney Biennial Campaigns

Introducing the Windsor Whitney Grand Prize Winner!

by the-biennial-project 11. March 2012 11:14

As the dust settles from The Biennial Project's insanely successful Tour de Nueva York 2012, we can reflect on some of the many things that were accomplished.

Not least of which was getting to know the work of the hundreds and hundreds of awesome artists who submitted work to the 2012 Windsor Whitney Biennial. We knew there were a lot of great artists out there, but really, some of this stuff is so good it's just sick!

Picking a Grand Prize Winner from all the strong entries was not easy, but in the end we agreed that LA artist Abdul Mazid just had to be the one. His body of work is brave and intelligent, and his personal voice speaks clearly throughout. And it's beautiful. And fun. And he's only 31. And a really nice guy.

Just scary.


Here he is with his work.


A close-up of his piece Colony Collapse.



A silly facebook image - OK, we couldn't resist.

So check out his work and that of our

other winners in our Winner's Galleries:

Grand Prize Gallery

Winner's Gallery

Video Winner's Gallery

Then see more of Abdul's fantastic work at his website:

Then LIKE us on facebook!

The Biennial Project on Facebook

OK, now you're done!

XXOO, The Biennial Project


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