50 Up-and-Coming New York Culture Makers to Watch in 2013

Jayson Musson

Artist Jayson Musson has had quite a year. He won the spotlight as YouTube’s best straight-talking art critic, “Hennessy Youngman,” when his Art Thoughtz series finally went viral. The videos equated Relational Aesthetics — “strangers in some kind of convivial happening in antiseptic confines of an art institution” — with “getting drunk in a bar, having a one night stand and contracting herpes”; skewered Damien Hirst; and cut through the insular, highbrow Art World culture with accessibility, hilarity, and swag smarts. The U Penn graduate also had a solo show of remixed Coogi sweater canvases at Salon 94, next door to the New Museum. He turned Chelsea Row into a block party by exhibiting everyone who submitted work in a show he curated at Marilyn Minter and Maurizio Cattelan’s new Family Business gallery. He traveled the country, lecturing as Hennessy and under his own name, gathering a gigantic cult following. He just opened a solo show in Philadelphia. He pretty much “freeshared” his entire art MFA. In sum, Musson has been one of the most refreshingly likable forces in the contemporary art scene, as well as in new media — exactly what we need to reignite the creative spark among a new generation of DIY oddballs, art hate-lovers, and shit-stirrer-uppers. — MG

What are your plans for the holidays?

I’m not really much of a holiday person. I normally just drink by myself and sputter around my apartment until it’s January 1st. But this year I’m going to see Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark with my younger brother and his son who are coming down from Boston to see it. It is my solemn wish that one of the many airborne stunts will fail, causing the misfortunate Spider-Man or Green Goblin to plummet into the audience below (not on me of course). That would be a true Christmas miracle.

Which New York artists do you count among your greatest inspirations?

Not to be a big ol’ grumpus here, but some of my greatest inspirations are not New York artists, so I’m just going to name a few of them here: Andrew Jeffrey Wright, Jim Houser, Ben Woodward, Isaac Lin, Gabe Martinez, Naeem Juwan, Steve Powers, Suroc, Duck, Saga, Emerge, Kemos, and Ken Kweder.

What’s coming up for you in 2013?

I plan on getting into shape and saving as much money as possible so I can commission porn actress Skin Diamond to be in my recreation of Jeff Koons’ Made in Heaven series. I’m trying to get this together rather quickly, as I’m pitching the live version to Performa 13.