Art History

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By Sarah Thornton

This compelling narrative is going backstage with the world’s most crucial dwelling artists to humanize and demystify modern art.

The best-selling writer of Seven Days within the artwork World now tells the tale of the artists themselves―how they go through the realm, command credibility, and create iconic works.

33 Artists in three Acts bargains exceptional entry to a blinding diversity of artists, from foreign superstars to unheralded paintings academics. Sarah Thornton's superbly paced, fly-on-the-wall narratives contain visits with Ai Weiwei ahead of and after his imprisonment and Jeff Koons as he woos new shoppers in London, Frankfurt, and Abu Dhabi. Thornton meets Yayoi Kusama in her studio round the nook from the Tokyo asylum that she calls domestic. She snoops in Cindy Sherman’s closet, hears approximately Andrea Fraser’s psychotherapist, and spends caliber time with Laurie Simmons, Carroll Dunham, and their daughters Lena and Grace.

Through those intimate scenes, 33 Artists in three Acts explores what it skill to be a true artist within the actual global. Divided into 3 cinematic "acts"―politics, kinship, and craft―it investigates artists' psyches, personas, politics, and social networks. Witnessing their crises and triumphs, Thornton turns a wry, analytical eye on their diversified solutions to the query "What is an artist?"

33 Artists in 3 Acts finds the behavior and attributes of profitable artists, supplying perception into the way in which those pushed and creative humans play their online game. In a time whilst progressively more artists oversee the construction in their paintings, instead of make it themselves, Thornton exhibits how an artist’s radical imaginative and prescient and private self assurance can create audiences for his or her paintings, and examines the increased function that artists occupy as crucial figures in our culture.

forty four illustrations, three maps

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Additional resources for 33 Artists in 3 Acts

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Any time the platform for your work increases, that’s great,” he says. Koons divides his working life into “creation” and “platform,” or what others might call the production and promotion of their work. “I want to spend time with my ideas so I can make the gesture that I want to make,” he says. ” Back in the mid-eighties, when he was promoting his “Equilibrium” series, best known for its sculptures of basketballs floating in saltwater tanks, Koons said that artists improve their social position through art in the same way that athletes get rich through sports.

La Cicciolina, a porn actress to whom he was briefly married. Koons made the work for a show called “Image World: Art and Media Culture” at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art in 1989. Originally installed as a billboard on Madison Avenue, the work is an ad for a fictional movie called Made in Heaven starring Jeff Koons and La Cicciolina. It was the first in a series of the same name, which includes sculptures such as Dirty—Jeff on Top (1991) and paintings like Ilona’s Asshole (1991). While artists’ mistresses have long appeared as reclining nudes, Koons’s representation of himself on top of his wife was novel.

In the interest of exploring some of the variation within the expanding field, I consider artists who position themselves at diverse points along the following spectrums: entertainer versus academic, materialist versus idealist, narcissist versus altruist, loner versus collaborator. Although most of the artists have attained high degrees of recognition somewhere in the world, each act contains a scene with an artist who teaches and, like the majority of artists, doesn’t make a living through sales of their work.

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