Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
Kehinde Wiley and the Presidential Portrait
Barack Obama recently selected Kehinde Wiley to paint his official portrait. Consider how Wiley’s works compare with those of other presidential portrait artists. In what ways can we consider Wiley’s work to be in a continuum with other presidential portrait artists? How can we anticipate his work will diverge from the traditions of presidential portraiture?
Cats and the artists they keep
Every "Caturday," the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art facebook page highlights a cat in an archival object in their collections. The array of their examples is vast, showcasing how artists have found inspiration and solace in their feline companions over the course of the history of contemporary art. What do such examples of interactions between cats and their artists demonstrate about the relationships of these two peculiar types of animals? How do artists celebrate or immortalize their cats?
How do we deal with famous artists' history of misogyny?
Renoir claimed that he "painted with his pr*ck" and chastised his female models for appearing like they were "thinking too much." Picasso was a known womanizer, with multiple mistresses one after the other while actively avoiding divorcing his wife in order to prevent her from gaining half of his net worth. Rodin refused to marry his life-long mistress, hooked up with Camille Claudel who eventually went mad and was confined, destitute, to a sanitorium after her affair with him ended. Yet blockbuster exhibitions of these artists, such as the worldwide #Rodin100 exhibitions at over a dozen museums this year, continue to laud the genius of these "great men", without even a nod to their misogynistic personal histories. If men should be standing up and talking about how they will change in the wake of #MeToo, are there ways we should change in how we talk about the historical men who perpetrated abuse upon the women in their lives?