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Everyday Icons

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As our culture works to correct centuries-long exclusions and misrepresentations, the artists in “Everyday Icons” show us alternative paths toward a more complete picture of our world. Featuring Amy Sherald, Daniel Lind-Ramos, Rose B. Simpson, and Alex Da Corte, this hour explores artists who reflect on the aesthetics, traditions, and histories we encounter daily and whose work expands our visual vocabulary to reflect a changing society. In their practices, the often rigid boundaries of expectation are put aside in favor of new ideas, unorthodox approaches, and playful propositions. Their freedom and innovation give audiences permission to build new and unexpected worlds of their own and inspire more profound empathy, connection, and critical thought. Remixing and reimagining art histories, archetypes, monuments, pop cultures, and genres, these artists discover how we might see something new in the everyday. 

“Everyday Icons” from Season 11 of Art in the Twenty-First Century premiered Friday, April 7, 2023 on PBS.

More information and credits


Executive Producer: Tina Kukielski. Series Producer: Nick Ravich. Director & Producer: Ian Forster. Editor: Bryan Chang. Directors of Photography: Jarred Alterman, Gabriela Díaz Arp, LeRoy Grafe, Jia Li.

Assistant Curator: Jurrell Lewis. Associate Producer: Andrea Chung. Design & Animation: Ryan Carl, Nikita Iziev. Composer: Andrew Orkin. Additional Music: Chocolate Helicopter, Annie Clark, Austin Fisher. Additional Vidoe Editor: Addison Post. Additional Photography: Bria Granville, Sean Hanley, Allie Humenuk, Nate Ilardi, Andrew Kemp, Christopher Lerch, Jane Macedo Yang, John Marton, Simon Weyhe. Assistant Camera: Javier Castillo, Karla Claudio-Betancourt, Jason Drakeford, Trevor Edwards, Oscar Harrison, Christina Zuni. Location Sound: Jeffrey Archer, Carver Audain, Matthew Betlej, Jackson Derbish, Marco Diallo, Ana Fernández, Tatiana Monge, Sade Norton, Barbara Rivera, Sean Solowiej.

Video Post-Production Services: Cut + Measure. Video Post-Production Producer: Alex Laviola. Colorist: Chris Ramey. Video Post-Production Coordinator: Catherine DiRosa. Online & Conform: David Gauff. Additional Animation: Andy Cahill. Audio Post-Production Services: Konsonant Post. Re-Recording Mixer & Sound Editor: Gisela Fullà-Silvestre. Assistant Editors: Ellen Askey, Michelle Hanks. Audio Description: 3Play Media. Station Relations De Shields Associates. Legal Counsel: Withersworldwide. Additional Curatorial Research: Susan Thompson.

Additional Art21 Staff: Lauren Barnett, Hannah DeGarmo, Lolita Fierro, Joe Fusaro, Molaundo Jones, Emma Nordin, Anna Pruett, Jessica Svenson, Noor Tamari, Nora Wimmer. Interns: Stephanie Ades, Sekou Cherif, Yeon Cho, Michaela Esteban, Emma Flood, Renee Rienecker, James Santiago, Adam Varca, Dani Wieder.

Artwork Courtesy: Alex Da Corte, Daniel Lind-Ramos, Amy Sherald, Rose B. Simpson.

Hauser & Wirth; Jack Shainman Gallery; Jessica Silverman Gallery; Matthew Marks Gallery; Saide Coles HQ; Brancusi, © Succession Brancusi – All rights reserved (ARS) 2023; Duchamp, © Association Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2023; Hopper, © 2023 Heirs of Jesphine N. Hopper / Licensed byy Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; Oldenburg, © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / ArtResource, NY; Wyeth, © 2023 Andrew Wyeth / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Archival Materials: ABC News; Drury Bynum; CBS Sunday Morning; Chiaroscuro Gallery, Santa Fe; Columbus State University’s Bo Barlett Center; Addison Doty; Ben-Alex Dupris; Family of Breonna Taylor; Darrick Fields; Global ImageWorks LLC; Hans Hammarskold Heritage; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; National Gallery of Art; National Museum of African American History and Culture; Kate Russell; Tim Salaz; Shine Creative; Shuttershock; Speed Art Museum; Pete Souza; WNCN.

Special Thanks: The Art21 Board of Trustees, Bandelier National Monument, Jennifer Bindman, Danielle Brock, Carnegie Musuem of Art, Jorge Cepeda, The Columbus Museum, Americo Da Corte Jr., David Zwirner Gallery, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Fawn Douglas, Sydney Freeland, Haus der Kunst, Sasha Hecht, High Museum of Art, ICA Boston, Moselle Kleiner, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Maria Martinez, MASS MoCA, Cara Monroe, Tamika Palmer, Permaculture Flowering Institute, Karaj Pettis, Philadelphia Museum of Art, William Pym, Hector Quiñones Fuentes, Devin L. Roberts, Scott J. Ross, Sarasota Museum of Art, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Maartje Oldenburg, Geraldine Sherald, Rachel Smith Sepúlveda, Roxanne Swentzell, Shaandiin Tome, The Trustess / Field Farm, Whitney Museum of American Art.

Major underwriting for Season 11 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by PBS, National Endowment for the Arts, Lambent Foundation, The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Toby Devan Lewis, Robert Lehman Foundation, and Nion McEvoy & Leslie Berriman.

Series Creators: Susan Dowling and Susan Sollins.

©2023 Art21, Inc.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Amy Sherald

Amy Sherald was born in 1973 in Columbus, Georgia, and lives and works in New Jersey. Receiving her BA in painting from Clark Atlanta University in 1997, Sherald went on to receive her MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2004. Reflecting the complexities of representation and identity, Sherald’s paintings challenge viewers to engage with her subjects in new and profound ways, calling attention to the universal stories told through her portraits.

Daniel Lind-Ramos

Daniel Lind-Ramos was born in Loíza, Puerto Rico, in 1953, where he currently lives and works. He received his BA from the University of Puerto Rico in 1975 and his MA from New York University in 1979. Lind-Ramos makes his sculptural assemblages using everyday materials collected from scavenging the streets and beaches of his hometown or sourcing from his local community. The objects and materials that the artist incorporates in his work recall the layered histories of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and the realities of life there today.

Rose B. Simpson

Rose B. Simpson was born in 1983 in Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, where she lives and works today. In 2007, the artist received her BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and in 2011, she received her MFA in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design. Simpson’s work reflects on the multilayered history of her home in New Mexico and of the United States, exploring modes of empowerment and resilience that carry traditions into the future. Working across media, the artist finds new ways to connect past and present, express experience and identity, and contemplate freedom and strength.

Alex Da Corte

Alex Da Corte was born in Camden, New Jersey, in 1980 and lives and works in Philadelphia. The artist received his BFA from the University of the Arts in 2004, and an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2010. Da Corte creates vibrant and immersive large-scale installations, including wall-based works, sculptures, and videos. Colorful and surreal, his work combines personal narrative, art-historical references, pop-culture characters, and the glossy aesthetics of commercial advertising to reveal the humor, absurdity, and psychological complexity of the images and stories that permeate our culture.

Segments from "Everyday Icons"

Educators’ Guides provide information about selected artists and themes, questions for classroom discussions, and hands-on activities that provide students with a fundamental understanding of creative and critical thinking processes.