Skip Arnold works within the tradition of Body Art and Actionism. In his performance art, the artist seeks out extremes and intensities, testing the limits of physical endurance. Arnold isolates and alienates everyday and functionalised series of movement and behaviour mechanisms. If one wants to locate Arnold in other contexts, one can also find in his art a crossing of borders, as in the work of Chris Burden, or a certain masochism, as in the case of Bob Flanagan, aggressive and disturbing aspects, as with Bruce Nauman, as well as the exhibitionism to be found in the work of Carolee Schneeman.
usually documents his art by means of a video camera or photography, and
although his work is connected with temporal sequences, he makes intensive use
of ‘catch phrases’, compressing them into memorable images: in one case, Skip
Arnold's body mutates into the root of a tree, in another Skip presents himself
as Leonardo's "vitruvian human being", naked and with extended limbs,
clamped into the façade of a building (in some cases, such an action has even
resulted in the arrest of the gallery owners!). Alternatively, in line with the
motto ‘No risk, no fun’ and possibly intended as a homage to his teacher Chris
Burden, Skip walks around the most dangerous streets of Los Angeles wearing a
T-shirt displaying the letters ‘Shoot me’. Amusing or just tired of life? An
enhancement of life through the ultimate kick.
Angela Stief, 2007
Schleifmühlgasse 1A, A-1040 Vienna