Art21, a nonprofit based in New York City, has partnered with local artists to create new ways of telling stories about their creative process, aesthetic philosophies, personal backgrounds and community perspectives. This has led to the creation of New York Close Up, a documentary film series devoted to artists in the first decade of their professional careers in New York City. What is so unique about this series is that the films are presented online as short films published over several years and provide viewers with a behind-the-scenes guidebook to New York City’s cultural geography. Each year, the series adds eight to twelve New York City-based artists to the project. Past artists have included Rashid Johnson, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Mariah Robertson, Shana Moulton, Keltie Ferris and many more!
To celebrate the first year and introduce the new round of artists in the series, Art21 held a party with the Armory Show and the Griddy City at the Eventi Hotel. Guests danced to music supplied by New York Close Up artist Diana Al-Hadid. The previous and new seasons of the series were screened on a large LED screen visible from the hotel’s terrace. Paddle8 had the opportunity to attend the event and spotted one of our favorite artists Mariah Robertson with her male nude model, who is featured in her episode from the series. Artist Erin Shirreff was also spotted enjoying the scene, as well as Art21′s Associate Curator, Wesley Miller.
Video ANakedGuyWalksIntoAMariahRobertsonPhoto courtesy of Art21.
Video description: “What makes an image funny? In this film, artist Mariah Robertson works with Bill Ferro—a male nude model she met online—taking pictures of him in her Greenpoint studio, and later, rehearsing a Martha Graham-inspired dance routine in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Robertson’s point of view is revealed through a series of jokes that highlight not only the artist’s wry sense of humor, but also suggest a critical engagement with gender dynamics, sexual politics, and double-standards within art history. Reacting to the pervasiveness of “purposeful nudes”—from paintings of odalisques to contemporary pornography—Robertson’s images of naked men occupy “a confusing middle zone” that mingles self-reflexivity with visual whimsy.