Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Art World

I'm not usually aware of much going on in the avant-garde art world. I often go to art museums, but they are way behind the curve. It appears that several artists are acting dramatically to resist the current administration.

According to an article in the New York Times,  the artist Christo, famous for "wrapping" or otherwise decorating prominent buildings and parks has been working for years on a project to "create a vast public artwork in Colorado that would draw thousands of tourists and rival the ambition of 'The Gates,' the saffron transformation of Central Park that made him and Jeanne-Claude, his collaborator and wife, two of the most talked-about artists of their generation."

Christo stated that he will not proceed with this project "because the terrain, federally owned, has a new landlord he refuses to have anything to do with: President Trump." Coverage of Christo's cancellation in "The Art Newspaper" explains that the planned "Over the River" project would have "covered 42 miles of the Arkansas River in silver fabric for 14 days" -- they showed the following image of Christo's design.

"Christo, Over The River, Project For The Arkansas River, State of Colorado, 2007, collage in two parts. Photo: Wolfgang Volz, © Christo 2007"
The Times article also summarizes several other artists' protests:
"In late November, more than 150 prominent artists, curators and gallery workers picketed in front of the Puck Building in Downtown Manhattan, owned by the family of Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband and now a senior adviser to President Trump. Under the banner of a continuing social-media and protest movement called Dear Ivanka, critics of the President have directed almost daily condemnations of his actions and policies to his daughter, a prominent art collector. And on Inauguration Day, dozens of galleries — and a few public art institutions — closed in cities across the country as a part of a movement, J20, that plans to broaden protest activities in the coming months to address issues like racism, immigration and gentrification."
Also, an article titled "Richard Prince, Protesting Trump, Returns Art Payment" described how artist Richard Prince has returned $36,000 to Ivanka Trump, a payment for a work that he did based on her Twitter feed: "Mr. Prince first announced his decision in a series of tweets, saying that he was disavowing the work. In language that echoed Mr. Trump’s rhetoric, he called his own work 'fake' and added, 'I denounce.'"

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