NY Mag - School of Visual Arts MFA student Marc Bradley Johnson was all set to debut his final piece, titled Take This Sperm and Be Free of Me, before health concerns thwarted everything he’d worked so hard for. First, Johnson accessed his materials. Then he set up a refrigerator at SVA’s Visual Arts Gallery in Chelsea, loaded it with 68 vials of his own semen, and put up a Craigslist ad alerting the public that anyone could walk in and take a part of him home. It was about “creation, parenting, desire, masculinity, fantasy, and reality,” he said. But his liberal Manhattan art school just saw dangerous waste.
“I’ve been working on this for months,” Johnson told Daily Intelligencer, “Somewhat ironically — it’s just masturbating and calling it artwork.” He said his professors were well aware and that he’d shown the work multiple times in class critiques. “This isn’t unprecedented,” he said. “There is plenty of bio-hazardous work in the art world.”
When the issue of safety was first raised by SVA’s assistant director of student galleries, Richard Brooks, Johnson even agreed to microwave the vials. “You can only microwave for eight seconds before it bubbles over the container,” Johnson said. “The semen is dead. The swimmers are not swimming. While I try to do absurd things, I’m not interested in doing reckless things.”
The vials were sealed, labeled, and placed in Brooks’s office until a waste-management firm could arrange a pickup. Johnson, who was raised Mormon and attended undergrad at BYU (“where figure drawing classes models wore bikinis or speedos”) immediately claimed censorship. “I am happy that he had to sit with 68 vials of my cum in his presence,” he said.
I’m not going to start off with the obvious joke here and say something like if masturbating a lot and getting cum everywhere makes you an artist you can call me Pablo fucking Picasso. Won’t do it. Too mature for that. I will say instead that the School of Visual Arts has a lot of nerve here taking this kid’s jizz fridge away from him. I mean you’re an art school right? Seen any modern art lately? It’s literally just blank canvases, big blue squares, a pencil inside a box. A guy just fucking standing there is called an amazing masterpiece. Stupidest shit ever that requires 0 time and energy. At least this guy put some effort in. Sat himself down 68 times, picked out 68 Youjizz porns after scanning what had to be thousands of thumbnail screenshot montages, carefully masturbated into a vial, stored it in a fridge. Even gave it a legit title to evoke emotion. Take This Sperm and Be Free Of Me. Beautiful. Guess the art world just isn’t ready for a masturbationary visionary like Marc Bradley Johnson. 10,20, 100 years from now every home in America will have a vial of Marc’s cumshot framed on their wall and we’ll be telling tales of his artist persecution in 2013.