I was having breakfast with Zefrey Throwell, troublemaker and artist extraordinaire, and I asked him what advice he would give aspiring artists. His reply was  “Don’t be afraid to break the rules.”

Drea Bernardi playing her part in the art project “Ocularpation: Wall Street.” Credit Michael Nagle for The New York Times

Drea Bernardi playing her part in the art project “Ocularpation: Wall Street.” Credit Michael Nagle for The New York Times

Throwell, the creator of the multi-media performance, Ocularpation Wall Street, is inspired by Improv Everywhere, a New York City-based comedy collective that delights and disrupts the public by staging unexpected performances in public places throughout the city. Throwell says Ocularpation Wall Street was a “way to really re-focus media attention on Wall Street and what was happening down there. It’s hard to imagine now, but before Occupy moved in, and before my performance, no one was talking about Wall Street, right?”

When asked “How important is that unfiltered public reaction to your work?” Zefrey said 
”Well I appreciate the idea that art can be more engaging than what museums and galleries have right now. We’re in a gallery in Chelsea—we’re in the heart of the art world; people from all over the world come to see contemporary art right here. Granted, we’re in a smaller gallery now, but across the street is the second largest gallery in the world. They’ve seen maybe 100 people in the last couple of hours. If you do a project in Union Square there’s thousands of people within minutes.”

He also noted that in public performances, the audience is participating in something and it feels alive to them.

Click here to read Lane Koivu’s interview with Zefrey Throwell, master of this “Freudian nightmare” at The Blogazine. And for more coverage, read The New York Times piece, A Bare Market Lasts One Morning.

And to see Zefrey archive of over 7,000 photographs, click here.