Neke Carson, Lottery Drawing, Poster, Robert Freidus Gallery, 1979


Win One Thousand Dollars, Neke Carson Lottery Drawing, Robert Freidus Gallery, April 28, 1979; offset poster. 11 x  8 1/2 in.; signed by the artist.

After becoming the performance director at the Robert Freidus Gallery in 1978, Carson staged two more Lottery Drawings. With the prize money increased to $1000, the search time limited, and all the half-drawings hidden in a single confined space, the last of these events in 1979 had an intensity that far exceeded the earlier performances. In this last iteration the greed of the audience members became the principal component of the performance.


Neke Carson, Lottery drawing, artist signature

Detail of artist signature

For his series of “Lottery Drawing” performances Carson created numbered drawings and hid them in galleries.   People found his numbered drawings crumbled in corners and participated in a “Lottery Drawing Event” at the gallery.   At the first lottery drawing at the Sonnabend Gallery one woman won $50. At another “Drawing” someone won $200.  At the last Lottery held at the Robert Friedus Gallery the grand prize was $1000 in one dollar bills which finalists competed for in a contest of classical musical chairs with a string quartet from the Juilliard School providing the music.

Neke Carson Performance Art


The Strange World of Neke Carson: Early Works, 1970–85

This is a show filled with unusual masterpieces: psychologically-charged drawings that hint at impropriety; ephemera from guerrilla performances staged in Soho galleries without permission; the notorious rectal-realist paintings created with a paintbrush in his behind; and objects connected with ventures like Carson’s LaRocka Modeling Agency and LaRocka Nite Club (later…