Steve DeFrank on humor in art: a new interview on Romanov Grave

Posted by on Feb 10, 2017 in Faculty, Interviews | No Comments

An illustrated interview with VCS faculty member Steve DeFrank was posted late last week on the art site Romanov Grave. In the post, he responds to the question “Is humor valid in artwork?” Here are a couple brief excerpts:

“Why is it hard for some people to take humor seriously? Scholars and critics are reluctant to write about art that is comical. Are we lacking the language to describe funniness as a stylistic and substantive stratagem? Humor has never been considered an ideal in visual art, to my knowledge. Other ideals come and go: beauty, naturalism. When is it humor’s turn?”

“I’m trying to connect the dots. I recall the Surrealists and how cleverly they worked puns, jokes, and punch lines into their work. As a kid in the mind numbing suburbs of Connecticut this gave me a way out. Humor and satire saved my life. Humor is a palpable connection to the real world, something visceral and — at its most basic —unlearned. Humor is a direct pipeline from the body to the object. It allows us to access artwork directly.”

You can read the rest of the interview at Romanov Grave, and see more of Steve’s work at his website.

[image: Steve DeFrank, Big Hairy Mess, 2015, silicon, hair, aqua resin, hair, casein on panel, 28” x 27” x 5” (via Romanov Grave)]


Visual & Critical Studies