Art Historical Blurb
Today, many of us are haunted by dreams of an avant-garde we never knew. Countercultural cred is endlessly re-packaged and re-commodified for mass audiences. While high art and entertainment continue their mutual fascination, art remains, more than ever, the province of the ultra-rich, with special legal protections and unparalleled ROI. Despite the supposedly-broken-down-barriers between art and commerce, the market offers the same bland shit for cheap and the same old shit for expensive. Lone art school graduates labor in studios to revive ghosts of the past or cynically re-frame the future, while their best efforts often molder in storage.
Jing Yu, Art Star, asserts the primacy of artistic genius without compromise in an age when ‘rock star’ has become management-speak and true rock stars front corporate rebranding initiatives. Her online gallery of selfies, parodic concept shops, junk food sculpture and chintzy détournements are more than narcissistic amusements: they are an invitation to imagine art history as party décor, and to live thoughtfully in an overwhelmingly commercial age. Jing Yu is not a social media artist; she recognizes that our bland, friendly and ‘shareable’ selves don’t bring us closer together. She is not an identity artist. She does not make, and emphatically refutes, post-internet art. Taken together with her website and Fan Club, Jing Yu’s post-conceptual art practice constitutes nothing short of a contemporary Gesamtkunstwerk: transforming the way we consume culture into a creative outlet, patronage system, and lifestyle.
Jing Yu lives by the mantra LOOK GOOD FEEL GOOD. Love and happiness can be bought; they are not necessarily expensive. Her internet store offers a full product line to include ceramic tableware, printed pillows, editioned artist books, yoga mats, pinatas and other accoutrements for the home. Her elegaic, witty, at times abject merchandise references such playful art/retail experiences as Ken Price’s Happy’s Curios or Claes Oldenburg’s Store, yet equally draws inspiration from Chinese copycat shanzai merchandise and Asian teen subcultures such as Harajuku girls. With its defiant bricolage of cultural symbols — from Pepé le Pew to Ugo Rondidone’s iconic Hell Yes! sign—the store reimagines the ‘curated mix’ of products offered by lifestyle stores like Anthropologie and the more rarefied field of functional artist editions sold via online purveyors like Artware Editions and 1stdibs, while at the same time delivering inspired products to knowing consumers at an affordable price.
Members of the Jing Yu Fan Club support Jing’s vision directly, providing the financial stability necessary to artistic experimentation outside the mainstream. Both a unique patronage system and a content platform, the JYFC brings together an audience of sensitive, creative girls seeking News You Can Use, Tips & Tricks, and Exclusive Access to New Work. For the low annual membership fee of $125, comparable to more traditional fine art edition subscriptions, fans directly support the creation of original content and, in recognition, receive gifts such as zines, personal videos, blog posts, and spreadsheets—with exclusive insight into Jing Yu’s current thoughts and artistic process. JYFC members share Jing’s passion for culture and fantasy permeating all aspects of lifestyle, like role-playing fangirls from Karen Kilimnik’s paintings—each one a Marie Antoinette dancing in a Hameau de la Reine of her own creation. Beyond this, the Fan Club is an intangible artwork in itself, like Yves Klein’s Zone of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility, in which collectors paid a handful of gold for an act of mystical capitalist transubstantiation. Thus the JYFC is a total package: inspiration, access, community, experience, post-Fordist arts patronage, and an imaginative critique of the way culture is valued today.
Jing Yu wants to liberate the idea of genius from cobwebby encrustations of power and money and use it for the kind of fun, imaginative, hyper-individualized content that social media promised us and never delivered. In this, perhaps her closest kindred spirit is Kanye, who once said, “If I were to write my title, like, going through the airport you have to put down what you do, I would literally write “Creative Genius,” except for two reasons: sometimes it takes too long to write that, and sometimes I spell the word “genius” wrong.“ As Jing has said, “I want it to be about being posi and having fun and living thoughtfully because the world is a cold ugly place and depressing.”
With that, have a look at the REAL BENEFITS of participation in a contemporary Gesamtkunswerk: JING YU FAN CLUB MEMBERSHIP.