Nao Bustamante, A Supplementary Biography


Nao Bustamante, performance still


Uttering the soon to be famous retort to Work of Art judges “I'm not responsible for your experience of my work”, performance artist Nao Bustamante has more than a few real art world accolades under her belt. She teaches at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate NY, is represented by Baer Ridgway Exhibitions in San Francisco, which is member of NADA, and even received a write up from Kevin McGarry in the fashion and style section of the New York Times.

“I like to make the audience feel uncomfortable” she told audiences at Sundance earlier this year, “but I don't like to push them away”. Apparently this was once achieved by faking her way onto the Joan Rivers show by pretending to be an exhibitionist. We're not huge fans of duping-your-way-onto-tv-and calling-it-art genre of art making (which one of BRAVO's contestants will call their entire participation in the show art?), but Bustamante at least promises to provoke audience reaction.

Nao Bustamante, still from Indig-urrito (1992)

Plenty but we’ll highlight faking her way onto the Joan Rivers Show pretending to be an exhibitionist (meh conceptual art but whatever — it's relevant here)

Looking around a room of awful art, Nao told the audience she thought she'd already won. She gets points for telling it like it is, but loses some for losing site of the fact that the show is a game, and operates by different rules than the art world.

TYPECAST: The Provocateur

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