Miami's Weirdest Art: Poop, Masturbation, and Rodent Crucifixion

Categories: Art, Lists
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Detail of Fabian Peña's mural made from fly and cockroach parts
When we recently reviewed the new show at the Miami Art Museum, Fabian Pena's sprawling mural, created from crushed cockroach and fly bits, reminded us of the weirder artworks and performances Cultist has encountered over the years. We've seen human shit in jars, werewolves, skulls, and masturbation. We've seen rodent crucifixion, excessive neck-sucking, and peculiar janitorial techniques. We've seen anal play, illegally parked clunkers, homeless ladies, Brooklyn bikers, and pink pneumatic penises.

Check out the cut for eight of Cultist's weirdest art experiences.

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A crucified rat by ex-veterinarian Morten Viskum.

1. Morten Viskum: At Edge Zones during Basel 2006, Norwegian artist Morten Viskum greeted spectators decked out in full Catholic priest regalia and gave tours of an installation featuring 200 pairs of ratty shoes and flip flops he had collected in Cuba. He also creeped out the crowd with finger paintings created using a severed hand stolen from a graveyard. Then Viskum, a former veterinarian, went on to nail rodents to crucifixes.

2. Wynd Bucknell: This deranged Brit baffled viewers at Objex Art Space with a scatological ode to bad taste that featured the jarred excrement of a local realtor, pharmacist, and gallerist, Dustin Orlando, in a tribute to '60s conceptualist Piero Manzoni's Merde d'Artiste. Bucknell also exhibited syringes of stranger's blood and a pair of pickle jars full of his semen-soaked tissues that documented the desolate nights the artist experienced after a breakup. The show was an ego-implosion of the first magnitude and left tongues wagging for weeks to follow.

3. Scream: In the words of the curators, this exhibition at the Moore Space was intended "as a scab on the curatorial framework of Cream projects by Phaidon, and a crusty, ephemeral proposal." It featured a mangled werewolf sculpture that looked like the Black Dahlia's decomposing remains. It also showcased a collection of Down's syndrome skull reconstructions, and a live video of a kidnapper taunting the audience while pouring ketchup on his pecker and beating his meat.

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Artist and expert window cleaner Marlene Haring.

4. Sucking Marks: Also during Basel 2006, fetching Austrian artist, Marlene Haring, literally left her mark on the public at Scope, giving art lovers hickeys for ten bucks a pop in her Sucking Marks performance. It was no surprise when she went on to wash some windows using only her tongue to get the job done.

5. Glitter Butt: At Rocket Projects, Ali Prosch delighted us with her tongue-in-cheek video self-portrait titled Glitter Butt. It depicted the nude artist packing her pooper with silver fairy dust, then letting farts loose like a fizzling roman candle. Apparently, it was a commentary on youth glam in contemporary art.

6. Maite Josune: There is something about Art Basel that provokes aspirations of grandeur among local artists, and Maite Josune's 15 minutes in the limelight were among the most memorable. As a commentary on the environment, the artist parked a lurid jalopy in front of a Wynwood gallery without permission. The car boasted an unkempt garden in its trunk and soon it became a haven for drunken bums. It was eventually ticketed by Miami police for lack of a valid license plate and unceremoniously impounded.

7. Jackie Johnston: Equally unforgettable was Jackie Johnston's Basel performance as an unwashed homeless woman selling nickel bags of art while pushing a shopping cart from Wynwood to the Miami Beach Convention Center. She crashed a party at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery with her dog in tow and fished out a Ziploc bag full of rainbow rat turds that looked like cupcake sprinkles. She shared her turds with collectors while a group of renegade Brooklyn bikers showered Snitzer's clients with lumpy oatmeal and plush toy stuffing spewed from a four-foot pink pneumatic penis.

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A Botero beefcake with an unfortunately tiny weiner.

8. Gary Nader Gallery: Lastly, if you want to see some truly heinous work that remains up all year long just visit the Gary Nader Gallery in Wynwood. His butterball Botero bronzes, one featuring a fig leaf the size of a hubcap covering its shriveled penis, are enough to make you tear your hair out.
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