Even if you’re familiar with artist Kara Walker’s signature shadow puppets, you’ve probably never seen them looking as cheerful as they do in electro-pop artist Santigold’s new music video. (In the last video Walker made, a puppet gets tortured and set on fire.) Here, silhouetted paper figures dance around to the bubbly track “Banshee,” off Santigold’s newest album 99¢, against disco-lit walls.
The collaboration was born in the front row of a Gucci show — also the birthplace of the Jared Leto green coat meme — when electro-pop musician Santigold was seated next to Walker, as well as her old friend, the photographer Ari Marcopoulos. “We hung out all night, and at the end of the evening, they said, ‘Let’s do a video together!’” Santigold told T. Walker took a snapshot of Santigold silhouetted in the dark, getting into a taxi, which set the aesthetic tone for the video.
Directed by Marcopoulos, the video features the singer playing with a miniature shadow puppet version of herself, with a ‘60s bouffant, casting bouncy shadows against orange and pink walls. The video was loosely storyboarded, but mostly improvised and low-budget. “I pulled out all the low-tech tools I have in the studio, spotlights, and overhead projectors,” Walker said. She, too, makes a cameo as a puppeteer.
Poppy and lighthearted, it’s a dramatic shift in tone for an artist often deemed “controversial,” one who tends to focus on the harrowing history of racism in the US. Even Walker’s staunchest critics will have a hard time finding controversy in the video — they might even enjoy it.
This year’s show is the first since a tumultuous 2019 edition rocked by protests over former trustee Warren B. Kanders’s connections to tear gas manufacturing.
The close, careful, and subtle observation I found this year is representative of precisely why I continue to gravitate to this fair.
Featuring underwater recordings from around the world, this immersive, site-specific installation is on view at the Lenfest Center for the Arts in NYC from February 3 to 13.
How do we counter stereotypes about Black mothers, while stressing the importance of memory, determination, love, and corporeality?
With two stellar retrospectives, one time-based installation, and several commissions by local artists, the Phillips Collection has dedicated its galleries to highlighting abstract work by Black artists.
BRIC’s multidisciplinary program in Brooklyn has cohorts in Contemporary Art, Film & TV, Performing Arts, and Video Art. Applications are due March 10.
As we begin a new year, a small moment on Queer Eye makes me think about the profound effect our stories can have on each other.
Some have criticized the racist monument’s planned relocation to North Dakota, near land seized from Indigenous people.
A group called the Boriken Libertarian Forces toppled the monument hours before King Felipe VI of Spain’s visit.
Still resonating with relevance, William Gropper’s incisive cartoons in defense of the WPA go on auction at New York’s Swann Galleries together with other works by celebrated WPA artists.
Archeologists excavating in Nijmegen, the Netherland’s oldest city, found the bowl in pristine condition.