DMA’s New Art Ball Video More Flat Than Funky

by Paula Newton April 12, 2015

The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) held its Art Ball fundraiser this weekend and, like it has in previous years, presented a parody video, chock full of DMA staff and supporters with cheesy product placements.

The 2013 video, “Downtown Artsy,” worked so well because the cast seemed to have a hilarious self-awareness of their own status as “gentry” allowing “the people” into the museum. (The DMA had recently announced its free admission/free membership policy.) The abundance of Art Ball sponsor product placements was so entertaining because of the anachronistic location in the pseudo Downton Abbey setting.

The DMA 2015 Artball Funk video (posted below), though, has none of that same cheekiness. It has a similar (and larger?) cast of rich Dallasites in a remake of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” and it comes off as geekier and unsettlingly embarrassing. Dallas socialites can only pull off so much funkiness and the product placements were just products placements. D Magazine’s Peter Simek agrees, adding, “as the DMA’s media relations will surely remind me, I am certainly not in the video’s target audience.”

Still, if you know the cast of characters and would like to rate their funkiness, that could be fun. And there are shots of Max Anderson in hair rollers!




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Bill Davenport April 13, 2015 - 11:22

It’s hard to know what to think of this- the silly adulation of wealth symbols is also a component of more “authentic” videos as well. Look at Psy!

Paula Newton April 13, 2015 - 14:42

Psy seems a strange example—a silly fluke with some silly dance moves and a damn catchy song.

I don’t want to start a conversation about class (some of my best friends are really rich), I’m just saying that “the silly adulation of wealth symbols” just doesn’t have the same funk when performed by the overwhelmingly white ultra-rich. They look like they’re having a lot of fun and I’m genuinely glad they are. But I think it betrays an insular perspective that I find problematic. I suspect that they think the video is waaay funnier than I (and probably countless struggling artists and musicians) find it to be.

Maybe I’m too sensitive about these things. Send the video to Bruno Mars and ask him what he thinks.

Cindy Hurt April 14, 2015 - 08:42

It is what it is. FUNNY , in a wonderfully bizarre sort a way. I hope they were able to raise lots of money for the museum.


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