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The Art Angle team is taking this week off for Thanksgiving, but we thought we'd share one of our favorite episodes from the past year to see you through this unconventional holiday weekend. Picture this: a doughy, apple-cheeked infant nestled in between the soft petals of a dew-kissed flower, sound asleep, like the start of a real-life fable. Almo…
 
The news cycle for the past seven months has been dominated by staggering data points that seek to quantify the scope of the pandemic's effects on the United States and beyond. Within the art world, statistics detailing layoffs and furloughs, museums facing imminent closure, and galleries struggling to make ends meet add to the collective fear and …
 
Well, it finally happened. Former vice president Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, have won the United States presidential election. They ran on the promise of a return to democracy and decency—as well as a repudiation of the past four years under Donald Trump. After all of the hand-wringing, punditry, and poll watching, we're now left…
 
When San Francisco-based artist Matt Furie created a zine in 2005 featuring a rag-tag group of immature adolescent animals, including a heavy-lidded frog named Pepe, he had no idea that his humble drawing would become a flashpoint for roiling cultural and political tensions across the world. A new documentary titled Feels Good Man, directed by Arth…
 
One of the most salient images of America's tattered democracy is Ed Ruscha's Our Flag, a startling painting of Old Glory, shredded and flapping against a dark sky. Ruscha painted it at the request of his longtime friend, music impresario Jimmy Iovine, who has loaned it to the Brooklyn Museum, which has been transformed into a polling place for the…
 
Frida Kahlo is, by every metric, one of the most famous artists in the world. Recently the priciest Latinx painter at auction, she has also been the subject of solo shows at prestigious institutions around the world, and she continues to be a pop-culture sensation whose image and iconography grace everything from apparel, to dolls, to smartphone se…
 
Through October 24, Galerie Lelong in New York is presenting "Gate to the Blue," a striking show of paintings by the late artist Ficre Ghebreyesus that opens a portal to his hugely complex, visually stunning, and tragically short life. At age 16, Ghebreyesus fled his native Eritrea during the nation's turbulent war for independence and traveled ext…
 
For many emerging artists, social media platforms have become an indispensable platform for jumpstarting their careers. But years after Instagram sparked its first zeitgeist-shaping visual trends, a different set of creatives has begun finding their rhythm outside the bounds of traditional institutions thanks to a newer app: TikTok. Owned by a Chin…
 
To call the mood of this past spring in the New York art world "apocalyptic" would hardly be an exaggeration. Although it was on March 22 that the rapid spread of COVID-19 pushed governor Andrew Cuomo to order the closure of all non-essential businesses in New York state, the renowned museums and galleries that make New York City the beating heart …
 
It used to be that even the biggest, brawniest Hollywood talent agencies restricted their clientele to... well, Hollywood. That meant actors, filmmakers, screenwriters, and not much else. But Tinseltown's 10-percentaries have been playing by a new set of rules for years now. Nowhere is this truer than at United Talent Agency (UTA), one of the enter…
 
Ask the average informed citizen what the responsibilities of the World Health Organization are, and they're likely to name initiatives like funding medical research and coordinating with politicians and diplomats across the globe to hone optimal public-health policy. So it may surprise you to learn that the WHO also maintains an entire program ded…
 
In a July 2020 article published in the Business of Fashion, Canadian futurist Doug Stephens opined on the likely realities of the commercial ecosystem that will emerge from the Great Shutdown. He predicted an economy in which behemoths like Amazon will reign supreme even in sectors like education and banking; robotics and other high-functioning te…
 
Art history thrives on stories of fearless visionaries leaving behind the lives they’ve known to embark on journeys into uncertain lands for personal enrichment and artistic illumination. But few are as surprising as that of Agnes Pelton, the spiritualist painter who departed New York in 1932—alone, at the age of 50—to begin a new chapter in the Ca…
 
Today, practically everyone on earth knows about Burning Man, the countercultural extravaganza that draws tens of thousands of true believers to a barren landscape in Nevada's Black Rock Desert every August to create a temporary city full of monumental art installations and mind-expanding experiences. But far fewer people know that this zeitgeist-s…
 
Earlier this summer, rumors emerged that a member of the Murdoch media dynasty—most (in)famous for building the far-right Fox News—may be sniffing around a major investment in the MCH Group, the financially beleaguered parent company of mega-fair Art Basel. Initial fears that the interested party was ultra-conservative family patriarch Rupert Murdo…
 
A blue neon sign reading "You Belong Here" has become a new kind of beacon in Long Beach, California recently. The light sculpture by artist Tavares Strachan exists to welcome visitors to Compound, a soon-to-debut multidisciplinary space fusing wellness and contemporary art. But it also serves as a mission statement for what aims to be a new nexus …
 
It's not often that you find an art critic—or anyone, for that matter—who can claim upwards of 400,000 Instagram followers, a Pulitzer Prize, and appearances on an original Bravo reality series as achievements of the past decade. But Jerry Saltz can. A look at his unlikely biography helps explain his ability to connect with a such wide audience thr…
 
Just days into the start of 2020, CityLab published an article analyzing which major American cities are the best, and the worst, for Black women residents. The report took into account a variety of metrics measuring "livability," and the consensus was that Midwestern metropolises including Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Detroit were the among the most…
 
Each May, as the flowers bloom and the evening light lingers, the world's largest auction houses hold their marquee spring sales in New York, enabling perennial market leader Christie's, its arch-rival Sotheby's, and insurgent Phillips to collectively bring in well over $1 billion in one so-called "gigaweek." But this spring, the COVID-19 shutdown …
 
