SVA First Person: Joey Skaggs on the ‘Art of the Prank’

Long before social media, hidden camera prank shows like Punk’d and Jackass, and culture-jamming activist groups like The Yes Men, SVA alumnus and former faculty member Joey Skaggs (BFA 1982 Media Arts) had already turned the media hoax into an art form. On November 4th at the SVA Theatre, BFA Advertising and BFA Design present a special screening of Art of the Prank, a new documentary by Andrea Marini that delves into Skaggs’ evolution as an artist over the last five decades. SVA Close UP recently contacted Skaggs to find out more about this pioneering artist and the origins of his work. What follows is his response.

…At an early age, I learned that the business of art and the creative process were two very different things. I was not going to let that discourage me. I circumvented the “normal” channels to exhibit my work, as there were too many pressing social issues I wanted to respond to immediately. I didn’t want to wait to be accepted into a gallery (I was both a painter and a sculptor), hope for a review and a sale so that I could continue to work in a way that would ultimately imprison me to work within the system. So I literally took to the streets. There were many social-political issues that disturbed me and I felt a passion to creatively comment on them…

Read the full interview here.

For more information about the Art of the Prank screening, which will be followed by a Q&A with Joey Skaggs and director Andrea Marini, click here.