In a new video interview about the New Talent issue, Antwaun Sargent reflects that even “as things have grown more diverse, as our idea of the artist has expanded, our notions of who gets to write about art have not.” Sargent took the opportunity as guest editor to cultivate rigorous yet accessible writing about art. As he details in his editor’s letter, many types of art criticism already exist “in comments sections of social media posts, DMs, group chats”—not only among established white critics.
A.i.A.’s New Talent issue offers projects by artists, essays by an international group of Black writers and critics—among them, Jasmine Sanders, Nkgopoleng Moloi, Alexandra Bell, Jessica Lynne, Jordan Carter, Emmanuel Iduma, and Connor Garel—and letters from five young curators who consider the future of the museum. Sargent notes that curators’ voices are often “not showing up in this very public debate” about who defines art and culture in major institutions. Also commissioned were conversations between pairs of artists: painter Amy Sherald and photographer Tyler Mitchell discuss new American imagery, while playwright Jeremy O. Harris and painter Jonathan Lyndon Chase discuss queer Black art and their shared love of anime.
As Sargent writes in his letter, “the robust and diverse range of approaches in this issue” is a critical part of the future of art that we must start considering and cultivating now. He also spoke about the issue on our ongoing podcast series Artelligence. During the months of May and June, A.i.A. will feature content from the New Talent issue online.