The Art Angle podcast

How Britney Spears's Image Inspired Millennial Artists

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I'm sure you've heard it: For the past few months, the U.S. news media has been following the saga of pop star Britney Spears and the unusual conservatorship arrangement which prevents her from controlling her own finances or life decisions, put in place more than a decade ago after a very public breakdown. In June, Spears spoke out for the first time in court, asking for the conservatorship to be terminated. What, you may ask, does this have to do with art? It turns out that long before the #FreeBritney movement had people poring over her Instagram for clues or the New York Times documentary 'Framing Britney' revisited what her story said about the media and misogyny, she's been a surprisingly potent symbol for artists—in fact, maybe more than any other recent pop star. They've used her image to talk about sexism, about fame, about consumerism, and about and about the dark side of the 2000s. Why Britney in particular? And does today's reckoning with the recent past change the way that pop art takes on pop music? In this week’s episode, Artnet News’s Senior Writer, Sarah Cascone speaks to LA-based art journalist Janelle Zara about her artists' fascination with Britney Spears, asking these questions and a lot more.

Altri episodi di "The Art Angle"

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    Judy Chicago on How to Build a Lasting Art Career


    If you are familiar with the artist Judy Chicago, chances are you associate her with one piece: her magnum opus The Dinner Party, an epic work of installation art featuring elaborate place settings for 39 famous women, both mythical and historical, at a triangular banquet table. The feminist masterpiece took nearly six years and a veritable army of some 400 volunteers to complete. It became an international sensation, attracting 16 million visitors on a 10-year tour of the globe, largely organized by Chicago and her team, in the absence of institutional support from the art world. But the artwork, now on permanent view at the Brooklyn Museum's Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, is conspicuously absent from the 82-year-old's first-ever retrospective, which opened in August, after over a year's delay due to the pandemic, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.  The show is something of a homecoming for Chicago, who debuted The Dinner Party in the city at SFMOMA in 1979—but she's pleased that the exhibition, which does include preparatory Dinner Party works, is finally putting the spotlight on the rest of her career. "Judy Chicago: A Retrospective" curated by Claudia Schmuckli, presents some 130 artworks that seemingly encompass every medium, from paintings and drawings to tapestries and ceramics, and even photographs of her ephemeral "Women and Smoke" firework performance art series.  Amid a busy fall that has seen Chicago repeatedly crisscross the country, traveling to both coasts from her home in the tiny town of Belen, New Mexico, Artnet News Senior Writer Sarah Cascone, was lucky enough to pin her down during a visit to New York for a rare pandemic-era in-person interview.
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    5 Technologies That Will Transform the Art World by 2030


    This week, we're hopping into a time machine and traveling to the not so distant future to answer this question, how will the technological tools being developed today shape the art world of tomorrow. It's a question we delve into in the fall 2021 edition of the Artnet Intelligence Report, which is out now.  The theme of the issue is the roaring 2020s and inside we introduce you to the collectors who are looking to shift the axes of power in the art world, the galleries that will serve as social hubs once we get back out and about, and as we'll discuss today, the tech that will transform the business. To get the lowdown on what tools will define the next decade of the trade we spoke with Artnet News, Art Business Editor, Tim Schneider, who wrote a feature on the subject for the report.  If you like, what you hear and want to read the full report, go to intelligence report. It's available exclusively to Arden news pro members. So if you aren't already a member, you can slash.
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    Elusive Artist Ryoji Ikeda Wants You to Bask in His Data-Verse


    It’s hard to describe the experience of a work by Ryoji Ikeda. The Japanese artist has worked as an experimental musician, performer, researcher, and art-maker, and he brings it all together for immense, immersive installations that fill the senses. But while the word “immersive” has come to connote Instagram bait, Ikeda’s works are anything but lowbrow. The experience of a Ryoji Ikeda work is both brainy and very visceral, intellectual and awe-inspiring. With a background in experimental sound, Ikeda puts you in touch with sonic experiences that your body probably hasn’t had to process before. With an interest in science and mathematics, his visuals often draw on huge data sets, giving you vast walls of data flickering at you faster than you can process, as if tracing the sense of a collective intelligence trying to sync up with the universe. Reviewing a show of his work in New York some years ago, Artnet News Senior Art Critic, Ben Davis once called it a kind of “cosmic minimalism.”  This fall has been a big one for Ikeda. In Switzerland during Art Basel, he staged for his gallery, Almine Rech, “data-verse 3,” the closing chapter of a project commissioned 6 years ago by Audemars Piguet Contemporary, the art program of Ikeda’s long-time watchmaking patrons. The product of decades of research on sound and image, it animates data from CERN, NASA and the Human Genome Project. In London, the “data-verse” trilogy was shown together for the first time as the centerpiece of the largest-ever exhibition of his installations at 180 Studio, which drew crowds. Artnet News European Market Editor Naomi Rea, got a chance to experience both the London and Basel shows and a live performance given by Ikeda in London. Ikeda doesn’t do many interviews, but at Art Basel last month, she got a chance to sit down with the artist about his thoughts on what he does.
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    How Art Basel Did (and Didn't) Change After a Two-Year Hiatus


