Earlier today, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York posted the second season of The Artist Project on its website. As with its first season, the online video series features 20 contemporary artists discussing works in the Met’s encyclopedic collection. (Three more seasons are already planned.) This season features such internationally acclaimed artists as Y.Z. Kami, Teresita Fernández, and Spencer Finch.
Each three-minute episode has an artist discussing one or a few works that the Met owns. Like Orange Is the New Black, The Artist Project is easy to binge-watch, but unlike that Netflix show, you can actually watch all of The Artist Project‘s second season in one sitting. Combined, the 20 episodes add up to a little over an hour of viewing.
Here are a few gems:
– Hank Willis Thomas on a circular daguerreotype button depicting what may be a black hand on top of a white hand: “I think the cropping is definitely a very intentional decision because the subject becomes anonymous—they become symbolic… The fact that we don’t know if it’s a black person’s hand or a white person’s hand, or what happened to those hands later, is great because it means there are hands. There is that magic of visibility and invisibility and meaning.”
– David Salle on Marsden Hartley’s earth-toned paintings: “I think that Hartley, in a way, is an enigma because it’s hard to put your finger on why his paintings have such an emotional force behind them… These are paintings that only could have been painted by someone hardened to the working-class New England life.”
– Mariko Mori on Sandro Botticelli’s The Annunciation: “To see angel and human honoring each other, respecting each other, I feel this sensation of being humble, but also of being blessed, being an honorable being.”
– Robert Longo on Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm (Number 30): “As Americans, we grew up with this idea of, ‘It’s big, it’s good.’ I looked at Pollocks as examples of why I wanted to work big. I wanted to compete with the world around me.”
– Sarah Sze on the Tomb of Perneb, which dates back to 24th-century-B.C. Egypt: “There’s [a] list on the wall, in hieroglyphics, of all the offerings, so it’s almost like an Excel sheet of what to bring… This idea of offering is also very essential to any work of art. All of the works are sort of the offerings of artists to try to contribute to a conversation beyond their own lives.”