James Lee Byars Rises Again

by Paddy Johnson on May 30, 2011 Events

Carlos Lobato reincarnates James Lee Byars

Can any art event truly be considered complete without spotting at least one person describing themselves as “living art” while walking around naked in full body paint? Perhaps only North Americans and the British tout this ridiculous tradition because I didn’t spot any during the 40 Hour Party at Serralves over the weekend. I did however do one step better: The locally famous James Lee Byars impersonator, Carlos Lobato. This is a man who participated in the Spencer Tunnick group nude installation in Porto (read: an expensive photograph of bunch of nude people likely infront of a monument of some kind), and managed to create quite a bit of ruckus. The best account I heard was that the artist often took his own dive-like poses in Tunnick’s sea of crouched figures, though the artist has a slightly different take on the matter. According to him he just had plenty to say while the camera was off, but when the actual photographs were taken he conformed. Oh well.

Editor’s Note: The real James Lee Byars has a number of photographs included in Off The Wall, which is now, in expanded form, at Serralves.

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