    An art industry ritual returned after an unprecedented hiatus: on a Monday evening last week, art advisors, dealers, and collectors ceremoniously filed into the formidable fairgrounds of Switzerland’s Art Basel. The premier art fair’s 50th edition was set to take place across a balmy week in June 2020, but it slid back nearly a year and half, its plans marred by a raging public health crisis, limitations on travel, and restrictions on events and gatherings. After so much uncertainty about the state of the art market, more than 270 dealers calculated their risks and ultimately took a leap of faith and brought the best of their rosters to the Rhine. It seems the gambit really paid off—by the late afternoon on preview day, gallerists seemed to really exhale for the first time in months or even a year. Was it business as usual? Yes and no. The event ran with incredible smoothness, with no issues save for a few spats on Twitter over whether the absence of US collectors was a boon for European deal-making or not. Restaurants were booked out across town for lavish dinners, but being on the guest list wasnt the only prerequisite—proof of vaccination as required. Sales were strong, but not quite like the old days. And NFTs made a flashy debut. On the whole, everyone seemed deeply relieved to be back in their booths or perusing the aisles. Artnet News's Europe Editor Kate Brown was joined in Basel by European Market Editor, Naomi Rea and Senior Market Editor, Eileen Kinsella to take the temperature of the scene.
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    Writer Roxane Gay on What Art Can Teach Us About Trauma and Healing


    For the 100th episode of the Art Angle, Artnet News’s Style Editor, Noor Brara had the pleasure of speaking with critically acclaimed author, professor, and social commentator Roxane Gay, whose writings on feminism, politics, intersectionality, and culture have made her one of the keenest and most important observers of our time. Gay is also an avid art collector and appreciator who, along with her wife Debbie Millman, has in the last few years years amassed an impressive personal collection and has been outspoken about the not-always-nice nature of the New York gallery scene. She discusses her forthcoming essay for Artnet News: a piece that explores, in great detail, a new painting by the Los Angeles-based figurative painter, Calida Rawles, which recently debuted as part of her new show at Lehmann Maupin gallery.  In the last few years, Rawles has garnered significant attention for her sensitive, photorealistic depictions of Black women and girls swimming and floating in pools—images that seek to posit water as an allegorical space for healing while also touching on its traumatic historical significance to the Black American community, many of whose ancestors died in the Middle Passage and who, for a long time because of segregationist Jim Crow-era laws, were barred from entering and swimming in certain bodies of water. The artwork that Gay is writing about—entitled High Tide, Heavy Armor—was created earlier this year, and depicts a Black man who bears a strong resemblance to Kurt Reinhold, a man and friend of the artist’s who was shot for jaywalking in San Clemente this past February. In the painting, the figure is shown from above and positioned low on the canvas, his eyes downcast as a body of water full of movement and tumult surrounds him, consuming the rest of the canvas. According to Rawles, the water offers a kind of topographical mapping of the killings of Black Americans, outlining several states where the numbers were highest. It is a poignant and arresting image, encompassing Rawles’s thoughts and feelings about the last few years. And in many ways, it marks a departure from her previous work. Gay discusses Rawles’s piece and why she connected so viscerally to her work.
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    Keltie Ferris and Peter Halley on the Mysterious Joys of Making a Painting


    Artists Peter Halley and Keltie Ferris first met sometime in the mid-2000s, at the height of the abstract painting revival. Halley, a pioneering Neo-Conceptualist renowned for his disciplined grids, was head of painting and printmaking at the Yale School of Art; Ferris, a graduate student with a knack for wielding fluid materials like spray paint.  Nevertheless, their work had a lot in common: a love of color, especially jangly fluorescents; an embrace of digital influences; and a desire to release painting from both its figurative and abstract forebears. Through the course of the teaching relationship, each found a respect for the other’s practice, and the conversation has continued—even if the two artists don’t actually talk as much as they once did. To pit their paintings against each other today is like seeing estranged cousins reunite: time has changed them, but you can’t deny the shared DNA. As New York’s first IRL art fair kicked off last week with the Armory Show, both Halley and Ferris presented new works at Independent Art Fair, known in certain circles as the “thinking person’s fair,” which debuted at the Battery Maritime Building in downtown Manhattan. Ahead of the fair, the teacher and his former student reunited to catch up and exchange ideas. Artnet News’s Taylor Dafoe tagged along (virtually) to record the results. What followed was a rare glimpse at two artists talking shop, in a freewheeling discursive conversation about about color, working methods, and what it means to make non-figurative painting in a time when figuration reigns supreme.
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    How Facebook and the Helsinki Biennial Share a Vision for the Art World’s Future