Hank Willis Thomas is a busy man. The 44-year-old photographer, sculptor, filmmaker, and writer was already a force within the rarefied world of visual art before he decided to embrace politics on a large scale. But during the landmark presidential race of 2016, Thomas and fellow artist Eric Gottesman co-founded an "anti-partisan" political action …
 
In cities across the world over the past month, activists have been taking aim at symbols of oppression in the form of monuments: splashing them with paint, tagging them with graffiti, and most importantly, tearing them down. Among the most targeted statues in the US are those of Christopher Columbus. While he is still portrayed in American element…
 
Although 2020 isn't even halfway done yet, the worldwide health crisis and the global uprising over civil rights already guarantee that this year will be one historians study forevermore. As challenging as it will be to sort through such monumental events in hindsight, some institutions and individuals are doing an even more difficult job: preservi…
 
In fall 2019, a new app called ImageNet Roulette was introduced to the world with what seemed like a simple, fun premise: snap a selfie, upload it to a database, and wait a few seconds for machine learning to tell you what type of person you are. Maybe a "teacher," maybe a "pilot," maybe even just a "woman." Or maybe, as the app's creator warned, t…
 
As American citizens entered Memorial Day weekend this year, the nation was already in turmoil. Nearly 100,000 lives had been lost to a colossal public-health crisis, with a disproportionately high number of the victims being African American; tens of millions of people had filed for unemployment since mid-March; and many states central to the US e…
 
Picture this: a doughy, apple-cheeked infant nestled in between the soft petals of a dew-kissed flower, sound asleep, like the start of a real-life fable. Almost everyone who conjures that mental image will do so using a nearly identical aesthetic—and whether you realize it or not, that's almost entirely because of the work of legendary baby photog…
 
In late January, Philip Tinari, the director of Beijing's pioneering UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, was in Davos, Switzerland for the latest outing on the non-stop international carousel of events that has defined the art world for much of the 21st century. It was there, on a ski lift, that he began receiving frantic messages from his team back …
 
How many times have you heard someone in a museum scoff "I could do that" in the presence of a solid-black canvas or an obtuse conceptual installation? You're not alone, and frankly, curator-turned-YouTube-star Sarah Urist Green understands the disconnect between art enthusiasts and art skeptics. But she wants to fix it by guiding all of us, from t…
 
Just when you thought the spring of 2020 couldn't get any weirder, a Microsoft ad starring performance artist Marina Abramović caught the attention of conspiracy peddler Alex Jones and his followers, sparking accusations that the artist was practicing satanism and reigniting the "pizzagate" controversy that ensnared Hillary Clinton and her campaign…
 
In his 2019 essay "The Art of Dying," acclaimed critic Peter Schjeldahl describes Patsy Cline's voice as "attending selflessly to the sounds and the senses of the words... consummate." The same could be said about Schjeldahl's incomparable writing about art, most notably during his 22 years (and counting) as the art critic for the New Yorker. And n…
 
Ai Weiwei is not shy about tackling the big issues. Despite winning international acclaim for his interdisciplinary, boundary-pushing art, the Chinese-born artist is better known in some circles for his activism—though in his estimation, the two are inextricably linked. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak varying degrees of havoc around …
 
Today, Antwaun Sargent is known as the preeminent critical and curatorial voice for one of the most important movements in contemporary photography. Along with its accompanying exhibition, his book, The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, stands as an important statement on a diverse set of young artists finding their own uniqu…
 
Although the coronavirus pandemic is first and foremost a public-health emergency, it rapidly proved to be a deep financial emergency, too. With businesses and cultural institutions around the world forced to shutter en masse in the face of social-distancing regulations, questions loom large about how the global economy and the workforce will endur…
 
Art history thrives on stories of fearless visionaries leaving behind the lives they've known to embark on journeys into uncertain lands for personal enrichment and artistic illumination. But few are as surprising as that of Agnes Pelton, the spiritualist painter who departed New York in 1932—alone, at the age of 50—to begin a new chapter in the Ca…
 
In the past month, the world—and by extension, the art world—has changed so drastically that it is almost unrecognizable. While the novel 2019 coronavirus continues to threaten countries around the globe and industries of all types, major and minor art institutions alike have shuttered until further notice, hundreds of galleries have temporarily cl…
 
For its first-ever live episode, recorded at the 2020 Armory Show, the Art Angle brought on couture wunderkind Sander Lak, the creative director of the white-hot Sies Marjan, to discuss the intersection of art and fashion. The Dutch designer, who named his label after his parents, strutted out onto the sartorial landscape in 2016 with his debut col…
 
Six decades ago, an editor at Newsweek magazine summoned a young journalist named Calvin Tomkins out of the foreign-news department to interview the legendary conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp, who had allegedly left art-making in favor of playing chess and... simply breathing. Although it would be years before Tomkins discovered Duchamp had in fact…
 
For our latest episode, team Art Angle traveled to Art Basel Miami Beach to examine a much thornier and more urgent issue than the glamorous trade show's business: the art world's impact on Mother Earth. From thousands of deep-pocketed collectors flying in to south Florida for the week's festivities, to the hundreds of black cars and Ubers ferrying…
 
This week, what seems like the entire art industry, every luxury company, and every celebrity or status-seeker available will be traveling to south Florida for the 18th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, the final stop on the annual art-market calendar—as well as a champagne-soaked playground for the rich and famous. And while people love to complai…
 
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