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Al Brunelle:
The Beautiful Ugliness
that Refused to Go Away


1. The March Group was the first to make big use of pop imagery. Here comes the antiestablishment attitude jiving along all fleshed out with involvement. Unique and fresh approach to protest art using the vocabulary of action painting combined with the most oppressive repulsive vulgar refuse of media and consumerism. Involvement is the magic word. Impressive techniques of involvement developed both for artist and spectator, group participation techniques. Anti-groomed, anti-packaged art, aimed like a gun.

2. The Shit-show are the first systemic, that is repeated image or process show (only with truly felt feelings). How many artists have blopped and glooped since? The Shit-show as the first anti-form show, that is an illustration of a simplicistic technique, only more, with an attitude. The Shit-show as the most daringly honest public artists' statement of its time. It was early "Scat-Art", pre-S. Clay Wilson.

3. The Man snuffed out the March gallery scene, but they had an audience, their values were useful. Image: The scrambled over, slapped together wig out photo-collage that is the most ubiquitous underground press illustration. Image: Quick, cheaply done protest handouts. Message: Of Involvement ... as expressed by young people's artist Steve Holland: "He works with beautiful ugliness. ..."

Source: Lurie, Boris; Krim, Seymour: NO!art, Cologne 1988

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AL BRUNELLE was teacher and artist in New York.

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