The modern art world is something that few people can honestly claim to understand. Generally, people want things to have a meaning — when no meaning is present, we seem all too happy to create it. Hopefully you know what you’re drawn to and what caters to your tastes, but critically acclaimed work might still leave you confused or bewildered.
Sometimes, the ones who are creating art or who claim to “get it” are pretentious beyond their own well-being; other times, they seem genuinely tapped into something special. This is, of course, in the eye of the beholder — though we often favor the rouge pranksters who are having fun with art. People like Matty Mo, a.k.a. “the Most Famous Artist,” don’t give a sh*t about what the rest of us think is art because they believe in what they’re doing.
Matty Mo (full name Matt Monahan) was the CEO of a social advertising tech business called AlphaBoost, until a friend uploaded a video of him naked and wasted in India to Facebook. Those photographs ultimately led to the slow crumble of an empire he’d worked incredibly hard to build. Regardless of what you think of the antics of tech bros, that’s a steep price to pay.
Mo regrouped and rediscovered himself as The Most Famous Artist. His pieces, (most notably his works “100k” and “kilo”) play court jester in the discussion of what art actually is. When you sell bricks of cash, is it art? Are you mocking the art world or joining its ridiculousness?
With those questions in mind, we spoke to Mo about his merry prankster vibe, the notion of truth in art, and where viral culture meets the art world.