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Mark Flood's Tenderloin Show is Obscene, Terrifying, and the Funniest Thing We've Seen All Year

Mark Flood is NSFW. And possibly anywhere else.


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Two things you need to know about Houston artist Mark Flood’s Some Frequently Assked Questins, which opened at SFAQ Project Space on O’Farrell Street last night: One, yes, it’s really supposed to be spelled “Assked,” and two, Mark Flood is just plain not interested in appealing to you.

Flood is the same guy whose Chelsea gallery (Mark Flood Resents) featured nothing for sale. He claimed later it was just an attempt to get angry collectors to stop cursing at him (long story). In the same interview he said “my career bores me.” Looking at Questins, it’s hard to imagine what the hell this guy finds stimulating if this is what bores him.

Featured are a series of mock 1910 airmail stamps with Predator drones in place of biplanes (including an upside down drone, in reference to the chase Inverted Jenny stamp), a number of bleary, distorted Apple and AT&T logos, and many terrifying, angry Internet memes (“Start a conversation with the art world,” reads one, over the image of a lunatic torching the landscape with a flamethrower) arranged in strategic patterns.

There are lots of words for this kind of stuff: confrontational. Not Safe For Work. Possibly even actionable, in certain uptight jurisdictions. But not boring. It's hard to tell if Flood is supremely jaded, making fun of artists who are supremely jaded, or just trolling everybody, but it's damn funny either way. “Seek immediate medical attention for art careers lasting more than four hours,” reads his artist statement.

The artist was pointedly disinterested in taking questions Thursday, first spending 20 minutes in desperate search for his misplaced hat (turned out his sister had grabbed it for safekeeping) and then brushing off attempts at inquiry. Asked “Why the drones?” Flood said simply, “Indeed, why the drones? They’re drones.” He’s concise, give him that.

The showing is the last for SFAQ and attracted a diverse crowd. Zach, a 21-year-old skater bum from Houston who came to San Francisco expressly for a new place to skate (“Houston is very flat,” he says) seemed taken with Flood’s work, calling it “really tight, really funny.”

Alex, a 52-year-old San Francisco painter (“I do watercolors of people as they sit in cafes. If you keep still long enough, your ass is mine,”), on the other hand, considered the work too “arm’s length.” This reference to a piece displaying what can only be called literal skullfucking, so even Flood boosters probably have a hard time gainsaying that one.

But hey, he's only giving us what he advertised.



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