Archive for January, 2017

Student Artwork Update: Štěpán Davidovič

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

We are pleased to present photographs by SVACE student Štěpán Davidovič! Štěpán created his artwork in conjunction with the course, “Photographic Identity: Artistic Self-Expression
and Professional Application” with Thorsten Roth.

Photo by Štěpán Davidovič

Photo by Štěpán Davidovič

Born in Prague, Štěpán lived in Dublin and now lives in New York. He works as a computer scientist by day, with no formal education in art beyond his classes here at SVA.

Photo by Štěpán Davidovič

Photo by Štěpán Davidovič

See Štěpán Davidovič’s work in our exhibition space at 380 2nd Avenue, 8th floor, until January 31st, and find more at his website!

Inauguration Art

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

“Of course artists are going to be very involved in planning and executing creative acts against what is going to be a very oppressive regime. We can lead the way. It’s sort of our job,” says artist Becky Howland to Hyperallergic. “There are times when it’s necessary to say ‘absolutely not,’ and this is one of them.”

So what are some ways forward for politically-minded artists, designers, filmmakers, and more? The answers seem to exist between individual motivation and collective action. Here are some examples.

The Nasty Women exhibition at Knockdown Center raised 50,000 dollars for Planned Parenthood, Callen-Lorde, and other community health initiatives, as reported in Artforum.

We the People,” a Kickstarter project, has raised more than 1.3 million dollars for printed materials, on its way to crowdfunding “The Amplifiers,” a documentary about art and activism.

Image via Kickstarter

Image via Kickstarter

For insiders, the Halt Action Group, led by well-placed artists, curators, and galleries, has organized the Dear Ivanka events and social media audience.

Image via New York Times

Image via New York Times

Museums and institutions will close for the #J20 Art Strike, initiated by e-flux, or they will offer free admission or special programming for Inauguration Day: “This call concerns more than the art field. It is made in solidarity with the nation-wide demand that on January 20 and beyond, business should not proceed as usual in any realm.”

Image via e-flux

Image via e-flux

And We Make America has hosted space and resources for artists to construct signs and props, as have numerous galleries, publicized through social media and word-of-mouth.

Image via Hyperallergic

Image via Hyperallergic

However you choose to jump in and respond to this unprecedented era, we offer several courses to help you craft your message. These include The Art of Consequence, Pow! The Art of Politics, and more. Though sometimes, all it takes is a sharpie and a passion.

John Berger, RIP

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

John Berger, the influential art critic, novelist, and screenwriter passed away yesterday at age 90.

Image via The Guardian

In the late 1940s while teaching drawing, Berger also became an art critic, publishing many essays and reviews in the New Statesman.

Decades later, he hosted “Ways of Seeing” on the BBC, the counterpart to his book of the same title, “an art-school standard on both sides of the Atlantic.

A polarizing public intellectual and lifelong Marxist, “Mr. Berger burrowed into the sexism underpinning the tradition of the nude; the place of high art in an image-saturated modern world; the relationship between art and advertising; and, of particular importance to him as a voice of the British New Left, the way traditional oil painting celebrated wealth and materialism,” according to the New York Times.

His novel, G, won the Booker prize in 1972. Berger split the winnings with the British Black Panthers, as he was “disdainful of Booker McConnell’s historical association with indentured labour in the Caribbean.”

In a recent interview, Berger reflected, “When I look back on my life I think it’s very significant I never went to a university. I refused to go. Lots of people were pushing me and I said, ‘No. I don’t want to’, because those years at university form a whole way of thinking.”

Video: Watch John Berger in “Ways of Seeing”