Yes, It's Dog Poop -- But Is It Also Art?
So, let's talk about poop.
It's not my favorite subject to start the day off with, but it is a reality in the life of everyone who has ever had a dog, cat, or one of those little people who sometimes show up about nine months after certain incautious heterosexual encounters. As Lauren Zimmer points out, most people never quite get used to the idea of cleaning it up; they just grit their teeth and do it, because that's what grown-ups do.
What they don't do, typically, is cover dog poop with glitter or gold spray paint and leave it there for the community to appreciate. But this is a story about Brooklyn, and folks do things different there, especially the specimens of the Northern American Hipster residing in Bushwick.
According to the Huffington Post, Brooklyn has not one, but two poop artists, and a little bit of a turf war has developed between them. It started when the NYC blog Gothamist printed some pictures of a number of dog poops covered with glitter that had been spotted along Dekalb Avenue in Bushwick.
Longtime dog poop artist Gold Poo saw the pictures and called foul, claiming that the anonymous glitter-bomber was trying to ride on his coattails. "I was surprised at first," he told HuffPo. "Seeing how I have been doing this for just under a year straight and have gotten little to no attention." Apparently, all the cool kids are gilding poop these days. Or something.
For Gold Poo, the idea started out as a gag, but then turned into something more important (or pretentious, take your choice): "People are insanely superficial and really attracted to shiny things," he says in HuffPo. "And nine times outta 10, it's all shit underneath anyways."
There is a very distinct difference between the two artists: The one featured in Gothamist uses gold glitter, while Gold Poo is strictly a spray paint kind of guy. In fact, he's openly disdainful of glitter, and refers to it in his Instagram feed as "the herpes of arts and crafts." Right. Whatever.
Gold Poo apparently resented the bastardized version of his art so much that he actually went to Dekalb Avenue and "reclaimed" the glittered turds with spray paint.
The funny thing about Gold Poo's outrage is that painting poo isn't particularly insightful, original, or even unique. It's kind of reinventing the wheel, even. Marcel Duchamp made more or less the same point in 1917, when he signed a urinal "R. Mutt" and put it on display as "Fountain," one of the seminal (so to speak) works of 20th-century art.
For contemporary poo art, Gothamist notes that "the concept does evoke the more baroque stylings of canine fecal artist Miss Heather, whose holiday-themed excrement adornments have sold for millions at auction." Judging from her blog, Miss Heather also seems to take herself a lot less seriously than Gold Poo.
But in the end, whether gold or brown, it's probably better to just continue bagging the poop. Even if you have to hold your nose a bit while doing it.
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