Matthew Barney

The Uncanny Personal Universe of 10 Artists

On the East Coast, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is hosting David Lynch’s first major museum exhibition in the United States. David Lynch: The Unified Field explores the director’s personal iconography from his beginnings as a painter in the ‘60s to the present. … Read More

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The 10 Most Memorable Artist Collaborations

For her contribution to the Manchester International Festival, Tracey Emin has announced plans for a collaboration with Louise Bourgeois, who she describes as her “hero” in a recent Guardian op-ed. To get past the hurdle of Bourgeois no longer being alive, Emin will employ a close reading of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s 2004 tome Do It, in which 165 venerated artists provided instructions on how to reproduce their work. Even though the results will fit the definition of collaboration narrowly — a far cry from the genuine two-woman jobs that Hauser & Wirth exhibited in 2011 —  the idea of seeing both minds at work is intriguing, and, given the tone of Emin’s op-ed, pretty damn poignant. … Read More

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50 Great Works of Video Art That You Can Watch Online

For anyone who is enamored with film or remains a devotee of performance, video art can be like a happy marriage between the two. The great works of video art that are available to watch online are like a never-ending museum that is always growing and never closes. This collection should serve as a compact introduction to video art for anyone who’s uninitiated or a handy compilation for anyone who loves the medium but has some trouble finding the good stuff online.… Read More

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‘The Cat Show': Feline-Inspired Works by Your Favorite Artists

The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.

Great news: all of your favorite artists have eagerly contributed to a gallery show about cats. It’s true! “Art isn’t only for a meditative, aesthetic experience,” artist and curator Rhonda Lieberman says in a a press release. “It can also be a conduit for the redemption of pussycats and people.” The show opens June 14 at New York’s White Columns Gallery and is presented in partnership with Social Tees Animal Rescue, a non-profit organization that takes over 3,000 at-risk animals from kill shelters every year, gives them veterinary care, and finds them loving homes. … Read More

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For Your Calendar: Reactions To Matthew Barney’s Work

“What does it all mean?” a fellow visitor to the Morgan asked her companion during my weekend visit to the Madison Avenue library and museum. She was playing right into my hands, as I was looking to test this theory I have: if you stand around something created by Matthew Barney long enough, somebody will inevitably ask some sort of variation on that same question. Sure, art should provoke that sort of response from people, but there’s just something about Barney that makes it all the more visceral. … Read More

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The Strangest Art Happenings in New York History [NSFW]

New York has been the center of the art world since Paris stopped being the headquarters of cool in the early 1900s. With all this innovation comes a healthy (OK, sometimes not-so-healthy) dose of the weird — some good, some bad, and more than one involving sexual organs with their own creative juices. Only in New York would hundreds or thousands come out to witness such normal life events as making lunch or giving birth — in the name of art. Below, we round up ten of the strangest art happenings in the city’s (exceedingly strange) history. … Read More

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Mean Netflix Reviews of Experimental Films

It may sometimes frustrate us, but in general, Netflix is a wonderful thing. While it was once difficult to see small, avant-garde, or foreign films if you didn’t have access to an art house theater or a local video rental place with a wide selection, it’s greatly democratized distribution for movies that fall far outside the mainstream. But with greater viewership comes a wider range of opinions — including those of people who probably didn’t realize what they were in for when they clicked a button to stream Andy Warhol’s Flesh. After the jump, we’ve rounded up some of the funniest negative reviews of experimental films we could find, from the disappointed to the pithy to the just-plain-didn’t-get-it. … Read More

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A Peek Inside the ‘Travel Guide to Aid Japan’

This summer I went to the Tohoku region on a grant from the Japan Foundation; a few American journalists also came along in order to report on the destruction that remains in the northern areas after the earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11th.

The first thing you notice is the smell of rotten tatami mats. Upended, lying supine, in stacks on the fetid ground, these mats are in various places along our walk, along with shards of wood that break up the landscape — creating tawny waves of rubble. It reminds me of Katrina. In “Goodbye to All That John Jeremiah Sullivan writes this about New Orleans: “It looked contrary to the laws of physics, to the point where you saw it in miniature, a toy box overturned by an angry child.” Northern Japan looks the same, with ships cast ashore and left there, and houses that exist in name only. … Read More

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Lady Gaga’s Most Blatant Contemporary Art Rip-Offs

With the arrival the “Yoü and I” video last week, we have hit a historic moment in Lady Gaga’s bewildering career. The tense gap between the video’s visuals and its music has hit all time chasmic proportions — an avant-garde bondage mermaid surgery drag medley psychotically edited to a Taylor Swift-like rocky country tune. This chasm is, perhaps, only second to the one between Gaga’s “Born This Way” dance anthem and the clusterfuck of video art rip-offs that supported it.

Wait. Let’s not be too harsh here. There is a certain ruthless curatorial skill involved in the diva’s pillaging of existing cultural artifacts, stripping them of their original meaning, slicing and stuffing them into her glossy oeuvre. The result? A worshiped pop icon with documented interest in contemporary art playing Dr. Frankenstein on herself in front of the world. It’s kind of hard to look away, no matter how harshly some of us want to rant. The more we look, the more of these “artist rip-offs” we notice. Here are a few of her best hits, but we’re sure there are more. Care to join in on the fun? … Read More

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Video of the Day: Matthew Barney’s ‘Cremaster’ as a Video Game

How you react to this pair of videos inspired by Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle is going to depend a great deal on whether you actually liked those experimental films in the first place. If you did, you’ll probably find the Little Big Planet-level versions gimmicky and twee. If, like us, you find Barney nearly insufferable, you may discover they are a great improvement: less Oedipus, more power-ups, fewer hours wasted. NB: These do get a little NSFW, in the way of art films that have been transformed into video games. … Read More

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