Quick, think of someone you physically admire, not just because they’re pretty or handsome, but also because what they do is sexy. Admit it, artists are very sexy, especially those whose art reveals their smarts, humor, mischievousness, and perversions. Inspired by Hyperallergic’s Top 10 Art World Figures I’d Like to F*ck, we’ve rounded up some not necessarily provocative, but sexy, nice-looking artists for you to drool over. Or rather, I, your art editor did that, so all comments and complaints shall thereby be addressed to me. Without further ado, presenting: Artist Crushes. Let the gushing begin!
British visual artist David Shrigley is brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. It’s almost impossible to describe, so just watch his dark, uncomfortable, very strange, hilarious, poignant and clever cartoons. See his work obsessed with mortality and the world of the outsider… You wouldn’t imagine this humble, soft-spoken, happy-looking and handsome gentleman. Or maybe you would. I don’t know. Look into those eyes…
I almost feel the bad kind of dirty putting Laurel Nakadate here, but… can’t… resist. This provocative artist filmed herself dancing and writhing in the homes of strange, old men and vamped it up on photos to be pawed by more men for art’s sake — and then, she turned around, sexily, and said that anyone who says her attractiveness has anything to do with her fame is “anti-feminist.” That said (and enthusiastically eye-rolled at), her art makes me feel the good kind of dirty. You win, Laurel. You win.
The controversial Czech artist David Černý first gained notoriety when he painted Prague’s Soviet tank monument pink, topping this symbol of oppression with a giant finger. He’s both a national hero public artist and a total urban prankster. He’s deliciously vulgar (see his overgrown gilded man perched pissing atop an ornate building façade), rebellious, and imaginative, and he looks like a damn rock star. Seriously, he’s in the Kills or something, right?
In her early video work, fearless visual artist Pipilotti Rist can be seen squeaking out a Beatles-esque “I’m Not a Girl Who Misses Much” and bouncing around boobs-out bonkers through distressed video static. At 49, she’s full of the same Pipi pep, what with her playful, psychedelic-esque projections and giddy glowing neon underwear chandeliers. Oh, she’s fun.
Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda will put a spell on you. He conjures math ‘n’ data pattern-based, throbbing visual projections and avant garde electronic noise, all conjunction, and you can literally get absorbed into these giant, pulsing things. Look at him. He’s got all the sex appeal of a good DJ, with tons more added for the binary bravado.
She’s not exactly an art world superstar, but you’ve probably seen Monica Canilao in this iconic photo by Mike Brody as a young crusty punk. A studio artist in New York, Monica’s installations are something like that of an immaculate hoarder, each object hand-crafted with something intimate, worn, naturely, tometic, shamanic… Naturally, she’s one of the sailors on the DIY raft’s journeys in Swoon’s Swimming Cities of Serenissima project. Of course she is. Can I come with?
Since the mid-2000s, my generation has been falling in love with Don Hertzfeldt for his twisted Rejected cartoons on YouTube. And then you grow up and see him bloom into a full-fledged filmmaker and/or animator and/or artist, but you can’t really genre-fy which. Watch this — so full of longing, tragedy, humanity, insanity, and completely hand-crafted with signature scribbled stick figures, film projections, nifty DIY filters. So nifty. Really. And then you read his crazy, charming diary. And then you see him speak in person, and he’s just as encouraging and delightful as you imagine. Sigh.
Photographer Goodyn Green makes casual, beautiful queer art that should make every party scene photographer want to bury their head in the sand from feelings of inadequacy. She’s self-taught, zine-famous, and fierce as fuck.
This is one of those Tumblr crushes that borderline on affectionate stalking. Artist Toyin Odutola Tumbls prolifically, allowing for a well-curated voyeurism, so you can see her painstakingly detailed pen and ink portraits bloom and twist into shape, strand by strand, and what she’s thinking about. She’s intense and gorgeous. She draws her own business cards. Enough said.
Just when you get over Miranda July and her endless series of multi-hyphenated projects, just when you think her cutesy thing’s getting shticky and she’s risking becoming the Zooey Deschanel of the art world… Then, you go see her dancing inside a “cocoon” shirt in a pathetic search for the ever-escaping artistic catharsis in The Future. Even as the person next to you is snickering, you watch her very awkward, almost malicious sex scenes and go hmmm. Mmm-hmmm.
Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG
Shut up. I can have a crush on an artist couple if I want to. From Chernobyl to the cyber space, these devilish pranksters have a way of exposing the nasty side of humanity and laughing all the way: They know you giggled at their mock suicide on Chatroulette. Here they are stealing bits of Duchamp and Koons’ artworks from museums. Here they are naked in Second Life re-enacting performance art. Their Facebook relationship status is “open.” Oh, those crazy kids.
I know that I’ve already said this a million times, but I really like David Byrne’s playable building, David Byrne’s quirky bike racks, David Byrne’s taxonomy charts, the Talking Heads stuff, and every clip of David Byrne ever on YouTube like this one of David Byrne interviewing David Byrne. I really, really, really like David Byrne.