ART21: ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: Everyday Icons
Premieres Friday, April 7, 2023 at 10 p.m. on KPBS 2 and the PBS App + Encore Tuesday, April 11 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV
Four contemporary artists breathe new life into some of humanity’s oldest artforms, icons and monuments, creating paintings, sculptures, and films out of everyday objects and popular culture. This episode includes Michelle Obama portrait painter Amy Sherald, Rose B. Simpson, Alex Da Corte and Daniel Lind-Ramos.
Artist Amy Sherald invites two models into her studio in Jersey City, NJ, to help her visualize her painting, "For love, and for country." Sherald has the models imitating the pose in Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous black-and-white photo "V-J Day in Times Square." The artist explains that taking photographs of models serves as her sketchbook, where she figures out what she wants in her painting.
Artist Rose B. Simpson is working on sculptures in her studio in Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. She explains that by using clay that's really thin, she has to be present with the process and finish it the day she starts it. She likes using clay in different colors together in the same piece, not only for the aesthetics but also to pay homage to the fact that we are all made up of many different things.
In his studio in Loíza, Puerto Rico, artist Daniel Lind-Ramos uses found materials to create his sculpture, "María Guabancex," inspired by the artist's experience with Hurricane Maria. Lind-Ramos explains that he often finds materials related to the narrative he's trying to organize and lets the materials activate his imagination.
Artist Alex Da Corte is in his studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, transforming into characters for a video shoot with the help of his team. In Da Corte's video artworks, he performs while dressed as a wide variety of cultural icons. By spending time with these characters, he hopes to make his mind freer than it is and give depth to icons that are often rendered as flat symbols.
About The Series:
Art21 produces features focusing exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists throughout the world, including the Peabody Award-winning biennial series ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY. Intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work and watch their process as they transform inspiration into art.
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