Most emerging artists expect their friends to come out to their first opening, and hope a critic or two will at least take a look at it. The Delusional Downtown Divas did far better than this — their opening reception was a literal who’s who of the art world. Dealer Mary Boone, critics Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith, and a smattering of well-known painters were all in attendance. It helps that their series of videos parodying brats of the art world stars the children of established artists like Peter Halley. Though nobody has the patience today to watch video unless it’s at least mildly compelling, director Lena Dunham more than achieves this end with The Delusional Downtown Divas.
With a core cast of Joana D’Avillez, Dunham, and Isabel Halley, the girls discuss what constitutes a metaphor for penises in art (the conclusion, if there is one, seems only to be that they’re ubiquitous), hatch a plan to ensnare a good looking artist’s attention by promising a booth/picnic table at Art Basel, and execute a bizarre street performance piece titled Lama Lama Lama. While all the Delusional videos can be seen on Index Magazine’s website, New Yorkers will have a chance to see them in person October 29th, as the Divas tell me they will serve as “Billy Crystal-type hosts” for conceptual artist Rob Pruitt’s first-annual Art Awards at the Guggenheim Museum. I’m not sure what stand-up comedy through an art lens looks like, but two days shy of Halloween, I intend to find out.
Where you’ll see Them next: 1st Annual Art Awards at the Guggenheim Museum
Episode 1: Desperate Decadence