Artist Joey Skaggs has carved a special niche in the arenas of social activism and satire. Since the ’60s, he has created performances that access the mass media and bring attention to hot sociopolitical issues. His work has explored topics as diverse as cultural intolerance and insensitivity, sex and violence in the media, inequities in American justice, the misuse of power and authority, and media manipulation.
To bring attention to hot-button issues, Skaggs devises complex ways to access the media. His performances evolve into sophisticated theatrical productions combining advertising, art, and public relations techniques with theater, filmmaking, set design, and acting. He packages and presents “newsworthy” events that are eminently palatable—and irresistible to the news media. Using cunning, satire, parody, and humor he hooks journalists into covering his fabricated stories. This provides a means of expression unavailable to him through conventional art channels.