Lately there has been a rising trend of artist-run schools and programs popping up throughout the country: Trade School, the School for Creative Activism, the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, and New York Arts Practicum, to name just a few in New York. While this is not an entirely new phenomenon, perhaps the current manifestation is a response to exponentially rising tuition prices as well as stagnant employment opportunities for people (such as myself) who have already spent a great deal on their education thus far. Discontent with the current art school model also seems to be an increasingly common attitude among students and faculty alike.
Today is a very important day in contemporary art history. Yes, today is in fact the 47th anniversary of “Pop Goes the Joker,” a very amusing and at times slightly disturbing two-part episode of the original Batman television series starring Adam West. The episode depicts Gotham’s “art world” and opens with a scene in which The Joker enters a rather proper art gallery and sprays paint all over a series of priceless works, which are later praised as an act of artistic genius.
Despite his young age, Jacob Kassay is an artist with no shortage of press — last week it was just announced that he will be joining 303 Gallery at their new 24th Street location. After gaining people’s attention with a remarkably high auction price a few years ago at the Phillips de Pury & Co auction house — selling a painting estimated at $8,000, for $86,500 — he has been widely written about though predominantly through the lens of the art market and its impact on young artists. But aside from the usual gossip of over-the-top auction prices and his overnight success at the mere age of twenty-five, I found it difficult to find out anything about Kassay’s work aside from auction-related chatter, so I decided to contact the artist himself. Kassay took the time to speak with Hyperallergic over the phone, as well as in in person about his current exhibition, now on view at The Kitchen through Saturday, February 16.
At this very moment many young artists are endlessly scrolling through the job listings on New York Foundation for the Arts hoping to find anything that slightly resembles a paying job. Then it suddenly appears, a job listing by no other than Jeff Koons. I’ve always wondered why someone would ever want to work in Koon’s factory. Unless you have an undying love for painting photorealistic lobsters or would like to become an expert in polishing balloon dogs, what’s the point?