Funk art

Quick Reference

Term applied to a type of art that originated in California (specifically the San Francisco area) around 1960 in which tatty or sick subjects—often pornographic or scatological—are treated in a deliberately distasteful way (the word ‘funky’ has various meanings, including ‘smelly’; when applied to music it can mean ‘earthy’ or ‘authentic’). Such art has been seen as a subversive reaction against the seriousness of Abstract Expressionism and the New York art scene in general. Although the first Funk works were paintings, its most characteristic products are three-dimensional, either sculpture or assemblages. Edward Kienholz is the best-known practitioner of the genre.

Subjects: Art.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »