GRAND RAPIDS, MI – If you’ve ever been to Grand Rapids in the early months of fall, you are, in no doubt, familiar with an event called ArtPrize.
For the better part of three weeks in September, artists from around the world put their work on display all over GR. The entries are viewed, judged and voted upon by art critics and the general public. Winners are announced, and prizes awarded.
Eight years in, ArtPrize has grown into quite the attraction. It’s the most attended public art event on the planet, averaging over a thousand entries and 400,000 visitors each year.
So naturally for ArtPrize 8, the twisted creative geniuses at Fairly Painless decided to have some fun and take advantage of a unique situation we’d found ourselves in.
As the annual art show rapidly approached, our new Grand Rapids office remained far from finished. But rather than letting its stalled progress prevent us from participating, the brilliant brains of Fairly Painless did what we do best: We got creative.
We invited an “artist” from across the pond, the forever-up-and-coming, neo-nonperformer, Farley Painlezz’, to transform our incomplete workspace into a work of art.
Painlezz’, of course, did nothing. Titling the piece, “Office Unfinished.”
In a documentary-style spoof, the Fairly Painless team interviewed the “artist” and captured his process on video. We even built a fully-functioning website, http://officeunfinished.com, where fans could vote for the unfinished masterpiece.
And although “Office Unfinished” wasn’t a real ArtPrize entry, and Farley Painlezz’ was just some British bloke we know named David, the story earned a lot of positive media traction.
Local news outlets like MLive ran features on the story, and the satirical video made it to the front page of famed comedy website, Funny or Die.
Most people got the joke. Some people didn’t (which was wonderful to watch). And once again, Fairly Painless demonstrated that there’s an awesome idea hiding behind every situation.