Paint, in its ancient origins, was made from available materials: egg yolks to bind, sand, soil, plants, and so on for pigment. The whole process of manufacturing materials to make art has been steadily removed from the artistic process over time, but some artists still introduce the physical messiness of making art, by remolding everyday materials to provoke uncanny, humorous—and often, revolting—reactions to substance in the viewer. They might arouse strong responses, but they also open our eyes to the objects around us—as well as raising ethical questions about the limits of the artistic license.
...from a vagina.
When Casting of My Womb, a 28-day-performance piece by artist Casey Jenkins—since condemned to be know as Vaginal Knitting—was released, it sparked outrage. As the artist wryly remarks in a response article she wrote for the Guardian, this was not because of the skeins of wool that she unfurled from her vagina—but mainly because of her poorly cut hair.
Sweeping the net of late, Los Angeles sculptor Jonathan Payne's absolutely revolting synthetic "fleshlettes" (even the name causes my internal muscles to contract violently) include hyperrealistic renderings of tongues coated in fur made out of teeth, sprouting toe nail mutants, and nipples and eyeballs contained in their own ball sacks. Please, Hollywood, hire this guy—before someone puts him in a public gallery.
Tisha Cherry, Via foodiggity
See, I like Oreos, and I like art, but I'm not sure the two go together so well. Though, this does officially raise the valid question, of which biscuit is the best medium.
Ian Dennis, better know by his online pseudonym Fox Bronte, is surely the hero of our life and times, purely for the fact that he got the public to lop of their pubic hair and send it to him, so that he could fashion a portrait of Justin Bieber out of it.
For the project Some Pigeons Are More Equal Than Others artists Julian Charriere and Julius von Bismarck spray-painted and released 35 pigeons at the Venice Biennale to make them more colorful. The question is not Should Animals Be Used as Art? but rather Are Animals Ticklish? or Is This The Future for Street Art?
Shit stirrer (quite literally) Wim Delvoye began his infamous pig tattooing on an "art farm" he set up in China in 2007. The Belgian received ardent criticism, especially since he branded one pig with Louis V, when Givenchy was so much better that season.
Other works of his include x-rays of blow jobs, a fecal-matter producing machine, and anal kisses, printed impeccably on hotel letterhead paper.
Skin and Hair
Jessica Harrison, Detail of High back Chair and Sofa, 2009
Jessica Harrison used skin and hair cast from her own hands to make her 2009 Hand Held series of minature furniture: you can just imagine them in a pretty dollhouse.
Wyse + Gabriely, Video still from Cereal, 2013
In case you didn't know, there's a whole charming movement of art made with or involving vomit: I wouldn't recommend googling it after a meal. Or indeed before one. Just don't google it. Ever.
Welcome to wackyland with East London resident Stacy Makishi's performance works which include this octopus, worn as a hat. Wear jauntily on the angle, with optional fag in hand.
Mika Rottenberg, Dough, 2006
All of dough's physical qualities ooze out in Mika Rottenberg's 2006 video piece, a surreal social commentary on the capitalist production chain, which stars size 20, 6ft pro-wrestler, activist, and model Raqui.
Swedish photographer Sandy Skoglund is the Queen of surreal textures. She's also responsible for titles such as Radioactive Cats and Raining Popcorn.
(Image on top: Mika Rottenberg, Dough, 2006)