When Edward Snowden released classified information from the National Security Agency to mainstream media in 2013 he was globally marked as either a traitor or a patriot. The top-secret documents revealed that the NSA has been collecting data from anywhere and everywhere, including 55,000 quality images daily through social media and personal communications to use in facial recognition programs. The revelation confirmed civic anxieties that the dreaded future is here: your face can be used agains... [more]
There was a time in modern music when the role of the artist changed from being the custodian of cultural knowledge to something more of an autobiographer. We might choose that moment in the late sixties when Lou Reed abandoned the writing of pop ditties about boys and girls to focus on his own, more personal interests, like boys and girls and heroin. In other art forms this sea change was happening; in comedy, where once jokes were shared, un-authored, between performers in Vegas, the Catskills,... [more]
The last two months have seen two great celebrity-become-artist scandals. Björk’s retrospective and Kanye’s doctorate. Two years prior, Abramovic's The Artist is Present paired with a performance by Jay-Z stoked the same flame that threatens to consume our conceptions of aesthetics and Artist—with a capital A. Because that exists, still.
Art, it seems, may need a new definition. One that fits with current conceptions and usage.
$$$$$$$$$$ @zoeschlanger Can't stop watc... [more]
It is an astonishing peculiarity that in New York there is just one newspaper setting the tone of cultural opinion: The New York Times. There are others, of course, but they haven’t a fraction of its influence. There is no audible counter-argument. Conversations on the street rarely begin, “Did you see that thing in the New York Observer?” Even national papers such as the Wall Street Journal and USA Today are unable to penetrate the shield that the New York Times has formed over the c... [more]
With the scope of art continually expanding to include everything from film to fashion wear, the design world is finding itself on the up and up. More art collectors are including works by iconic designers into their collections, and many major art institutions—MoMA for instance—either have departments dedicated to architecture and design, or they’ve presented major exhibitions of prominent design figures and movements (David Adjaye, for example, is currently having a huge retrospect... [more]
“Words are all we have.” —Samuel Beckett
“I cross out words so you will see them more.” —Jean-Michel Basquiat
There are some painters who are born great (Picasso), some who attained greatness due to circumstances of their time (David), and some whose work grows in importance posthumously (Kahlo); Jean-Michel Basquiat is a rare case of a painter who managed to fall into all three of these categories. He was a prodigious teenager who came out of the gate fas... [more]
“And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.'” —Acts 26:14 (King James Version)
"We have art in order not to die from the truth." —Nietzsche
The paintings of Peter Williams have, for a long time, addressed the nature of the body, specifically addressing how one might inhabit such a fragile space in such an arbi... [more]
Near the entrance of Untitled Gallery on the Lower East Side is a slab of concrete with a shovel stuck into it. Chair legs and wire sprout off the shovel, as do branches wrapped in stretched pantyhose like wings on an urban angel. The shovel’s handle fits into the mouth of a plastic bottle shaped like a fuel container, painted black to resemble an African mask. On the adjacent wall hangs an antique wooden mirror frame, which now holds a hand-drawn Confederate flag found by the artist. Two to... [more]
If there’s one thing the internet is good for, it’s cats. So when the Japan Society in New York announced its Life of Cats exhibition—featuring ukiyo-e woodblock prints depicting cats from the Edo Period (1615-1867)—the internet duly erupted with fanfare. The show, which opens today, has made the rounds not only in the usual art publications, but also in myriad pop culture blogs and magazines, attesting to the near universal appeal of feline themes. I think we can be quite as... [more]
Hopping around the fairs you start to notice some trends in material and content. We’ve noticed a healthy use of floral foam at Independent and Armory, rock-climbing grips as wall plinths, new-media on canvas, and a whole bunch of animated icons making their way into the pictorial plane. There is a lot of playfulness this year… but it’s all rather childish.
Per Fhager at Stene, exhibiting at Volta NY
On a far wall in the upper reaches of Independent, there’s a photo dip... [more]
An art fair isn't the most innovative cultural event—it might even make you worry about the state of culture and raise concerns about the mental health of art industry workers. No, it's not the most relaxed way to experience art—bonus points for the most nauseating strip lighting in the world.
Important questions are raised by this year's Armory Show, such as: why shouldn't I attach a GoPro to my dog? Why should a sweater have armholes? It also reminds us that the true frisson of art... [more]
Malfunctioning subways, icy roads, and slushy sidewalks did little to deter fair-goers from attending Independent’s Vernissage last night. It is year six for Independent, an art fair that continues to provide a refreshing alternative to the heavy-handedness of its behemoth counterparts on the piers. An open floor plan directs traffic in a meandering fashion, contrary to the congested roadways of gridded booths across town at Armory. This wandering through and around works not only creates a br... [more]
As I was walking around the Armory Show preview on a slushy Wednesday afternoon, I overheard Neil Patrick Harris say, like a self-assuring mantra, “This is not going to make me anxious” as he walked into the fair. I empathized, ridden already with the anxiety of two hours' worth of art-gazing and glad-handing behind me.
Fairs are bound in anxiety for a lot of reasons. They are sheer feats of organization, for one, but it’s the clash of cash and creation that makes them uneasy... [more]
Security Breach: A Surveillance Love Affair at the New Museum Triennial by Stephanie Cristello Nadim Abbas, Niv Acosta, Sophia Al-Maria, Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Shadi Habib Allah, Ed Atkins, Olga Balema, Frank Benson, Sascha Braunig, Antoine Catala, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, José León Cerrillo, Onejoon Che, Tania Perez Cordova, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Verena Dengler, DIS, Aleksandra Domanovic, Casey Jane ELLISON, Exterritory, Ane Graff, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Eloise Hawser, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Lena Henke, Lisa Holzer, Juliana Huxtable, Geumhyung Jeong, Renaud Jerez, K-HOLE, Shreyas Karle, Josh Kline, Eva Koťátková, Donna Kukama, Firenze LAI, Oliver Laric, Li Liao, Rachel Lord, Basim Magdy, Nicholas Mangan, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Ashland Mines, Shelly Nadashi, Eduardo Navarro, Steve Roggenbuck, Avery K. Singer, Martine Syms, Lisa Tan, Luke Willis Thompson, Peter Wächtler, Guan Xiao at New Museum
February 25th - May 24th
Why do we need agents, the 00 section? Isn't it all rather quaint? Well, I suppose I see a different world than you do, and the truth is that what I see frightens me. I'm frightened because our enemies are no longer known to us. They do not exist on a map, they aren't nations. They are individuals. So before you declare us irrelevant, ask yourselves—how safe do you feel?
The question: how safe do you feel? How safe do we feel in a world where technology has been absorbed? Wh... [more]
At last, Armory Arts Week has arrived. From the Armory Show to VOLTA NY to Scope—one might easily get lost planning visits to every fair (our Fair Guide can help with that!). But if ten art fairs aren't enough to divide your attention this week, galleries and museums around the city have set their exhibition clocks to chime with the Armory Show and its satellites too. New exhibitions will be opening citywide this week to capitalize on the art world's Manhattan descent. There are a thousand to... [more]