11 May 2008

Public Art

Terry Richardson is the artist behind the camera for this Belvedere vodka ad, and Vincent Gallo is allegedly the artist behind the belt buckle in this spectacular public art collaboration.

Richards' photograph forces the viewer to contemplate the causal relationship of Belvedere vodka and BJs in nightclubs. His master stroke, however, is the look of surprise on her face, which hints at the ever-increasing likelihood that the paparazzi will catch you in the act, leading to your own reality show.

But Richardson is asking a fundamental question here, as well. He's challenging the viewer of his art with what is unsaid: Were the pants just pulled up or is the buckle about to be undone? Richardson's lines here aren't as clearly drawn, demanding that the viewers to fill in that space for themselves.

Compared to other art campaigns Richardson has done, the suggestiveness is more subtle, more introspective.

Gallo is restrained in his performance here, as well, to which anyone who saw Chloe Sevigny oblige him in "The Brown Bunny" can attest.

That this gift of public art is being bestowed upon the straphangers at Broadway and Lafayette speaks to the generosity of them both. More people will pass it in a day than will attend most gallery shows in a month.


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