- HAMMONS David, Bliz-aard Ball Sale, 1984.
Like much of David Hammons’ work, Bliz-aard Ball Sale starts with a minor gesture. On a snowy winter day, Hmmons stood in aheavy coat behind a blaket with an array of snowballs, arranged like a Minimalist grid and presented in descending order by size. It is unknown whether the artist actually sold any snowballs, but making sales probably wasn’t the point. The piece mirrored the gray market economies that were common in New York in the early 1980s. It was particularly common then to see people laying blakets or sheets on the sidewalk and offering up various items for sale that had been scavenged from the trash. The objects were often as abundant and worthless as snow on a winter day. When police forced the vendors to move, they could simply pull up all four corners of the sheet or blaket and be on their way.
Standing behind his snowballs, Hammons sold an image that he has adopter many times since: the artist as a clever, knowing jester. With Blitz-aard Ball Sale, Hammons gave the public street direct access on the street by being bodily present in a way that he frequently denies the art world, where he is more reclusive.
(Source: Steven Stern, « A Fraction of the Whole », revue Frieze, 2009, www.frieze.com/issue/article/a_fraction_of_the_whole)