The Fun One Hundred
List-making is a modern day obsession, from the top 100 singles of the 90s to the top 100 actors of all time. Top 100s are an easy-access option for popular culture and continually used in newspaper lists, radio count-downs and TV compilation shows.
Artist Peter Davies has taken the idea of ‘the top 100’ and played around with the concept in a number of his works. Available at Monograph is The Fun One Hundred a tongue-in-cheek run down of the canon of Modern art.
The list pits the greats of art against each other – godfather of modern art Picasso versus New York graffiti artist Jean Michel Basquiat, post Impressionist maestro Van Gogh against conceptualist Dan Flavin.
Where the humour really begins is the quick summary attached to each artist and the rating given.
Take Damien Hirst, at number 49, with the quote ‘silence of the lambs’ or Cindy Sherman, at 32, with her highly-regarded self-portraits, reduced to two words ‘dressing up’.
The Fun One Hundred, by reducing Modern art’s greats to glib one liners, makes a comment on the dumbing down of culture without compromising on humour. It’s a piece which is witty and enjoyable, especially to connoisseurs of Modern art, yet it is also aesthetically pleasing. A list functioning as art.
Davies, a Goldsmiths’ graduate, catapulted into the public eye in 1997 when his larger than life text painting was displayed at the Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. Since then it has exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Gagosian Gallery and Saatchi Gallery.
This year marks the 10th year since Peter Davies won the John Moores prize, awarded to the best contemporary painter. Winning the award in 2002, Davies’ work was then showcased in theWalkerArtGallery and the Liverpool Biennial.
The Fun 100 One Hundred, signed by Davies is available from Monograph priced at £700 including VAT. Click here to buy this iconic work.
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