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  • December 31, 1969 | 7:00 PM
    December 31, 1969
    7:00 PM

Day 21: David Hammons

Bliz-aard Ball Sale is one of David Hammons’s most famous and influential performance art pieces. In 1983, he sold snowballs of varying sizes and prices in Manhattan alongside other street vendors during a winter snowstorm. The satirical performance commented on the U.S. capitalism system, the classist nature of the high-art world, and on the superficial value of “whiteness” in U.S. racial politics. Three years later, Hammons said this about the art world: "The art audience is the worst audience in the world. It's overly educated; it's conservative, it's out to criticize and not to understand, and it never has any fun. Why should I spend my time playing to that audience?"

In 2010, Kelley Oreglia riffed on Hammons’ Bliz-aard Ball Sale by dressing up similarly to him and setting up an outdoor vendor stand at a farmers’ market in Davis, Calif., where she sold balls of clipped grass cut from her lawn.

David Hammons slideshow

30 Americans is organized by the Rubell Family Collection, Miami. The presenting sponsor at the Corcoran Gallery of Art is Altria Group.

Additional support has been provided by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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