Interview

1975
Judy Chicago: An Interview

Judy Chicago (b.1939) creates large-scale, collaborative artwork has brought greater prominence to feminist themes and craft arts such as needlework and ceramics. Her most famous work, The Dinner Party (1979), was an enormous collaboration with hundreds of volunteers including ceramicists, china painters and needleworkers. The monumental finished piece has place settings for 39 mythical and historical famous women, writing them back into the heroic history usually reserved for men. Earlier in her career, Chicago was part of the Finish Fetish movement within Minimalism.

1991
Mel Chin: An Interview

Mel Chin (b. 1951) received national attention when he had to defend the artistic merits of his work Revival Field to the NEA in 1990. The work is a public sculpture aimed at cleansing toxically polluted areas of land through the introduction of hyperaccumulators, plants that absorb heavy metals through their vascular systems. In this interview with Craig Adcock, Chin discusses the research and development that went into Revival Field, which combines such disciplines as alchemy, botany, and ecology, and the subsequent controversy that resulted from the piece.

1980
Chuck Close: An Interview

Chuck Close (b.1940) has been a leading figure in contemporary art since the early 1970s. As a young artist in the mid-’60s, Close turned away from the model of Abstract Expressionism to develop a simple but labor-intensive working method based upon repetition and small color elements. Denying himself expressive gesture, Close builds shapes and tonal variations within a working grid that provides the structure for large-scale, close-up portraits. Close’s formal analysis and methodological reconfiguration of the human face have radically changed the definition of modern portraiture.

1988
John Clark: An Interview

John Arthur Clark (1943-1989) was born in Yorkshire, England. He attended Hull College of Art, receiving a National Diploma in Art and Design (N.D.D.) in painting. From 1966 to 1968 he attended Indiana University, receving an M.F.A. in painting. From 1968 to 1978 he was a lecturer in Fine Art and Art History at Hull College of Art and Newcastle Polytechnic. He emigrated to Canada in 1978 and became coordinator of painting and drawing at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

1994
Chema Cobo: An Interview

Spanish painter Chema Cobo discusses his early years of studying and creating art in Southern Spain. His career began in the mid-1970s, exhibiting at the Buades and Vandrés galleries, along with a generation of now-established artists. His work began showing outside of Spain in the ’80s. Cobo also talks about the ways that his Spanish background and identity have informed his work.

A historical interview originally recorded in 1994.

1977
Lyn Blumenthal & Kate Horsfield, A.D. Coleman: An Interview

A. D. Coleman started writing regularly on photography in 1967 for the Village Voice, at a time when very few critics took the medium seriously. His work, according to Joel Eisinger, qualified him as perhaps "the first postmodernist critic" in the field. After his tenure at the Voice, Coleman became the first photography critic at The New York Times, and has since published in numerous publications internationally on mass media, communication technologies, art, and photography.

1991
Robert Colescott: What Follows ....

Robert Colescott paints expressive parodies of Western masterpieces. His work—which has transformed Leutze’s George Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) into George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware (1975), Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters (1885) into Eat Dem Taters, (1975), and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) as Les Demoiselles d’Alabama (1985)—deals with stereotypes and the role of blacks in American culture.

Interview by Jim Johnson.

2005
Rima Yamazaki, Color on Colors

Satoshi Uchiumi, Japanese abstract painter, believes that the beauty of painting lies within paint itself. He has pursued beauty by painting thousands of colored dots. He has also become known for his ability to highlight the relationship between the artwork, the exhibition space, and the viewer.

2009
Cecelia Condit: An Interview

In this interview American filmmaker, poet, and lyricist, Cecelia Condit gives shape to the contours of her work process. The artist describes the influence of her relationship with her mother, her long-term investment in the macabre, and her ongoing desire to confront death through art. While covering a broad range of topics, Condit’s discussion of her work and interests returns to several defining themes: aging, grotesqueness, and the notion of movement, both in terms of her own past as a dancer and the notion of the body in decay. With a particular emphasis on the production and context of her videos, Annie Lloyd (2008), and All About a Girl (2004), this interview offers insight into the artist’s fascination with aging, sweetness, and storytelling, while also articulating her joyful sense of discovery within the art-making process. No longer working with scripts, Condit presents herself in the interview as a scavenger–much like the crows she incorporates into her work–assembling videos which straddle the line between strange and silly. – Faye Gleisser

1982
Crossover Series

In ten-minute segments devoted to three photographers (Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Laurie Simmons), MICA uses video to mirror the photographic techniques of each artist. For example, Sherman tells a faux interviewer about her work, while morphing into the different "B-movie" characters represented in her photos.

1978
Lyn Blumenthal & Kate Horsfield, Jim Dine: An Interview

Jim Dine (b. 1935) first emerged as an avant-garde artist creating Happenings and performances with Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, and others in the early 1960s. Ultimately, he rejected the performances that led to his early success in favor of an introspective search for identity. Using banal objects as subjects for his paintings and prints, Dine displayed a growing sense of self-awareness.

2001
DJ Spooky: An Interview

Paul D. Miller (b. 1970) is a conceptual artist, writer, and musician better known as DJ Spooky. A popular and prolific recording artist, he has collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Butch Morris, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth), Kool Keith, and Killa Priest (of Wu Tang Clan). Miller’s work uses a wide variety of digitally created music as a form of postmodern sculpture.

1999
Willie Doherty: An Interview

Northern Irish artist Willie Doherty (b. 1959) works in photography and video installation. Since the late 1980s, his work has responded to the urban setting and rural outskirts of his hometown of Derry, Northern Ireland. Doherty’s artworks tend to begin as responses to specific terrains (most often mysterious isolated settings; places, we suspect, with a troubled past) and evolve as complex reflections on how we look at such locations — or on what stories might be told about their hidden histories.

2000
Nathaniel Dorsky: An Interview

Nathaniel Dorsky’s films are precise articulations of cinematic qualities: the surprise of an edit, the composition of framing, and the flash of the image. Dubbed the “filmmaker’s filmmaker”, Dorsky’s work captures the fleeting moments of everyday life in its poetic chaos in such films as Pneuma (1976-82), Triste (1974-96), Alaya (1976-87), and Variations (1992-98). Using a spring-wound Bolex and 16mm reversal stock film, Dorsky’s films operate in the realm of the purely visual.

1991
Jonas Dos Santos

Jonas Dos Santos is a performance and installation artist from Brazil who came to the U.S. in 1968. His early work consisted of sculptural pieces in atypical spaces—caves and parks. His work remains informed by Brazilian iconography and rituals such as Carnival while also integrating responses to American culture’s tendency toward waste. His work, in particular his performance art, comes out of improvisation and intuition. This video incorporates still images of Dos Santos’s sculptures and footage of his performances.

Interview by Toni Rosato.