Bob Matheny uses the alley behind his house as a way to poke fun at the art world.
The longtime San Diego artist has been mounting art on his back fence facing Brindisi Street in Sunset Cliffs for a few years now.
He’s been giving away his friends’ paintings, plus some of his own sculptures. A sign on the fence informed neighbors and passersby that they could take the work for free.
Matheny said he needed to clear out some of the art in his personal collection so he could make room for the new art he makes in his home studio every day. But more importantly, he’s also a provocateur who loves knocking art off its fancy pedestal.
At his solo show at Bread & Salt in Logan Heights earlier this year, for example, he let another artist pick out one of his paintings and destroy it with a hammer. Also this year at Bread & Salt, Matheny invited the public to watch as he claimed to bury a real Willem de Kooning painting a few feet underground.
Matheny’s become known for his acts of anti-art, and for continually wagging his finger at the pretension of the fine art world.