Visual artist Jayson Musson is back to using a medium many thought he had abandoned forever—video. Today, the artist teased a preview clip of The Adventures of Jamel on Twitter, where the protagonist Jamel offers to help a seemingly failed inventor with his cell phone-esque time travel machine. The solution? "Hip-hop pizzazz," apparently.
Many first encountered Musson's art after discovering his humorous, performance-based web series, ART THOUGHTZ, between 2010 and 2012. Musson took on the persona of a character he named Hennessy Youngman, dressed up in oversized hats and chains, put on a different accent to his own, and used a webcam to project comedic ideas about grad school, Damien Hirst, and the art world as a whole. The ART THOUGHTZ videos have amassed over 1.5 million YouTube videos in total, making them a viral success. Most episodes, especially "HOW TO HIP-HOP: The Art of DJing" and "HOW TO HIP-HOP: No Homo," incorporate hip-hop and playfully mock it, too, making The Adventures of Jamel an exciting follow-up project for those who followed ART THOUGHTZ.
Although Hennessy hasn't released any videos since 2012, he's had two successful solo exhibitions at Salon 94 (he created canvases with Coogi sweaters for his first solo exhibition at the gallery) and most recently had a collaborative exhibition with artist Alex Da Corte at ICA Philadelphia. When we interviewed him about his second exhibition at Salon 94 last year, we asked why ART THOUGHTZ ended after only two years. He said, "It was a conscious choice to stop. I honestly get bored pretty quickly, so the Hennessy project became personally unfulfilling after doing it for 2 years. The joy in that project was not knowing what I was doing; once I figured it out I knew I’d stop. And besides, I enjoy making art, not being an art pundit."
The first episode of The Adventures of Jamel, directed by Scott Ross, starring James III, and written by Musson, will officially debut tomorrow, January 7 at 7 p.m. ET at Salon 94's Bowery location.