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Cuban artists fear crackdown after Tania Bruguera arrest

December 7th, 2018

Tania Bruguera, via GuardianThe Guardian profiles how Cuban artists are fearing a government crackdown on artists in the wake of Tania Bruguera’s arrest this week over a new law restricting artistic speech in the country. “The decree criminalizes independent art activity,” the Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco says. “It allows a cadre of roving censors to go around issuing fines, to take away your equipment. These are not liberal individuals – if you are a rap musician and they simply don’t like your lyrics, they will shut you down. These draconian actions already take place but this law systemizes it.”
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Art Newspaper Explores Market for Street Art

December 7th, 2018

Keith Haring, via Art NewspaperArt Newspaper profiles the increasingly high popularity of street art in mainstream art fairs, and questions how it is affecting the medium. According to adviser Lisa Schiff, sales of street artists like the recent bidding war for KAWS prints at Art Basel “encourages pure speculation; it’s an empty value-making system. Street art should disrupt the commercial and institutional setting. I don’t want it in a museum or a fair.”
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MoMA PS1 Art Handlers Continue Protest

December 7th, 2018

Marley Freeman, via NYTThe NYT profiles the recent protests by MoMA PS1 art handlers over pay and worker rights at the museum, as they demand equal pay to the museum workers across the East River at the main museum space. “I feel as an artist worker you’re betwixt and between,” handler and artist Marley Freeman said in a telephone interview. “You aren’t seen as a professional art handler. At PS1 they are always treating us like this is just temporary work we’re doing between other things.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Andy Warhol

Biography

“Andy Warhol began as a commercial illustrator, and a very successful one, doing jobs like shoe ads for I. Miller in a stylish blotty line that derived from Ben Shahn. He first exhibited in an art gallery in 1962, when the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles showed his 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1961-62. From then on, most of Warhol’s best work was done over a span of about six years, finishing in 1968, when he was shot. And it all flowed from one central insight: that in a culture glutted with information, where most people experience most things at second or third hand through TV and print, through images that become banal and disassociated by repeated again and again and again, there is role for affectless art. You no longer need to be hot and full of feeling. You can be supercool, like a slightly frosted mirror. Not that Warhol worked this out; he didn’t have to. He felt it and embodied it. He was a conduit for a sort of collective American state of mind in which celebrity – the famous image of a person, the famous brand name – had completely replaced both sacredness and solidity.

Earlier artists, like Monet, had painted the same motif in series in order to display minute discriminations of perception, the shift of light and color form hour to hour on a haystack, and how these could be recorded by the subtlety of eye and hand. Warhol’s thirty-two soup cans are about nothing of the kind. They are about sameness (though with different labels): same brand, same size, same paint surface, same fame as product. They mimic the condition of mass advertising, out of which his sensibility had grown. They are much more deadpan than the object which may have partly inspired them, Jasper Johns’s pair of bronze Ballantine ale cans. This affectlessness, this fascinated and yet indifferent take on the object, became the key to Warhol’s work; it is there in the repetition of stars’ faces (Liz, Jackie, Marilyn, Marlon, and the rest), and as a record of the condition of being an uninvolved spectator it speaks eloquently about the condition of image overload in a media saturated culture. Warhol extended it by using silk screen, and not bothering to clean up the imperfections of the print: those slips of the screen, uneven inkings of the roller, and general graininess. What they suggested was not the humanizing touch of the hand but the pervasiveness of routine error and of entropy…”

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