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A tiny sculpture of a sofa, baby carriage, and a fish tank with a cocktail shrimp inside.
Photograph: Courtesy of "Funny Stuff" | It Seems Like A Lot to Take Care Of by Lydia Ricci

Can art make us LOL? These NYC comedians want to find out

Chair for an Inverted Ass? Yassified Billy Bass? A 'Desparate Yearning' kit? They’re all here.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

The performing arts—with comedy shows, musical comedy and stand-up—can definitely make us laugh. But what about the visual arts? Can a sculpture elicit a chuckle?

This fall, a troupe of New York City artists want to find out. They're launching a free art exhibition called "Funny Stuff," which runs from September 23-October 13 at Andrew Logan Projects in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood. 

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The art show features humorous works created by both artists and comedians. 

"The work will stand on its own as art, but will be created with the intention of making the viewer laugh out loud," Caroline Doyle, one of the show's organizers, said. Doyle organized the show with Charlie Bardey and Marissa Goldman, all comedians and artists.  

A wall of costumes at a pretend costume store.
Photograph: Courtesy of "Funny Stuff" | Michael Fails' sculptural piece.

In one sculpture, titled "Costume Adventure: Everything Must Go!," viewers are transported to a Halloween store presenting absurd costumes like the "Desperate Yearning" kit. Another piece, called "Yassified Billy Bass" reconstructs the toy while poking fun at minimalistic and modern design in simple household items today. What looks like a simple chair is actually a sculpture called "Chair for an Inverted Ass." Other artworks document quotidian moments from a pile of scrap collected over three decades. Most pieces are available for sale.

Through an open call, anyone was invited to submit work for the show. The curators had a simple metric during the selection process: Does this artwork make the curators laugh? Mostly Brooklyn-based artists were selected.  

A tiny blender with pills inside.
Photograph: Courtesy of "Funny Stuff" | "I Have Just the Thing" by Lydia Ricci

Featured artists include Michael Fails, Taylor Paydos, Chase Porter, Ben DuVall, Stanton Jones, Char O'Dair-Gadler, Romi Thornton, Free Alexander Tripp, Lucyana Randall, Parker Davis, Amy Chiao and Lydia Ricci. 

"Some have artistic careers and bodies of work that stretch back decades, and some will be creating their first physical work for this show," a press release about the show explained. 

The comics have been marinating on the idea for years, after the inspiration came to them during a stand-up show. Now, it's finally real. 

The show will culminate in the creation of a comedic video incorporating the works, which will be shared on Eternal Family. Eternal Family, which helped co-curate the show, is a video streaming platform started by a group of artists as a community outlet. It shares alternative entertainment in a non-corporate environment.

See the "Funny Stuff" at Andrew Logan Projects (384 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn). The show's on view September 23-October 13, open Wednesday-Sunday from 2-9pm. Admission is free.

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