Posted in Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Masterpiece of the Week: Andy Warhol’s Polaroid, a Self-Portrait for the Facebook Age

Polaroid portrait of Jennifer S. Li

Andy Warhol was asked by the Polaroid Corporation in 1979 to create a series of works promoting its new product—a giant 800-pound camera that produced instant large-scale color photographs almost three feet tall and two feet wide. Warhol produced ten… More»

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Posted in Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

Andrei Codrescu: The Art Lesson

What's so funny? Andrei Codrescu against the Getty Center travertine.

Andrei Codrescu has some bad news for you. You, Web user, are running out of time. You may already suspect that you work for Mark Zuckerberg and your screens. But did you also know that you are on your way… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Education, Photographs, Film, and Video

Six Questions for Peter Greenaway

Peter Greenaway at the Getty Center

For our Getty Perspectives lecture series, filmmaker Peter Greenaway came to speak about his new work creating immersive environments inspired by masterpieces of European painting. At the event, and on Facebook and Twitter, we put out the call for your… More»

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      William Pope.L

      Tell us a bit about how and why you became an artist.

      I used to blame my being an artist on my grandmother, but that was my younger self looking for a scapegoat. At one point in undergrad, I had a moment, a crisis where I thought it was my job to save my family and the best way to that was to be a commercial artist—but I had to let go of that. Truth be told, being an artist is something I choose every day. Of course, maybe I choose art because I’m afraid of theater—too much memorizing and being in the moment and shit.

      A lot of your work deals with racial issues—perceptions of “blackness,” “whiteness,” the absurdity of racial prejudices, the violence of it. Why do you address race in your work? Do you think art can be an agent of change?

      I address race in my work ‘cause day-to-day in our country it addresses me. Yes, art can change the world but so can Disney—so there is that. I think the real question is not can art change the world, but can art be changed by the world? Would we allow this?

      Humor, with a touch of the absurd, seems to be an important component in your artistic practice. What role does humor play in your work?

      I like to use humor in my work ‘cause it answers/deals with questions in ways that are very unique. Humor answers questions with an immediacy and creates a productive amnesia of the moment in the receiver—but then the wave recedes, the world floods back in with its pain, confusions, and crush but the humor remains like a perfume or an echo or a kiss inside beneath one’s skin.

      More: Artist William Pope.L on Humor, Race, and God

      From top: Obi Sunt (Production Image from the making of Obi Sunt), 2015, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L; Gans-Nelson fight, from the album ‘Incident to the Gans-Nelson fight’ (Page 40-3), Goldfield, NV, September 3, 1906, William Pope.L. Courtesy of Steve Turner and the Artist; Tour People, 2005, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L; Failure Drawing #301, NYU/Napkin, Rocket Crash, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L.


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