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by Art21October 26, 2022 2:01:55 total runtime

“My family is all I have; my family is everything to me,” says Alex Da Corte.

For artists, families can serve as inspiration, a source of feedback, and even subjects for new work. Whether drawing upon childhood experiences, creating work while simultaneously nurturing new family members, or investigating what home means to them, family and community play a vital role in the creation of contemporary art. 

Family and collaboration are at the heart of The Way of Chopsticks, an ongoing project and series of exhibitions shared by Song Dong and his wife, artist Yin Xiuzhen. Nearing the 18th anniversary of The Way of the Chopsticks, Song and Yin invited their daughter to participate in the fourth iteration of the exhibition.

Bryan Zanisnik returns to his parents’ home in Springfield, New Jersey to dig up the long-forgotten home movies he made as an adolescent. LaToya Ruby Frazier collaborates with her mother and grandmother as fellow artists, giving them agency in depictions of themselves, their family, and the broader community. 

Meriem Bennani incorporates family members into her films, “On one side, I almost feel emotionally like a monster who traps family members into this digital world. And then the other extreme is like fully loving and celebrating family.”

The artists in this playlist surround themselves with others to lend a uniquely intimate and collaborative character to their work because after all, no one creates anything alone.