When Crossfade gave us 10 Reasons to Not Hate Skrillex earlier this month, it got us thinking: Who's the Skrillex of the art world? Who's the blatantly successful, divisive creative force in visual media? What artist of our time is simultaneously so loved and so hated by so many?
Obviously, it's Romero Britto.
Let us be clear: We are not fans of Britto's work. We've done our fair share of bitching about Britto's ubiquitous installations over the years. But come on, people -- the man's not the antichrist. He's a successful artist, and there are plenty of perfectly nice things about the work he puts out into the world. And so, in true devil's advocate spirit, here are 10 of them.
He works for kids.
You might not like his art, but you can't deny that the cause he supports is worthy. Britto's work has supported child-focused organizations like Best Buddies International and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He's also worked with high school art students, and contributed his work to a kids' play area at Club Med Sandpiper Bay Florida.
He brings awareness to important causes.
Britto's main focus may be supporting children, but his work has benefited plenty of other important causes. He partnered with Buzz Aldrin to bring awareness of NASA and space exploration. He's contributed to art auctions benefiting AIDS organization Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art, and the Camillus House. From supporting the homeless to ending breast cancer, the funds and awareness raised by Britto's art have affected plenty of lives.
Call Britto whatever you want, but don't call him somber. The New York Times said his work "exudes warmth, optimism, and love." And in these times of political turmoil and war and Jimbo's potential closure, couldn't we all use a little more of that?
Studies suggest bright colors are actually mood-altering drugs -- in a good way. Not only do they make you feel more awake and alert, but in cases of disabilities like dyslexia and autism, they can also assist in learning, reading and writing. So Britto may actually be good for your health.
He likes to party.
Did you see the shots of Britto partying it up at Carnival in Rio this year? The man was surrounded by enormous, attention-grabbing sculptures on a float of his own design, and he was still the center of attention in that sparkly shirt. You've gotta love a guy who parties like that.
He makes famous things look funny.
From Mona Lisa to the Virgin Mary, Britto's given plenty of famous figures a facelift over the years. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Martha Stewart, and Princess Diana have all gotten the goofy Britto treatment. The message we're taking away from this: None of these things needs to be taken so seriously. And that's something we can get behind.
He represents Miami.
Britto enjoys worldwide fame, with works in major cities from Moscow to New York City's JFK airport. But Miami is undeniably Britto's artistic home base. And that means there's a little piece of Miami in public spaces all over the globe. Even if it is kind of vacuous and mass-produced. Way to represent, Britto.
His luggage is impossible to lose.
Seriously, we bet no piece
of Britto-bedazzled luggage has ever been mishandled in the history of
air travel. You just cannot overlook it. Same goes for iPhones in Britto
cases and Mini Coopers painted in Britto patterns. If you're forgetful,
Britto is the artist for you.
He gives artists jobs.
Okay, this one is a reach. The employees Britto uses to churn out his work are reportedly underpaid, and one imagines the work they're doing isn't exactly intellectually fulfilling. But hey, in this economy, a job's a job, right? (Thank god this is number nine, because we are running out of nice things to say about the guy.)
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The Queen digs him.
If you're a British royalty fanatic, Britto is your man. He was asked to paint a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, and afterwards partied with Prince Harry. He's also done portraits of newlywed royal couple William and Kate. So, um, yay?
This has been your devil's advocate session of the day. We're now returning to our regular, snarky selves. And you can all go back to being haters in the comments.