Artist Portraits

On Art and Artists: Artist Portraits

This section of the On Art and Artists collection highlights a number of experimental portraits of artists, and documentaries about the artistic process, from intimate one-on-one close-ups and dialogues, to full studio production studies. These works do not follow a traditional interview format, but are often intended as artworks in their own right. The artists and makers of these Artist Portraits draw artistic inspiration and stylistic license from the collaborators and interlocutors they depict.

 

2012
Tom Palazzolo, Vivian Maier Photographer

This 12-minute video by Tom Palazzolo and Chicago writer Jack Helbig tells the story of the recently discovered Chicago street photographer Vivian Maier. Though she was unknown in her lifetime, her extensive body of work is rewriting the history of post-World War II American street photography. The video, told from the point of view of Maier herself, recounts her life and work, from her childhood in France to her move to NYC in 1951 and subsequent relocation to Chicago, where the majority of her work was done.

1987
Ana Mendieta: Fuego De Tierra

Performance artist/sculptor Ana Mendieta used the raw materials of nature: water, mud, fire, rock, and grass. The consciousness of her politics and the poetics of her expression fill her work with an emotionally charged vision that is powerfully conveyed in this posthumous video profile. Drawing upon the raw spiritual power of Afro-Cuban religion, Mendieta used her art as a ritualistic and symbolic activity to celebrate the forces of life and the continuum of change.

1980
Artists TV Network, Annette Michelson

Annette Michelson is a founding editor of the journal October and former professor of cinema studies at New York University. Before starting October, Michelson was the film critic for Artforum. Michelson’s influential work has focused on modernity, Russian and French avant-garde film, and American underground cinema.

1993
The Misfits: 30 Years of Fluxus

Lars Movin presents a video portrait of artists who have radically disrupted our conception of art since the 1960s. A large part of the video was made in Venice in 1990, when many of the original Fluxus artists met to hold a large exhibition in connection with the Biennale. The tape includes interviews with most of the leading Fluxus artists, documentation of their works, and clips from videos and films made during the 30 years of this ungovernable art form.

1994

A video collage that chronicles the issues and events that arose in Linda M. Montano’s life while she devoted a year to each of the seven chakras. Beginning as a piece devoted to themes of commitment and limitation, the work becomes a fascinating hybrid of art and life, as Montano experiences the onset of menopause, her mother’s death, her choice to enter and then leave a convent, the suffering of a stroke, and thoughts of her own death—all within the structural confines of an intense work of art.

2004
Linda M. Montano: 14 Years of Living Art

Linda M. Montano: 14 Years of Living Art is a video catalog of the artist’s exhibition, performance and workshop in Montreal in 2003. Produced in the context of a retrospective exhibition at the Liane and Danny Taran Gallery, the video presents a close view of Montano’s signture art/life counseling performance, interviews with participants, and views of the artworks in situ. It also documents Montano’s performance pedagogy during her all-night sleepover workshop which was collaboratively hosted by La Centrale and Rad’a.

1988

In 1988 the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan asked artists and architects to produce installations that centered on “the rapid development of the modern city and its enormous impact on how people live and work” for the New Urban Landscapes exhibition. MICA-TV produced profiles of the artists whose work was featured in the show, including Vito Acconci, Dennis Adams and Andrea Blum, Joel Otterson, Kawamata, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Jon Kessler, Jean Nouvel, Stephen Willats, Martha Schwartz, and Haim Steinbach.

2017
Anne McGuire "Oh Hi Anne"

Made using voicemails the Kuchar brothers left on her home answering machine, the artist reveals George and Mike in all their candid honesty leading up to and following George’s untimely death in 2011. McGuire floats their voices along a river of digital scribbles and her own voice in singer/songwriter mode. The beauty of the piece lies partly in how the voicemails, used as-is and chronologically, contain an entire narrative about love and loss in a DIY style reminiscent of the Kuchars.

1980
Artists TV Network, Dennis Oppenheim

Dennis Oppenheim was a prominent figure in various art developments throughout the ’70s. Oppenheim moved through body/performance art and related video work to earthworks to his current large-scale “factories.” In all of his work, the transference of energy is an underlying concern.

1982
Artists TV Network, Performance Work (The Live! Show)

In this episode of The Live! Show, hosted by Jaime Davidovich, Eric Bogosian brings seven characters to life in seven minutes, Michael Smith plays the best driver in the world, Mitchell Kriegman offers a helping hand during the show’s popular call-in segment, and Louis Grenier demonstrates the organic face lift viewers can do at home.

1981

This tape examines the meaning, impact, and future of the early-1980s avant-garde through interviews with artists (Scott B., Robert Longo, Walter Robinson, Michael Smith), an art dealer (Helene Winer, Metro Pictures), a museum director (Marcia Tucker, The New Museum of Contemporary Art), and an art historian (Roselee Goldberg). “Whenever you feel confident that you know what’s happening at the outside edge, something’s always happening that you don’t know about. The avant-garde, if it exists at all... is determined by the artist, not the peripheral people like myself,” Tucker says.

1982
Richard Prince: Crossover Series

Richard Prince appropriates images from commercial advertising and travelogues for his photographs. Choosing these images for their melodramatic, super-real power, he then isolates their stylistic realism to accentuate its rhetoric. In this portrait/performance, Prince narrates experiences that demonstrate his extreme sensitivity to appearances and context. He relates the event of buying his first car as the imprinting of a certain aesthetic impression.

This title is also available on Crossover Series.

2003
Public Discourse

Public Discourse is an in-depth study of illegal installation art. The primary focus is on the painting of street signs, advertising manipulation, metal welding, postering and guerrilla art, all performed illegally. Public Discourse is about passionate artists who want their work to be seen by a wide range of people rather than be confined to the systemic structures of galleries and museums.