    Some of the most impactful stories to surface this past year have revolved around three major issues affecting the world as a whole: there’s a worsening climate emergency, a global health crisis and—in the fold—a breakneck acceleration of technology that’s increasingly entangling itself into every aspect of our lives. When it comes to the art world, we can probably agree it's time to ask some hard questions. Should there be so many art events? How should we gather? Do we need to experience art in person to understand it? During lockdowns around the world over the last 18 months, we’ve been learning just how fluidly art can transition into the digital realm—and how clumsy a failed attempt can be. Among the art events that managed to pull off successful ventures this year is the first edition of the Helsinki Biennial, which took on these questions. Taking place on an island off the coast of the capital of Finland, the exhibition, called “The Same Sea,” meets our collective moment, exploring concerns around our interconnectedness, nature, and sustainability. And it’s not just in theme: the Helsinki Biennial is calculating and trimming its climate footprint every step of the way with a goal of becoming the first carbon neutral biennial by 2035. In the middle of a pandemic and rising temperatures, 41 artists are presenting works that carefully consider the surroundings of Vallisaari Island and an array of plants and creatures that populate it. To reach a wider audience when travel is both restricted and carbon-intensive, the biennale, which is on view until September 26, has partnered with Facebook Open Arts to explore how technology might help connect audiences with artworks peppered on the island. This week, we're thrilled to welcome Maija Tanninen, director of the forward-thinking Helsinki Biennial and the Helsinki Art Museum, and Tina Vaz, Head of Facebook Open Arts, to discuss the Helsinki Biennial’s unique approaches to greening a biennial, and how technology can be used to bring us closer to nature in meaningful ways. If you enjoy this conversation, please join our panel conversation, “Helsinki Biennial and Facebook Open Arts – Future Visions / Art & Tech”—which will be available to watch on our Facebook page on September 22.
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    Artists in Residence at the World Trade Center Reflect on 9/11


    This week marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Thousands of people who worked at the trade center or who witnessed the events of 9/11, or who lost loved ones, have stories about that. Among these are the artists of the World Views Artists Residency. In a terrible irony, the residency had been started by the Port Authority to put unused office space to work following the earlier 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center to try to draw businesses back. Run by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Worldviews gave each cohort all hours access to the building and six months of workspace on the 91st and 92nd floors of the north tower. As the name suggests Worldviews brought applicants from around the world, drawn to the prestige of New York and the chance to make work in such a unique space with its dramatic views of the city. Naomi Ben Shahar, Monika Bravo, Simon Aldridge, and Jeff Konigsberg were four of the 15 artists participating in the Worldviews Residency in 2001. Amid the commemorations and reflections on the meaning of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we asked them to share their memories of the space, the day and how the experience has affected them going forwards.
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    Genesis Tramaine on How Faith Inspires Her Art


    For centuries, Western art-making centered around religious imagery during the middle ages and Renaissance icons. Altar pieces and stained glass windows were regarded as meditative objects through which the faithful might reach a more profound religious transcendence. Needless to say the art world of 2021 is far more secular and openly religious artists are few and far between. So, what does it mean to be a devotional artist today? Our guests on The Art Angle is Genesis Tramaine, a Brooklyn born artist whose expressive portraits have conjured up comparisons to Jean-Michel Basquiat and even Pablo Picasso. As a child Tremaine first started drawing during church. Today, Tramaine, who is queer, still considers herself a devout Christian. In fact, she credits her works to the divine inspiration of the holy spirit. On this episode, Artnet News’s Katie White speaks with Genesis about her art and how it relates to her faith.
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    The Bitter Battle Over Bob Ross's Empire of Joy


    Love him or laugh at him, Bob Ross is absolutely one of America’s best known painters. A quarter century after he died in 1995, a Bob Ross Experience debuted in Indiana last October as a site of pilgrimage for fans. Meanwhile, Bob Ross Inc. continues to mint money authorizing new products, even licensing a canibus company to make Bob ross eyeshadows in his signature colors. People around the world continue to train to become official Bob Ross Certified painting instructors. Most of all, the internet has let more people than ever discover old episodes of Bob Ross’s PBS show, The Joy of Painting, which ran from 1983 to 1994. In an age of memes, social media, and anxiety, Bob Ross’s big hair, easy on-camera demeanor, and welcoming demeanor have made him an icon with real, and maybe even growing, power. But there’s another side to the story, one told in the just released Netflix documentary ‘Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal, and Greed,’ produced by the actress Melissa McCarthy’s production company. It describes Ross’s ascent and connection with fans, but also tells the story of the battle behind the scenes for the control of the Bob Ross Empire. On one side are Annette and Walt Kowalski, Bob Ross’s long-time business partners, They met him in 1982, lived together with Bob and his wife, and helped manage his rise from popular painting instructor to unlikely PBS sensation. Today, they retain control of Bob Ross Inc. and all thing Bob Ross—and remain a shadowy presence in the documentary, having refused access. On the other side is Steve Ross, Bob’s son, a painter himself, and a sometimes guest on ‘The Joy of Painting,’ where his father sometimes spoke of Steve as his heir apparent. Today, Steve remains shut out of his father’s empire, and he accuses the Kowalskis of having maneuvered to seize control of his father’s empire of painterly positivity even as his father suffered from the lymphoma that ultimately took his life. Joshua Rofe, the director of the documentary, is here to talk to Artnet News’s Senior Art Critic, Ben Davis, about trying to crack the riddle of Bob Ross’s life and understand the bitter fight to control his legacy, both in terms of money and meaning.

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