The Evolution of Performance Art

While many art historians, artists, connoisseurs, and academics, point to the 1960s as the decade where performance art started, its actual beginnings go back to antiquity. Yes, the minstrel shows, poetic declamations, and troubadours of antiquity, did a kind of performance art. Within our human history we have had a tendency for the performative that, as society developed, became more specialized. It evolved through time, and as far as the visual arts is concerned, movements like Abstract Expressionism, Action Painting, Fluxus, and Happenings preceded contemporary Performance art.  These early beginnings also gave birth to the musical, theatrical, lyrical, and artistic performance of today. From Jay-Z to Marina Abramovic, performance is part of artistic expression regardless of the field.

I enjoy performances that are unapologetic, daring, witty, emotional, inclusive and interactive. As usual, I love outsider artists and trained artists that keep the openness and curiosity of the untrained. MFA or not, talent is what counts. And so I went looking for new artists to follow and ended up reading about Jayson Musson in a FLAVORWIRE article. Now, the article says he is from Philly but that is not quite true, he is from NY and currently practices in NY, but he got his MFA from University of Pennsylvania. Anyway, this guy's video performances as Hennessy Youngman (a persona he plays) are shot using a cheap webcamming system, but what he says, whether sarcastically or not, rings true to many young professionals and artists trying to survive in the art world. His advice to the "internets" in order to "enwisen" the audience is priceless. My favorite performance from his Art Thoughtz series is Curators but Relational Aesthetics is a masterpiece. So here you go:

- A. Iaroc