« Previous | Culture Monster Home | Next »

Stephen Colbert talks art with Steve Martin, with help from Shepard Fairey et al.

December 9, 2010 | 10:49 am

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Steve Martin Pt. 2
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog March to Keep Fear Alive

Steve Martin learned the hard way last week that live audiences don't always appreciate lengthy discourses on the art world. The actor-comedian was at a talk at the 92nd Street Y in New York and spent much of the evening discussing all things art-related, tied to his new book, "An Object of Beauty." Audiences were so unhappy with the serious talk that the 92nd Street Y reportedly offered everyone a refund.

On Wednesday night's episode of "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, Martin found a crowd that was much more welcoming of his expertise as an art collector and connoisseur. Host Stephen Colbert presided over a mock art-valuation session in which he asked Martin how much he would pay for a Colbert portrait. (You can watch the segment in the clip above.)

Colbert When Martin replied that he wasn't interested -- valuing the painting at about $19 -- Colbert introduced a series of renowned artists -- Frank Stella, Shepard Fairey and Andres Serrano -- who either offered commentary or provided their own embellishments to the portrait. (The moments were reminiscent of Woody Allen pulling Marshall McLuhan out of thin air in "Annie Hall.")

Fairey took time to spray-paint the Colbert painting with his "Obey" logo. Serrano used a marker to transform Colbert into a Hitler-esque demagogue.  Martin's interest in the work appeared to grow as each artist added his own embellishment.

The lessons of the Colbert episode are manifold...

  -- For starters, the public is actually interested in art and artists, despite what the 92nd Street Y might think. (Of course, it helps to make it funny and accessible.)

-- No surprise: Name brand is everything in the art world.

-- Artists crave publicity as much as actors.

-- Comedy Central needs to give Steve Martin his own show, pronto. 

-- David Ng

Photo, above: Steve Martin on "The Colbert Report." Credit: Comedy Central

Photo, below: Shepard Fairey. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

RECENT AND RELATED:

FaireyStephen Colbert immortalized (sort of) by Shepard Fairey

Shock art doesn't shock on Bravo's 'Work of Art' reality series

Graffiti and street art show to take over MOCA's Geffen Contemporary in 2011

Shepard Fairey, AP trial date set for March

AP and Mannie Garcia, photographer at center of Shepard Fairey case, drop claims against each other

 

 

 

 


 
Comments () | Archives (1)

Umm, no, please do not give Steve Martin his own comedy show as he lost his touch with comedy several years ago. I hate to say it, but it's true. He's still a great supporting actor, though, but he can't hold up to speaking in front of large numbers of people in a live audience or anything like that. At least he hasn't shown it lately.


Advertisement
Connect

Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

Video


Explore the arts: See our interactive venue graphics



Advertisement

Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.


Categories


Archives