60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC
Kurt Flecksing
4/17/10 4:47 PM

Grants for artists have been hard to come by in this country ever since the early 1990s, when the shit hit the fan, quite literally, at the NEA. What’s an artist interested in making non-commercial work to do? Most get by with day jobs and whatever money and time they can squeeze out of them. A handful of enterprising others, including the very successful Sunday Soup run until recently by InCUBATE in Chicago, have taken the grant-making process into their own hands and decided to hit two birds with one stone by making art that generates funds to help other artists make art. Such is the case with Kurt Flecksing and collaborator Sean Starowitz, who have built an ingenious mobile cart for roasting s’mores on the sidewalk and at private events. The toasty snacks cost $1 each (more if you’re feeling generous), and Flecksing intends to donate the proceeds to support local art projects like a mobile backyard-chicken-awareness shack and a mobile urban-bicycling-awareness sculpture. (Notice a trend for the self-propelled and gastronomic?) The cart was first fired up in mid-January, and though Flecksing hasn’t yet made enough money to cover his own costs, he’s sure to be turning out micro-grants soon enough. Is it art? It’s a stupid question, really, but one that can happily and easily be answered in the affirmative, not only because relational aesthetics has by now been around for over a decade, but more importantly because Flecksing’s marshmallow roasting technique is so genuinely impressive. And then there’s the philanthropic corrective his project gives to eating what essentially amounts to handmade junk food…

—Lori Waxman
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