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Slop Art hits Moreau Galleries

Anne Mahoney | Thursday, October 9, 2003

“Slop Art,” the latest exhibition to hit Moreau Art Galleries, has received an enthusiastic reaction from the Saint Mary’s community, possibly because of its unconventional artistic quality.

The exhibition began last Friday with a festive Grand Opening. The official “Slop Art” mission is to “elevate fine art to the level of consumer culture,” and many featured artistic items within the gallery are reminiscent of popular consumer stores.

A series of four shrink-wrapped George Washington portraits hangs above a bright yellow price tag with the consumer-grabbing phrase, “Perfect for Pro-American Art Lovers!” A Slop Art brand quilt boasts its price of $4,999.99, prominently sewed on the front.

“They are trying to make the art world more accessible to the average Joe,” said Moreau Galleries Director Krista Hoefle. “These young artists are more concerned with starting conversation and raising questions, not exactly giving answers.”

And they have raised questions. Wary passers-by have been caught off-guard by the context of the gallery setting combined with their role as customers.

Contrary to popular skepticism, Slop Art really is for sale. Curators/artists Adriene Herman and Brian Reeves appeared for the opening as salespeople – complete with price scanners – urging their potential customers to take home a vile of museum dust or a “George Dub-Ya” coaster. They were also available to provide information on the common misgivings of contemporary art.

“It’s about celebrating art as a commodity, not only intellectual, but educational and monetary,” Hoefle said. “The artists of post-modernism recognize that art is about ambiguities.”

Accompanying the exhibition is a persuasive audio tour and a free grocery circulation-style catalog featuring art on sale from over 130 artists. Customers can also try out the TV Simulator CD-ROM from Slopware. where they can surf the Slop Art channels and create their own art.

Slop Art has been appearing nation-wide at fine arts galleries, colleges and universities since its launch in Madison, Wisc. in 1995. The exhibition in Moreau Art Galleries is free and open to the public until Nov. 1.