“I get to spend the most intimate time initially, by myself in the studio, reengaging with what I felt from someone in an instant.” Our newest film on artist Jordan Casteel uncovers what goes on behind her canvases—the people, experiences, and details that come together to form her large-scale, yet personal portraits. For a young artist, Casteel is quick to recognize the rarity of her newfound opportunities and acknowledge that “with visibility comes responsibility.”
At a time when established behaviors are being rightfully questioned, we—like Casteel—recognize the need to foster a creative voice that is independent, thoughtful and self-aware. Join us in this celebration of cultural responsibility. As the end of the year approaches, consider making a donation to Art21 and you’ll allow us to continue to inspire audiences to see the world in new ways, through the eyes of artists.
New Videos Featuring Tala Madani and Jordan Casteel
Premiered November 3, as part of the Art21 digital series Extended Play
In her Los Angeles studio, Tala Madani shares the crucial role that sketchbooks play in her painting practice. A way for the artist to both experiment with potential compositions and quickly record an idea during a moment of inspiration, Madani’s sketchbooks serve as a visual archive of her paintings–those already realized as well as possible future works.
“A lot of works were worked out more thoroughly in sketches,” says the artist. “It’s the most immediate record of a thinking process.”
Premiered November 17, as part of the Art21 digital series New York Close Up
Artist Jordan Casteel reflects on the complex dynamic between herself and her subjects while adjusting to the recent commercial success of her paintings. After celebrating her first solo gallery exhibition opening, Casteel shares how she uses photography to capture her subjects in an instant, before spending hours investigating every detail of a scene.
“It’s my way of trying to reconnect with the immediacy that happens if you’re sitting in front of somebody,” says the artist. “The camera has really become a liaison between me and the sitter. It gives me time to slow down before I go fast.”
Featured Art21 Playlist
Published November 13 | 12 videos, 1:25 total runtime
Inspiration is spontaneous. The transformation from idea to realized work can hinge on how an artist captures that moment of creative inception–and, subsequently, how that thought is developed beyond its original state.
Watch as the artists in these films gather inspiration and progress through ideas en route to executing their visions.
Highlights from the Art21 Magazine
From the November / December “Empathy” issue:
- Curator Yvette Mutumba joins the magazine as guest editor, and introduces the issue in “Living in an Age of Empathy.”
- Artist Stephanie Dinkins explores if social robot BINA48 is capable of speaking from the perspective of a Black woman.
IMAGE: Stephanie Dinkins. Twins (or at some point, I decided to mimic the robot), 2017. Courtesy of the artist. © Stephanie Dinkins.
For more than 20 years, Art21 has been the preeminent chronicler of artists’ lives and creative processes on film. Today, with over 500 hours of film on today’s leading artists, Art21 houses a substantial living archive of contemporary art, available to viewers around the world at Art21.org.
Artists have opened their doors to Art21, allowing our cameras to document their lives, studios, and the personal moments and ideas that shape their artistic practices. Art21 artist Ursula von Rydingsvard shared, “There is hardly a university or college that doesn’t use Art21 videos to augment their arts curriculum. Art21 provides context to the work in a way no one else can.”
Please share your Art21 stories with us, and let us know how access to the artist’s voice has sparked your creativity.
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