This week I had the pleasure of talking to British conceptual artist Patrick Brill, better known as his alter ego Bob and Roberta Smith. We talked about visiting the Occupy Wall Street protests, starting a new political party and the history behind his alter ego. The conversation was charged with one powerful message—art can, and must, be valued and nurtured for its social and political potential. Through art, we can all be in charge.
Ana Alvarez is a junior at Brown University studying art history. Along with writing for Hyperallergic, she is also the Arts Editor for The College Hill Independent, a Brown/RISD alternative weekly. Her interests lie in street art, gender/sexuality issues and 1970s feminist performance art.
A Collector’s Passion for All Things British
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND — Ever since Pollock splattered his ego onto a canvas in the 1950s, a decided geographical shift across the Atlantic occurred — Europe lost its ruling power as center of the art world and New York stepped into it shoes as the new authoritative hub of contemporary art. Yet, the new exhibition at The Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design, Made in the UK: Contemporary Art from the Richard Brown Baker Collection reminds that there was some pretty fantastic art being made just on the other side of the Atlantic. The exhibition displays work by British artist from the past 60 years, including exemplary works of Britain’s contributions to decidedly international art movements like Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art and Op Art.
Cai Guo-Qiang Is Running on Empty
PROVIDENCE, RI — Cai Guo-Qiang’s Move Along, Nothing to See Here opened last Friday at the Cohen Gallery at Brown University in Rhode Island. The inaugural event for Brown’s “Year of China,” the exhibit includes work common to Cai’s oeuvre. The main sculptural work of the show, “Moving Along Nothing to See Here” (2006), has a title comprised of a phrase hear commonly used by policemen at a crime scene. It consists of two life-sized crocodiles, supported by wooden stills, their jaws wide open and writhing in pain.
When Looking Back on 9/11, Paul Myoda Reminds Us to Look Up
Before the fateful morning of September 11, 2001, sculptor Paul Myoda was working on a public art installation in the World Trade Center. Yet, even after the devastating effects of that day, Myoda managed to find amongst the rumble of the Twin Towers, a reason to look up. Along with artist Julian LaVerdiere, Myoda created “Tribute in Light,” an art installation of beaming lights shining in the location of the lost buildings. The work has become one of the most recognized artistic responses to the tragedies of that day. He joins Hyperallergic for a conversation on commemorating 9/11 through public art.