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Re:Public is a column written by Hrag Vartanian. It casts a critical eye on New York street art. The column debuted on ArtCat Zine in August 2008 and beginning today, will be published on Hyperallergic. A complete list of previous posts are listed here.
It’s endemic among street art publications, picture books with no little or no text and often no photo credits or explanatory text. The democratization of publishing, accompanied by the popularity of street art, has created a mass delusion that just because anyone could that everyone should publish a street art book. It’s far from the case.
MOMO is one of my favorite New York street artists though I tend to dislike his work outside (or is it inside) of that context. Nowadays, his large abstract paper pieces are plastered on construction sites and sidewalk overhangs throughout downtown Manhattan and northern Brooklyn. They are brash, bright, often lovely and randomly configured by the computer program he calls The MOMO Maker. The placement of his work is incredible, his prints can be hit or miss, but either way they provide a much needed shot of color to an often gray landscape.
In 3am-6am, which is a small book of 160 pages, padded covers and no text, we are given a photographic tour of MOMO’s output in New York, New Orleans and elsewhere. I can only imagine it is a mood book, or something along those lines, since it has no rhyme or reason and doesn’t really offer any insight into MOMO’s art. Why do artists or publishers create these? I assume ‘cuz they can and they sell. Why should you buy it? I have no idea and I feel like a schmuck for having forked out that much money for my copy. Though I will admit that my disappointment is partly based on the missed opportunity here. I think MOMO’s work deserves more than this overpriced flip book.
3am-6am is a limited edition publication of 500 copies (30 Euros) and it is available for sale at Rojo Magazine‘s online bookstore.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…