New York Close Up

Art21’s digital documentary film series New York Close Up is devoted to artists in the first decade of their professional career, living and working in New York City. Providing an intimate look at the next wave of artists, Art21 collaborates with artists to imagine new ways of telling stories about their creative process, political and aesthetic philosophies, personal backgrounds, and community perspectives.

With the potential for each artist to be profiled in multiple complementary short films published over several years, the series offers a rare opportunity for viewers to experience today’s most intriguing young artists as their works, ideas, and lives evolve over time. Artworks by these artists advance fresh approaches to disciplines such as painting, sculpture, photography, performance, film, and video, while often blurring boundaries between art, dance, movies, music, and design. Mirroring that audacious multiplicity is the series’ signature visual and narrative variety. Directed by acclaimed independent filmmakers, the films span the range of contemporary documentary practice, from animation to classic verite style.

With artists serving as informal guides, the series captures the realities of living and working in the city, serving as a constantly updated guidebook to the complex and emerging cultural geography of New York City. Exploring themes of collaboration, improvisation, personal autobiography, history, and political responsibility, New York Close Up films are a snapshot of a distinct time and place, explored from the unique perspective of an emerging generation of artists.