Readers will probably figure out that Anne Beck’s artist book State is inspired by the apocalyptic before they read the editorial note that comes at the end of the small volume. The first hints come through in the opening pages: a stark “STATE” in heavy hand lettering that does a horizontal flip on the next page, a reversal that opens up the instability and vagaries implicit in the rest of the book, a collection of painted collages and drawings that together tell the story of a society impaired by its dependence on technology and yet still invested in a clean state of nature. Beck mixes the organic and inorganic into a surreal whole.
Kriston Capps reports that the iPad protesters previously banned from the Smithsonian are returning to the site of their crimes. This time, artists Michael Blasenstein and Michael Iacovone will stage a fully legal protest by parking a trailer outside the National Portrait Gallery and screening Wojnarowicz’s censored video inside.
Now that the dust has somewhat settled on the Wojnarowicz and Blu censorship cases, a number of people have been chiming in about what this tells us about the state of art and our culture, specifically American culture. The numerous opinions from where I stand look dire. Here are some fascinating posts we haven’t mentioned before.
Until an artist version of Cribs is invented, the best way we can get inside an artist’s life and work is to get inside their studios. Photographs of artists in their studios are kind of like snapshots of an artistic career, a whole body of work compressed into a single room. A working and living space tells a lot about the person that inhabits it, and the spare objects and trashed drafts tossed around the room communicate eloquently about artists’ inner lives. I’ve collected some cool studio shots that all communicate something inexpressible about the artists they shelter.