They Say Art Is Dead in New York. They're Wrong. – Alan Feuer, NYT (December 2014):
Somehow, in the last few years, it has become an article of faith that New York has lost its artistic spirit, that the city's long run as a capital of culture is over. After all (or so the argument goes), foreign oligarchs and hedge-fund traders have bought up all the real estate, chased away the artists and turned the bohemia that once ran east from Chumley's clear across the Williamsburg Bridge into a soulless playground of money.
Last year, the foremost proponent of this doomsday theory was the rock star David Byrne, who complained in The Guardian that artists, as a species, had been priced out of New York. This year, others joined him. The novelist Zadie Smith lamented in October, in The New York Review of Books, that the city's avant-garde had all but disappeared. The musician Moby wrote a comparable essay in February, describing how creative types are fleeing New York and referring to his former home, accurately but narrowly, as "the city of money." Just a couple of weeks ago, Robert Elmes, the founder of the Galápagos Art Space in Brooklyn, declared the indigenous "creative ecosystem" was in crisis — so, naturally, he was moving to Detroit.
Op-Ed at 40, A Brief History of the Art, Four Decades of Illustration at the New York Times is an awesome 10:20 minute mini documentary video with a selection of brilliant political, social satire cartoons and insightful illustrations. Bonus link: DailyOpEd.com – Read and search over 100 major newspaper op-eds. [more inside]
"First we kill the architects..." Photographer Danny Lyon [1, 2, 3, 4] offers ten suggestions for New York City. Suggestion #6: "Leave the World Trade Center excavation exactly as it is and use the space as a freshwater pond planted with pink, white, and yellow lilies..." His essay is only one of many from names you'll recognize in a book called Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York. An associated exhibition opened yesterday [museum, NYT review]. Is New York City moving in the right direction? Is your city? [via] [more inside]
Doing Their Own Thing, Making Art Together is a NYT piece (mirrored, no registration needed) about modern American art collectives. Some are physical, in a real communal sense, while others are entirely virtual. Does anyone have direct experience with those mentioned in the article or listed here (half-way down). Others?
Frank Moore [NYT], the originator of the red ribbon, died of AIDS last week. His gorgeous paintings depicted politics from Yosemite to Versace. As one of the few incredibly contemporary but still publicly accessible artists, he will be missed.
this nytimes article about okwui enwezor, the first non-european to head documenta (kind of like the olympics for art, but unfortunately always held in the town of kassel, germany) mentions an "anonymous and scandal-spreading e- mail message" which was sent to artworld honchos. in light of the fact that his curatorial style has a lot of artists and critics justifiably perturbed, i wonder what's in the email. of course i wonder what's in the email because it might be juicy, but i attempt to justify my curiousity to myself and to you.
Perhaps Chris Ware is not only the most interesting sequential artist working today, but the most interesting graphic artist as well. Not familiar with his stuff? Like ACME Novelty Library or Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth? Pick up today's New York Times Book Review; Ware illustrates a number of the reviews, and the illustrations form something of a narrative.
Jeff Koons on his art: "I'm interested in making objects that you would want to grab and take with you if your house was burning down. " He also says he's really into cereal boxes. New York Times (registration required)