Wild art picks

From pugcocks to RuPaul kitsch, a new Phaidon book collates oddball works of viral ephemera

9780714865676-pg-8

Everyone wants to be an artist. A new book about to be published by Phaidon entitled Wild Art aims to prove that there are a lot of things that can be called art that are far, far, far outside what you’d see in a gallery. Things like ice and sand sculptures, fantasy architecture, street interventions, animal pictures (see above), odd-as-hell body art, art cars.

This is a book that brings together the viral horrors on the internet and re-contextualises them. The book is being launched with a panel discussion (chaired by yours truly) at the ICA with Museum of Everything’s James Brett, leftfield gallerist Steve Lazarides and the authors of the book. Be warned: these images are addictive viewing.

058-9 The Phone Car

Call me maybe

The Phone Car might be the best functioning advertisement ever made. This thing, made and driven by phone company founder Howard Davis, actually drives.

206-7 Jeju Loveland

Theme park ride

Jeju Loverland is an erotic theme park in South Korea filled with 140 sculptural gems like this baby. It is apparently a popular honeymoon attraction.

230-1 shoe tree

Shoe tree

A document to one of the rituals of skaters internationally. This (now destroyed by vandals) shoe tree outside of Reno, Nevada was once the world’s largest.

234-5 Jason Mercier

You better work

This collage portrait of Rupaul was made by Jason Mercier from pink plastic kitsch crap. What is there not to love? 

85 Stelarc

Stem cell

I dare you not to be a little revolted by performance artist Stelarc’s decision to insert a “cell cultivated ear” into his arm.

101 Eden Wood

Beauty queen

This photograph of child pageant contestant Eden Wood is so kawaii and hyper real, it is shocking that the girl isn't a doll.

148 Emily Valentine

Pugcock

People love dogs. Even if they are made from other things. Like feathers. This piece by Emily Valentine is called a ‘pugcock’.

135 Takeo Okamoto

Cool DJ

This ice sculpture is so ‘cool’ (ahem) that arguably it could replace most DJs playing international clubs. A must for MTV Sweet 16 parties?

131 Den Beauvais

Unicorn power

The unicorn was one of the true icons of the 80s. This fantasy image by Canadian artist Den Beauvais captures the mythical creature in all its saccharine glory.

022-3 In Step With The Times

Soviet superheroes

A perfect street art intervention in Sofia, Bulgaria, where a Soviet WW2 war memorial was transformed into an anticapitalist superhero relief.

More Arts+Culture