15 May 2009

Art City vs. Art:21

The last few nights I've watched 3 installations in a series called Art City via Netflix.
The series interviews mainly artists in their studios. A handful of critics, arts writers and dealers are in the mix as well. The list of artists interviewed is quite impressive: Brice Marden, Chuck Close, Neil Jenney, Louise Bourgeois, Agnes Martin, Richard Tuttle, John Baldessari-- just to name a few. I thought the interviews were fascinating but they give just a snapshot of each artist- spending 5 minutes at a time and then jumping back and forth from one to the other-- most frustrating!! It's the ADD approach to interviewing. The artists have really interesting things to say about their art-making processes, sacrifices they've made, money, the art world, exhibiting....etc. But once you start getting hooked- they're on to the next person.

It seems like this show was a precursor to one of my all time favorite programs about art, Art:21-- so incredibly inspiring and interesting- I love watching these! Art:21 introduced me to some really well known artists and then invited me inside the world they create with their art. You learn so much about a person from seeing them in their studio, watching them make their art, listening to how they talk about their work, what their thoughts are about how it fits into the world.

Art:21 rocks, Art City- not so much.