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18 Jul 10:00am

‘I’m not Jeff Koons!’ – the endurance crawls, weird texts and guerrilla brilliance of Pope.L

The Guardian
Pope.L started out doing performance art because it was cheap, once crawling through a city in a Superman outfit. Now all the big museums want his often racially charged work. As a rare show opens in Britain, he looks back For a long time, if anyone ever asked for his contact details, Pope.L would produce a business card proclaiming him to be “The Friendliest Black Artist in America”. Sure enough, when he pops up on a video call from his ramshackle studio in Chicago, the performance artist and painter is amenable and thoughtful. In trucker cap and checked shirt, he shifts between smiles and pensive frowns as we track his journey from “difficult” childhood to one of America’s foremost artists, whose work deals with race, economics and language. In 2019, he was given a retrospective that, in an exceptional move, spread across both the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in New York. The exhibition showcased his 40 years of endurance crawls, guerrilla performances, sculpture and text paintings. Those text paintings are now the focus of
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