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Jack Massing

 (born 1959)
Jack Massing is active/lives in Texas.  Jack Massing is known for satirical humor, performance.

Jack Massing

Biography from the Archives of askART

Jack Massing with his collaborator Michael Galbreth is one of The Art Guys, "kings of combining a playful sense of humor with self-referential art worldliness". They continually use these two points to create artwork whose goofiness often belies its underlying sophistication.

Living in Houston, "a region particularly hostile to intellectual elitism and the pomposity of the art world", the Art Guys puckish and theoretical approach to art is often a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the naive charm and sense of humor are disarming and friendly, on the other hand, we are not above asking, But is it art?

The Art Guys are usually too busy working to get bogged down by such sensible questions, and seem to spend most of their time scheming to reach new audiences. They hock their work in events that cross the line into performance, such as selling quirky, handmade, bird feeders from a roadside stand. Their huge warehouse is regularly transformed into the "Museum of Fine Art Guys", in which they display their work and that of other artists.

The "Everything Must Go" sales, which they often hold, transform into parties with everything from dancing to experiments in fire-breathing by Houston's version of "La Dolce Vita", demi-monde.

In the Art Guys events, we see the influence of Fluxus, and its tradition of absurd "happenings". To commemorate the winter solstice they spent twenty-four hours in a Denny''s smoking cigarettes non-stop. Satirizing the relationship of the artist to the patron, they mowed the lawn of the local Contemporary Arts Museum. In the "Suitcase in Space Project", the Art Guys attempted to get a lost piece of luggage put into orbit.

In April, 2003, they had a show at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and in July, 2003, they began work on an installation at the Capp Street Project in San Francisco.


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About  Jack Massing

Born:  1959
Known for:  satirical humor, performance