Portlandia kicked off its fifth season a few weeks ago and in a recent episode shock art gets bashed in one of the best send-ups of bad art genres ever. Fred & Carrie peddle “shock art supplies” to art students at a warehouse-type art supply store called, yes, “Shocking Art Supplies.”
Artist Shepard Fairey makes a cameo as a store clerk holding a doll with its head on backwards and keeping a straight face, it’s a “radical juxtaposition,” then asks:
“What does that say about our society?”
This season they also enlisted contemporary art photographer Catherine Opie to shoot their promo pictures (above). Opie is a fan of the show since its first season:
“My portraits are so quiet and so still and they’re also really serious. So I was a little bit surprised at first that they wanted to go for my style. But they wanted my style because as a comedian, you don’t need to make comic-looking images.”
And last season’s promos (below) were shot by hot property and art world darling, Alex Prager in her signature “face in a crowd” style. Watch the video. It should be mandatory for art students.