by Craig Silver, The Culture Mulcher, Forbes
One of the best features in American Heritage magazine, at one time owned by Forbes, was the recurring section titled “Overrated / Underrated.” Unabashedly subjective and ideologically unpredictable—it even punctured St. Reagan–it offered nuggets of controversy on every sort of subject. American Heritage no longer publishes the feature, so in the spirit of if you like it, you should put a blog on it, I am going to try to bring it back every so often. My mini-revival here focuses on actors, artists and musical acts.
TWENTIETH-CENTURY FINE ARTIST
Underrated: Yoko Ono
She’s spread herself thin—she even wrote a song called “Walking On Thin Ice.” But she was/is a fabulously inventive conceptual artist and perhaps shouldn’t be penalized for working in, and often conquering, so many media. Her antiwar Bed-Ins with John Lennon were a brilliant form of political performance art. It’s been pointed out that Lennon and she were among the first to consciously exploit celebrity as a medium unto itself, bending it to their whims, although it just as often seemed to get away from them. She nearly out-Warholed Warhol in experimental filmmaking with works such as Rape and in portraiture with such innovations as taking pictures of fetching human bums instead of tiresome old mugs. (An extract from these “portraits” is featured in a current MOMA photography show.) Her blend of pop and agit-prop lives on in music superstars like M.I.A.
One of Yoko Ono’s “instruction” pieces “From A Whisper To A Scream” is now on exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Read the full article at Forbes.