Monday, January 14, 2013

Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #41

This is a project where I pay workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk to review my art and website and pay them $5 for 500 words. This is the 41st review I've received.

The first two words that came to mind after casually viewing Paul Shortt’s website were urban and unique. After viewing each category which includes a set of photos, I found an intricate storyline for each subject heading that the photos were displayed under. For example Shortt’s earlier works; photos that were taken between 2006-2009, display task and actions. The set of photos shows two subjects going through what appear to be everyday ordinary routines in a rather comical manner. Their normal routines are being tested with a new routine which breaks their normal habits. This is a perfect example of subjective art because as I’m viewing it, I’m not finding myself thinking more about daily routines that I go through rather than actually appreciating the series. This set certainly evokes the thinking process on a personal level for me. I feel like the Strap-on Ballsacks could be quite controversial and I’m wondering if it did indeed cause any controversy. I do however, love the genius shot of the girl standing on the edge of a water fountain wearing a gold strap-on ballsack as a jet of water blasts past her leg. I think the effect could have looked more real if she would have changed her angle slightly. The background architecture in the shot gives the photo a European feel. Both of these early set of photos confirm my first thought process of urban and unique. It seems Shortt does indeed like pushing the subject material as seen in his series of No Photos Please. This collection of photos was taken in NYC according to the description. I was at first confused while looking at the photos because I was under the impression that no photography was supposed to be taking in these locations. However, after a closer look I see that a statement and a point is being applied. Regardless I thought the shot of the two police officers was quite ballsy. I love the interaction between the actual photo and the individuals. I think the statement would have been much more powerful if the photos were actually taken at locations that blatantly say photos restricted. How to be Narcissistic is my favorite set. As with almost all the works on Shortt’s website, this set of photos evokes the thought process and in this case I found it to be quite powerful on a personal level. I found myself thinking about my own level of narcissism as well as wondering about the people in the photos. I think the message of How to be Narcissistic is subtly brilliant. Narcissism is never a good thing but in this case I found the photos to show a different story. It’s alright to appreciate yourself and your best qualities. We might need to step aside from time to time and reflect on some of the awesome traits that we have as individuals. I’ve never actually considered making an award for myself and while that might make me feel good about myself I can totally see how an outsider might totally get the narcissistic vibe about me. I think the message of this set besides appreciating yourself is boldly declaring your appreciation to the world, regardless of what someone else might think. There are quite a few other set of works that Paul Shortt has on his website. I found the ones that I wrote about to be the most interesting. On an end note, I love the city of Chicago. I was delighted to see a title with the word Chicago in it. Shortt’s first art gallery in Chicago added a twist by using a hand buzzer gag when he shook hands with someone and passing it along from person to person. First of all that sounds like a joke I would pull off. It’s also a great way to break the ice and the crowd at the gallery already probably appreciates art so it would have been interesting to see their initial reactions through photos.