Published March 16th, Part of our Gentelmen’s CLub
Drink Yourself Creative
By Heidi De Vries
The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends Is the Highest Form of Art. Agree or disagree, it’s the name of San Francisco artist Tom Marioni’s most famous work and a good starting point to his approach to creativity. Since 1970, the same year he founded the Museum of Conceptual Art, Marioni has invited friends over once a week to be social and drink beer as an artistic gesture focused on action rather than on any single object. It was a radical notion at the time and is still worth considering. In 2008 Marioni enacted Drinking Beer at SFMOMA for the run of its “The Art of Participation” exhibit, turning the museum’s Koret Visitor Education Center into a makeshift bar once a week tended by friends and special guests. Now Marioni gets the art party started in the Tenderloin for one night during Gentleman’s Club week, a gallery’s playful take on the city’s secretive all-male institution the Bohemian Club. Fortunately for us, all genders are welcome here, and Marioni takes on the role of stand-up comic as he delivers a routine called “Beer, Art, Philosophy, and Jokes.” We’re hoping for gossip about Marioni associates such as John Cage and Ed Ruscha, but there’s one thing you can count on for sure: Beer.