The Ten Best Contemporary Performance Artists – Part 2
One of the great things about performance art is that it is something quite unique that can never be exactly replicated again. Sure, you can film a piece of performance art and replay it again and again, but the original piece cannot be changed or altered.
Performance art can encompass just about anything, from moving sand dunes to pushing giants blocks of ice through crowded cities. It is the wide canvass that performance artists have that makes their work so different and enjoyable. And here are some of the very best performance artists that are currently shaking down trees.
This highly humerus Canadian artist is most famous for using her body as a medium for expression, and Jess Dobkin sparkles, awes, and curates as she performs. Audiences have been known to almost die laughing with the Vagina Clown Car, and her other performances have included the Nipple Cabaret, her breasts become puppets as they discuss the nuances of their relationship. To enjoy a Jess Dobkin performance you must leave all your inhibitions behind and immerse yourself in the work.
Hailing from Brooklyn in New York, Nate Hill is a familiar figure on the streets of the city. His performance art is tinged with humor even though it often expresses human difficulties. His rogue taxidermy shows were classed as close to the knuckle, but highly entertaining.
But perhaps Punch Me Panda exemplifies his work, Hill dresses up as a giant panda and encourages complete strangers to attack him with their fists. Painful for Hill, but hilarious to watch as a bystander. Most recently he has been focusing on Internet-based performances that touch upon taboo subjects such as racism.
Perhaps the most bizarre of alternative ego’s is Baby IKKI by Michael Smith. The artist dresses up like a baby, complete with nappy and rompers. But as he explains, his alter ego is not just a man dressed up as a baby, its an ageless, and genderless entity that takes the audience on a journey to the unknown. Smith has been performing as Baby IKKI for over thirty years now, and his audiences always seem to have a sense of uneasiness as they laugh.
Man Bartlett has decided to use the medium of the internet to display his art. He takes real life scenarios and then regurgitates them into tweets of 140 characters. One such scenario was to go down to New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal and interview passengers on their journeys.
The final performance artist on our list is Mireille Astore who is a Beirut-expat. Astore is not just a performance artist, she is an art scholar, poet, artist and is currently working on a PhD. Perhaps her most famous work was Tampa, which was dedicated to Afghan refugees trying to enter Australia in 2001. Performance artists are invaluable to the whole art world, they have taken a medium that is modern and can be delivered in so many ways, which is ideal for modern commentary on the world today.