Eyecandy Bulimia – Art detective Sunny Buick Solves the Eternal Flim Flam of the Lowbrow Art World is a one-woman performance art piece covering and criticizing the “Lowbrow” and “Underground” art movement. Written and performed by Sunny Buick and first performed at the Wild Weekend Music Festival in Majorca, Spain, Eyecandy Bulimia is based on a thesis written by Fanny Giniès. Buick plays three roles in analyzing lowbrow art from three different perspectives.
Dr. Swartzvisie is a Russian art critic who hates lowbrow art from a lofty highbrow vantage point. She explains the term “lowbrow” comes from the lowbrow facial structure of the less intelligent neanderthal. This simplistic style of art relies on being retro or based heavily on popular culture.
Shady Cadillac is a bohemian artist who defends her fellow lowbrow artist and serves as a counter to Dr. Swartzvisie’s arguments. She sees the importance of lowbrow art to shake up the elitism of the highbrow art community.
Standing in the center is guru Etoile De Jour. She lauds the accessibility of lowbrow art as a way to tear down highbrow art and discusses the role of lowbrow art in the realm of protest art and DIY expression.
“…a one-woman performance art piece covering and criticizing the ‘Lowbrow’ and ‘Underground’ art movement.”
Eyecandy Bulimia is, for the most part, a lecture on the history of lowbrow art. Buick uses her three characters to walk us through the history of the underground art movement featuring the art of Robert Williams, Todd Schorr, Mark Ryden, Isabel Samaras, Camille Rose Garcia, and more.
I had never heard of the term lowbrow art before, but I suddenly realized I’m pretty lowbrow as I look around my office at all my Disney artwork, Funko Pops, and vinyl figurines. My love for this class of art was further confirmed as Buick walked us through the history of pulp fiction, comic books (sequential art), and satirical magazines. Early issues of Film Threat feature a plethora of this kind of art.
Eyecandy Bulimia is not a sophisticated documentary by any means. It’s Sunny Buick in front of a green screen as one of her three personas presenting and commenting on lowbrow art pieces that passes in front of us in slide show fashion. For anyone interested in the subject matter, the presentation is exciting and engaging. I had a good time and learned something new, which one wants in a documentary. I think she assumes her audience is more familiar with the art terms she throws out than they really are, but for this “neanderthal,” I understood enough of what she said.
For what Eyecandy Bulimia – Art detective Sunny Buick Solves the Eternal Flim Flam of the Lowbrow Art World is, I had a good time, and Buick picked excellent examples of the genre. Her characters are odd, but not to the point of absurdity. However, I will say that the falsetto voice of guru Etoile De Jour was borderline annoying and grating. For a low-budget, research-based documentary, the film works, but it’s a hard pass if you don’t care about the subject.
"…a good time, and Buick picked excellent examples..."