- the Matthew Barney fan site
CremasterFanatic.com is a "fan site" dedicated to Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle. I created the site as a conceptual art project, but to the casual web surfer it appears to be a legitimate fan site. The site features a bio, summaries of all five Cremaster, films, a list of characters, news, photos of Matthew Barney (including a few with Bjork and their daughter Isadora), fan art, ephemera, links, and much more.
Although I appreciate the ambition of Barney's work and the craftsmanship of his sculpture, I wouldn't really consider myself a fan -- his films are a bit too serious and romantic for my taste. However, I was interested in using Barney as a way to explore fandom and its place in the world of contemporary art. I could have chosen another "art star", but the Cremaster Cycle has more in common with fan favorites like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings than, say, a painting by Damien Hirst or John Currin. I was also interested in the fact that most people have experienced the Cycle through photographs (or possibly sculpture) rather than by actually seeing the films (and of those who have seen the films, few really understand them). Barney is also a good subject because he is more of a visible celebrity than most artists; being a former model, dating Bjork, starring in the films, etc. It's amazing how much information about Matthew Barney is out there on the internet -- I found the address of his studio, a copy of a letter sent to casting agents to find an actor for one of his films, a snapshot of Barney with his father at the Guggenheim opening, scans of early modeling work, photos of his daughter, and pictures of the bed he and Bjork sleep in.
Some of the first pieces of "fan art" on the site are artworks I made so the site would have enough content when I launched it, but since then I have received images of Barney-inspired artwork from around the globe. The site is an ongoing project, growing steadily as I collect more and more information about Matthew Barney. In 2007, I added the Cremaster Fanatic Blog to publish all of the latest Matthew Barney news. I welcome submissions of Cremaster-related artwork, music, photography, video, writing (fiction or poetry, not criticism) and photographs of Matthew Barney -- send them to me and I'll publish them online!
In 2006, I curated an exhibition of materials related to the web site, called The Matthew Barney Show, held at Jack the Pelican in Brooklyn and later at boca in San Francisco. The shows were scheduled to coincide with Matthew Barney exhibitions nearby at Gladstone Gallery and SFMOMA.
I also edited a publication called Cremaster Fanatic - the Matthew Barney fanzine that features fan fiction and poetry from the web site, Matthew Barney-inspired artwork, Matthew Barney paper dolls, and an article about Drawing Restraint 9 (written solely based on information found on the internet before I saw the film). Cremaster Fanatic is available for $5, click here for ordering information.