Posted inArt

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Artist as Clown

The fool, or jester, or clown is a well-established archetype in Western culture. We are taught that jesters provided entertainment for monarchs, prattling around in brightly colored costumes, poking fun at the court milieu while criticizing their masters and mistresses through their satire. The art world is pretty much like a royal court, right? It’s a self-serious, self-reinforcing community built around a central hierarchy. So who is our most perceptive clown?

Posted inArt

A Better Boston: Artists’ Perspectives

Boston artists understand that the city’s contemporary art community lacks punch. After all, they’re the ones in the middle of it, surrounded on all sides by curators, galleries and critics. As artists have responded to the problems set out in my series on the Boston contemporary art scene, their comments point towards a working answer for one question: how could the Boston art community be made better for the city’s artists?

Posted inArt

Rebooting Boston’s Art Inferiority Complex

Is it possible for an entire city to have an inferiority complex over its own art and artists? At times it certainly seems like Boston does. Between ignoring traveling retrospectives of local artists, devoting gallery space to art world circuit card-holders, and hemorrhaging curators, this city’s scene sometimes looks a lot like a branch office of New York: understaffed and passing on its best to the mothership.

In my previous article on Hyperallergic, I discussed Greg Cook’s view that Boston’s contemporary art scene lacks ambition and a drive to push itself further. I believe that what we need to overcome in this city is not just this inferiority complex but a specific Boston identity.