Ten Artists on Value

Artist Kalup Linzy tours The Armory Show art fair at Pier 92/94 (Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, 03.04.11). Production still from the New York Close Up film Kalup Linzy Makes His Way Through the Art World. © Art21, Inc. 2012. Cinematography by Don Edler.

Artist Kalup Linzy tours The Armory Show art fair at Pier 92/94 (Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, 03.04.11). Production still from the New York Close Up film Kalup Linzy Makes His Way Through the Art World. © Art21, Inc. 2012. Cinematography by Don Edler.

“A lot of artists feel uncomfortable with their work being shown in this context. But, I mean, it is necessary in terms of income, and also to figure out what people are doing and what artists are working on in the art world.” —Kalup Linzy in the New York Close Up film Kalup Linzy Makes His Way Through the Art World

Another set of fairs descend upon New York City this weekend (FYI, just in case you’ve been cut off from email and social media over the last few weeks). For what appears to be another wet weekend, fairgoers will jump on ferries, drop hundreds of dollars on Uber rides, inhabit basketball complexes, squeeze their ways through packed aisles, and so on, all while looking for gems throughout the sea of collector bait. In spite of all this fair business, let’s not forget about why artists make all this art to begin with. Wait, why do they make this art?

For the “Value” issue of the Art21 Magazine, collected here are selections from across all of Art21’s film series, featuring artists describing their own perceptions of the value of their work. In the videos below, we see artists questioning the ideas of ownership and the “object,” all while considering the efforts and energies spent in creating their work.

Kalup Linzy Makes His Way Through the Art World
From New York Close Up

“It used to be, I was really worried and stressed out about sales and that type of thing. Not to dismiss it, but it used to be like this urgent, ‘this stuff has to sell.’ But it doesn’t have to. It should be just about the process of making a work and what you get out of that.” —Kalup Linzy

John Baldessari: Recycling Images
From Exclusive

“I really just don’t think imagery should be owned, including my own. If it’s part of our world, it’s like owning words. How could you own words? I mean, it’s stuff to use.” —John Baldessari

Jeff Koons: Money and Value
From Exclusive

“The work is not about just making something to sell. I’ve learned earlier on…that I really didn’t care about objects—I cared about people. … And so I feel a moral responsibility every time I make something, to give something a hundred per cent because that’s what I care about—I care about the view.” —Jeff Koons

Rashid Johnson Trades Art with Angel Otero
From New York Close Up

“Angel is a friend of mine. …We’ve been talking recently about trying to trade a work. I’m sure he’s got the dealers kind of kicking down his door like, ‘What do you have available to us’ and so…it becomes kind of a sacrifice to like give it to your friends.” —Rashid Johnson

Allan McCollum: “Over Ten Thousand Individual Works”
From Exclusive

“It’s painful to try to imagine millions and millions of unique things. … If you think there’s no mistakes, then you’re kind of in awe of the possibility of there being billions and billions of unique shapes, and that’s the kind of awe that I’m interested in.” —Allan McCollum

Carrie Mae Weems in Compassion
From Art in the Twenty-First Century

“All of the photographs for the Getty series are appropriated images from other historical sources. Harvard threatened to sue me for the use of the first photographs…. After worrying about it and thinking about it, I called them up, and I said, ‘I think actually your suing me would be a really good thing. You should, and we should have this conversation in court. I think it would be really instructive for any number of reasons and certainly for artists that are really engaged in the act of appropriation who think that there is a larger story to tell.’” —Carrie Mae Weems

Mika Rottenberg and the Amazing Invention Factory
From New York Close Up

“I’m not really interested in objects. I’m more interested in the whole operation around it. The substance of life, how things behave, how things are made. How it is to live in the architecture of the body. Being wrapped inside a skin, you know having limits. Psychologically, that feeling of being trapped. That’s what it’s about for me.” —Mika Rottenberg

Barry McGee: Retrospective
From Exclusive

“If I could curate a good show, it would always have all of my friends and my favorite artists.” —Barry McGee

Alejandro Almanza Pereda Strikes A Balance
From New York Close Up

“The objects that I use remind me of my childhood. Childhood is when you learn how to deal with objects and materials around you. … I choose vintage objects because of that—based on the connotations they have. It brings you memories of these kinds of teachings of things.” —Alejandro Almanza Pereda

Diana Al-Hadid’s Studio Boom
From New York Close Up

“What we’re doing in the studio together is our own problem for awhile. And at some point, it will be the world’s problem…forever!” —Diana Al-Hadid


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