Art Gorilla (Master of Finds Art, 1972 [supposedly conferred by Dudley Finds himself]), together with his mysterious sidekick, the Art Historian, Dr. V.I. Howdah Doodah (B.A. Calcutta State), the world’s leading expert and theoretician of Doodah Art, appeared on the New York Art Scene in the late 1970’s.
His one and only big show was at the Phillis Stein Gallery on West 57th. St in October of 1979. The work was wild, unpredictable and confusing. It was a mix of painting, drawing, installation and Found Objects. Less than flattering critics described the gallery as looking like a flea market, or the aftermath of a Tornado. No one could figure out if there was any logic behind the installation.
Nevertheless, the refreshments were fresh and lavish the Champaign high quality and the music exciting. The band, a mix of African, Cuban and Eastern European musicians, heavy on percussion, played a mix of styles that would later be known as World Music. All in all, it was a splendid event.
That is, until Gorilla himself arrived. Phillis had convinced him to rent a Tux, which made him feel ridiculous and put him in a foul mood. Upon arrival, A.G. proceeded to eat all the refreshments and drink too much. Then, as is common among his primate relatives, G regurgitated his food, rolled it into little balls, and threw it at the crowd. Not realizing it could have been far worse, the gallery emptied quickly with a great deal of grumbling and cursing. To this day, critics argue whether this was performance art or just a bad attitude on Gorilla’s part.
That was the end of Gorilla’s career in New York. No gallery would give him the time of day, much less a show. A.G. became something of a hero among the Punks and other fringe elements, but that put no Bananas on the table. Gorilla left New York disgusted. He said they could take the whole thing and “shove it where the sun don’t shine.” “They wouldn’t know art if it took a dump on their coffee tables. I’m outa here!”
Last anyone heard, Gorilla, with the help of an anonymous benefactor, some said it was a reclusive and legendary actor, obtained an island in the South Pacific and has remained in seclusion ever since. He has refused all attempts at communication. Rumor has it though, that he’s hooked into the web through a satellite connection, and continues to work. Others say he’s taken up Chess. Who knows?
Doodah is reportedly meditating at a hermitage high in the Himalayas. It is said he’s working on a major work involving the Meaning of Meaning. No one’s quite sure what that means.