- An image
- Some words (usually referring to the image)
- A sense of humor
This trio of requirements was the starting point for Dave Eggers as he prepared to add “exhibition curator” to his ever-increasing list of titles (among them: author, publisher, and TED prize winner). Working with Jesse Nathan and Jordan Bass, Eggers found and selected the approximately 100 works that comprise “Lots of Things Like This,” a show that opens next Wednesday at apexart, the New York-based arts organization.
Eggers, Nathan, and Bass initially translated their three criteria into four artists they were sure they wanted to include–Raymond Pettibon, Tucker Nichols, Maira Kalman, and David Shrigley–and then looked for other works that featured the image/words/humor mix. The resulting group includes everyone from artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Shephard Fairey to writers Kurt Vonnegut and David Mamet, and we’re betting that this is the first time that the work of Shel Silverstein has appeared alongside that of Georges Braque. (Where the sidewalk ends, indeed.)
According to Eggers, the show ended up consisting of “usually very basic or crude” drawings that are accompanied by hand-drawn text that functions like a funny caption. “So in many ways you might say these are cartoons, because we’ve just listed the qualifications of a cartoon,” notes Eggers. “But the works in this show are usually found in galleries, not newspapers or magazines, and so we have something interesting to think about: Is humor allowed in art, and in what forms? Are captions allowed in art, and why? And most importantly, why doesn’t David Shrigley spell better?”