Inky Depths

Francesco Clemente, Jasper Johns, Kara Walker, John Currin, and other friends of Dorothy

Our eight contestants were 100 percent men, a statistic that is said to be changing abroad but is still typical here. This art form is an autoerotic combination of performance art, drag show, pantomime, posturing, parody, feather display, dance, and mating call. Champion air guitarists "Air Lingus," "Bjorn Turoque" (pronounced "born to rock"), and "the Rockness Monster" informed us that the criteria for judging were technical ability, charisma, and "airness." As Lingus put it, "What counts is not the there guitar, it's the air guitar. We're after transcendence."

And that's what I saw in "Osama Bin Rockin," who played the air sitar as a Joseph Beuys figure wobbled in the background; "30-Pack of Rock," our eventual winner in a T-shirt that said, "Lick my legs I'm on fire"; "Air Apparent," who did a fabulous Prince; and "Sir Angus," outfitted as a T-bone steak.

These hormonal warriors put on a nonstop show of horniness, impetuousness, obnoxiousness, contempt, hopefulness, and sheer joy. As Bjorn put it, "Air guitar is about bringing the bedroom onto the world stage." He paused, then added, "and promoting world peace."

Mag hags: Artists indulge in a little Vogueing
photo: Robin Holland
Mag hags: Artists indulge in a little Vogueing

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See also
  • Air Lair
    A thrilling combo of performance art, drag show, pantomime, posturing and mating call
    by Jerry Saltz

  • Parental Production: An Unsung Artist Returns Home
    Dylan Stone's The Barbara & David Stone Bookshelf
    by Jerry Saltz
  • Dylan Stone

    Dylan Stone is one of the better under-known conceptualists around. Schooled in New York, this current London resident has previously sewn on newspapers and compiled a photographic archive of every building in Lower Manhattan. Lately, he's made nicely dicey miniature sculptures of his sexual encounters (on view in the gallery office). Barbara & David Stone's Bookshelf is a huge, indexical, magical, and magnificent example of abstract portraiture and self-portraiture. We see a wall-filling, multipaneled watercolor, based on a photograph of his parents' library. The books suggest intellectuals or academics. It turns out, Stone's parents produced some of the art world's greatest experimental films. The overall effect is a mesmerizing tour de force of verisimilitude, love, and intimidation.


    jsaltz@villagevoice.com

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