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Weekly Update – Perpetual adolescence at Marginal Utility in Jayson Musson’s rants


A Jayson Musson exhibit is a shock to the system for the sensitive art enthusiast who expects only well-behaved and friendly art in a gallery.   Musson’s word art, on posters and, for his new show at Marginal Utility, some newly-printed vacation-style t-shirts, is like a smack upside the head, delivering rants about the art world, politics and unrequited love.

Neoteny poster with ALF, from the 1980s tv show about a smartass alien living amongst us

“Neoteny | The Hard Sell” is the name of his solo show this month.  “Neoteny,” just fyi, refers to a condition of lifelong psychological adolescence, which pretty much describes the narrators of Jayson’s grumpy, know-it-all art who whip out the “n-word”, the “f-word” and every other hyphenated attack vehicle to excoriate a viewer who has the temerity to stand there and read the text.  Often, Musson’s narrative voice is self-mocking.  He’s a world-weary guy whose bad luck with girls has soured him on the female sex and whose encounters with the power structure of the art world have made him cynical about his chances of making it. Ever. Musson in person is, of course, a big Teddy Bear, one of the nicest, smartest, funniest guys you’ll want to meet.  But when he puts on his art hat — like he did recently in his YouTube advice columns by Hennessy Youngman, his barbed tongue knows no bounds. Musson is getting his MFA this Spring from the University of Pennsylvania.  Catch his act now before he takes his “sturm und drang” on the road.

“Neoteny | The Hard Sell: Jayson Musson” Feb 4 to Mar. 27.  Opening reception, Friday, Feb. 4, 6-11 pm. Marginal Utility, 319 N. 11th St., 2nd floor.  917 355 4487

Read this at Philadelphia Weekly.