Over the weekend, New York-based artist Lambros installed six pieces at the MET and the MoMA without permission. Well, clap. Clap. Clap. Kudos for your swiftness, fearlessness and dexterity, but as far as hacking museums goes, this one’s a meh.
The pieces, some as large as 2 x 4 feet were inscribed with names like Charles Saatchi, Larry Gagosian and Jay-Z–the pieces’ “intended owners.” Lambros “installed” them in broad daylight and plain sight, which is a notable feat, but here’s where the concept of Lambros’ museum hacking falls through. There is no concept. Lambros on himself:
“It’s OK to break the rules in a broken system.” A profound concept that echoes throughout the work of the cunning young street artist known as Lambros. His “inspiring” messages are often juxtaposed with a devious wit and aggressive mentality that are a direct reflection of his environment and personal life. Having mastered a wide range of artistic styles and creative mediums allows him to communicate with his audience in a powerful way. In this precarious time, his art serves as a beacon of light while restoring balance to the street art movement.
So, he’s fixing the “broken system” by fantasizing about selling his work to the system’s major gallery owners? The art itself isn’t particularly spectacular. When you juxtapose an image of a Guy Fawkes mask next to a portrait of Jack Nicholson and a very Shepard Fairey-esque painting of Beyonce, there’s nothing anti-establishment about it. It looks like fan art. We get it. You’re “young” and you like Jay-Z very much.
Not that it had to mean or look like anything. It could have been a tag. It could have been an X. Here’s uh…let’s see…Hungarian-born Canadian performance artist Istvan Kantor, founder of Neonism and wager of his own Blood Campaign in the ’70s and ’80s. He didn’t just “hang and run” — he sprayed giant X’s on the walls and art of museums and galleries in his own blood, getting himself dragged out and banned from most museums around the world. Sigh… More like this please? Anyone?