Red hot art scene
Pilsen gallerists protesting a new 24-hour Express Grill hot-dog stand at 18th and Halsted Streets should take heart: Encased meats and artistic expression have long made a great combo.
Operation dog drop
After doing some work involving tracing people’s feet, the late modern artist Ray Johnson decided to take the concept of “foot long” to the next level. Renting a helicopter, Johnson dropped 60-foot-long hot dogs over Ward’s Island, New York, in 1969 in a statement yet to be deciphered by the art community.
Her salvation has a first name
Some consider hot dogs a food product. Actor-singer-playwright Robin Gelfenbien considers them a lifesaver. In her one-woman show, My Salvation Has a First Name (wienermobileshow.com), which recently debuted at New York’s International Fringe Festival, Gelfenbien tells the true story of how she confronted a horny copilot, her arch nemesis and her own personal demons while driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile across the country for a year.
The last wiener on Earth
Nothing complements a juicy dog like commentary on the apocalypse—at least according to modern artist Colin Self. Calling his Hot Dog Sculpture—48 inches of black dog made of cast polyester resin that’s currently on display in London’s Tate museum—a symbol of both consumerism and fears about a nuclear holocaust, Self has created, by our measure, the most depressing dog in the world.
While it sounds like the happiest place on Earth, Tubesteak City was actually a 12-foot-tall fiberglass hot-dog sculpture that mechanically rotated on top of a 20-foot pole, which sat squarely on former sculpture professor Michael Cooper’s front lawn in Oakland, California. The piece so offended his neighbors that he eventually removed it; it now sits in the annex of the Oakland Museum.
Patrons who visit the women’s restroom of Hot Doug’s Sausage Superstore and Encased Meats Emporium (3324 N California Ave, 773-279-9550) will find not only a toilet, but also a re-creation of Grant Wood’s famous work, American Gothic, featuring pitchfork-holding hot dogs instead of people. We’re hoping a hot-dog version of the Venus de Milo is next.
Inspired by the quick production and proliferation of the hot-dog stand, Frankenart Mart—a collective of artists based in San Francisco—is trying to apply the same low-cost, readymade mentality to art. From now through October 13, the collective is hosting a fast-food–themed exhibit, showcasing an “Art to Go” counter where viewers can make their own art in ten minutes or less and a mini hot-dog–style art cart artists wheel over to Golden Gate Park.
Modern artist Paul McCarthy gets his kicks by confusing hot-dog wieners with his own. In a 1974 video titled Hot Dog, the artist made a commentary on the state of sexuality in America by taping his penis to a hot-dog bun, filling his mouth with franks and wrapping himself in gauze. Who ever said art was boring?
Famed pop artist Roy Lichtenstein loved the dog so much, he created not one, but five works centered around a fascination with America’s favorite meat. The most famed—aptly titled Hot Dog—is a 24-inch by 48-inch comic book–style dog made from porcelain enamel on steel. On permanent display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Trento, Italy, Hot Dog is proof that even the international art community loves a good wiener.