The Sucklord, a Supplementary Biography

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The Sucklord, Image via Poptower

The Sucklord is like 80% of what’s good about Work of Art. He’s hilarious, he’s real (oh, that word), and he’s not a terrible artist either. Well, insofar as he is an artist – he’s a toy designer by trade, and to succeed on Work of Art he’ll need to make that transition convincingly, and with a quickness. On the other hand, we like the Sucklord, and we like him for who he is; if he starts talking about how his works evoke the contested narrative of human experience, we’re done.

ART WORLD CRED

Sucklord has gotten a suckload of press over the past ten years, and recently the Village Voice's Camille Dodero awarded him an astoundingly comprehensive profile.  It's not hard to guess why: the Sucklord doesn't give a fuck, which, amidst a sea of identity artists and polite abstraction, is utterly commendable.

Despite living with his mom for 36 years, the Sucklord is by far the most accomplished person in the cast.  The Sucklord, a.k.a. Morgan Philips IV, began as a bootleg DJ with his release of Star Wars Breakbeats in 1997.  In 2000, he founded his bootleg toy company Suckadelic Enterprises to instant success; within a year of its inception, Suckadelic Toys had a show at the VICE Store in Soho. The toys sell like crazy at $200 a set which, in turn, makes the customer complicit in suckiness, as the back of each box reads “You're an Asshole for Buying This.”  Everything on his website is currently sold out.  Best of all, the Sucklord's slimy, art world-reject persona sets him up for a win-win.

Piss Bart, 2008

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

To name a few, the Sucklord was interviewed by Linda Wertheimer for “All Things Considered,” has been profiled in Vice Magazine, had a Sucktrospective at the Boo-Hooray Gallery in Chelsea, and has sold work at Christie's.

CHARACTER ASSESSMENT

Instead of making identity art, the go-to genre for the art world outsider, the Sucklord makes bootleg Star Wars and sci-fi figurines that are intentionally a little crappy or off-looking.  Though Work of Art may not know this, crappiness is an aesthetic and material tactic employed by almost every generation's avant-garde, including artists such as Linda Benglis, Andy Warhol (who also lived with his mom for most of his life), and Andre Serrano. The Sucklord's “Piss Bart” even pays direct homage to Serrano; here's hoping he comes back next season to guest judge.

Bonus: The Sucklord was featured on one episode of VH1's short-lived, exploitative “Can't Get a Date.”  His hilarious follow-up interview, in which he makes an ass of the snickering, condescending VH1 voice-over guy, sums up his championing of loserdom.

TYPECAST

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  • Dragonphly00

    will miss Sucklord on Work of Art…he was the glamour and the drama of the cast…he was real and sincere…and being devilishy handsome didn’t hurt him either.I enjoyed his creations. The critics (especially the bald dude with the glasses who works for some magazine) just could not wrap their brains around his work. Fuck ‘em Sucklord you are aces in my book,you can create anything for me and it would be awesome.