Jubal Brown bolted from total obscurity to fame
(of a certain sort) in 1996 while he was a student at the Ontario College of Art and Design
. Fired with the passion of youth
, the artist (as a young man
) decided it was time to put on a performance piece
. Disgusted by the staid
, stifling environment which is the modern art gallery
, Mr. Brown chose to vomit on a number of paintings in different, world-reknown
ed, galleries to display his contempt for the "stale, obedient, lifeless crusts" which hung on the walls.
In May of 1996, Brown walked into the the Art Gallery of Ontario and vomited red liquid all over Raoul Dufy's Harbour at le Havre. At the time, the staff thought it was simply and accident (?), and neither pressed charges nor made mention of the incident, for fear of copycat behaviour.
On 2 November 1996, Brown ingested blue gelatin and cake icing prior to entering the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City. Stationing himself in front of Piet Mondrian's Composition in Red, White & Blue, he vomited all over the painting. Luckily, the workers at the MOMA were able to quickly address the situation, and using mounds of Kleenex undid what could have been a true tragedy. It was the 'sheer force of its banality' which forced Brown to choose the Mondrian rather than a nearby Picasso. Brown didn't even need to use his finger for the deed; the 'lifelessness' of the work made him feel threatened and physcially ill. This time, however, he found that the gallery staff were slightly less gullible, and the police were involved.
The Ontario College of Art and Design refused to officially sanction the young Mr. Brown, as to do so would involve debating the merits of his artistic piece and freedom, which as many know is a process that requires months, if not years, of interminable debate from wingnuts of all sizes and at least two Ph.D. dissertations.
At the time his possible censure was being considered, Mr. Brown was insisting that he would complete his trilogy by spewing yellow on yet another masterpiece. Considering the attention he garnered for his two previous acts, however, he finally abandoned the project, making this not the first uncompleted trilogy in the art world.
Jubal Brown is currently the co-directory of Art System, a progressive gallery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has again found his name in the scandal sheets, given that his gallery promoted the work of a young artist by the name of Jesse Power. Power and his roommate, Anthony Wenneker, have been charged with cruelty to animals after they videotaped themselves skinning a live cat, again in the name of art. While Art System was not promoting that particular piece, they were swept up in the maelstrom of legal and ethical accusations surrounding Power. Brown defended his decision to continue showing other pieces by Power, stating that while he is both a vegetarian and a cat-lover, the video may be 'simply horrible... but whether it is art is not for us to answer.'
Lest I find myself in serious legal or artistic trouble for this w/u, let me state that Brown has been involved in other unorthodox, guerrilla art campaigns which do not seem to worthless or insane. from 1998-2000, billboards across Toronto which were advertising Gap clothing were defaced in a quite humourous manner. This particular advertising campaign had photos, in black and white, of very youg, very thin female models (see: heroin chic). Brown showed a number of art students and motivated socialists how to quickly skeletonize these photos using a sharpie or paint brush in under three minutes. The social critique was jarring and quite effective. So, early digestive problems do not doom a person to a lifetime of irrelevancy.