The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, September 21, 2018


Artist challenges gallery selfie stick ban with stick stunt
Shot in collaboration with photog Valentina Penkova, conceptual artist Willesee highlights our interest in selfies, selfie-sticks and self-as-art by “upstaging” the celebrated artworks at the Pop to Popism exhibit at the MCA.


SYDNEY.- With galleries banning selfie sticks, Jesse Willesee has taken on pop art and the selfie stick in his latest stunt, Andy Warhol with better features by posing with a series of artworks thanks to his trusty selfie stick.

Willesee stormed the prestigious The Art Gallery of NSW - at times shirtless - and armed with a selfie stick to make a point about where our gaze truly lies.

Shot in collaboration with photog Valentina Penkova, conceptual artist Willesee highlights our interest in selfies, selfie-sticks and self-as-art by “upstaging” the celebrated artworks at the Pop to Popism exhibit at The Art Gallery of NSW.

“People were taking photos of (photographer) Valentina taking photos of me while I was taking photos of myself,” Willesee says. “No one was looking at the art”.

Willesee was inspired by watching punters standing in front of artworks to take snaps of themselves with great works as mere backdrops. “Other people’s art is just a prop in your own self-made art,” he says.

Willesee has long been interested in the way photography filters and reflects us – he has staged both the Seven Hundred Photos exhibitions which allowed punters to shoot models live and the CAM GIRL/CAM BOY exhibit which allowed audiences to watch Sex Cam workers sell their wares live via laptops in hotel rooms. He also explored surveillance cameras in the photo essay THE GOVERNMENT IS WATCHING YOU F**K.

He’s also courted controversy with his MARIJUANA IS NOT A CRIME protest last year, which saw him smoke marijuana outside NSW police stations and parliament in a bid to legalise marijuana. The protests were covered by the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

Jesse is currently in California and hosting an exhibit in Hollywood in February.





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Artist challenges gallery selfie stick ban with stick stunt

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