MATHEW BARNEY

Dear Sophie - 

I first learned of Mathew Barney when he installed climbing cleats to the ceiling and walls of Regen Projects in Los Angeles, a performance he executed nude. This Yale bound pre-med student and football recruit launched an unprecedented art performance and filmmaking career, most notably his Cremaster Cycle series of 5 feature length films.  His stardom and visual opulence invites as much criticism as acclaim.

With love, 

Mom

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MARINA ABRAMOVIC

Dear Sophie - 

The performance artist MARINA ABRAMOVIC is getting a lot of attention these days, including a career retrospective and a Kickstarter fundraising campaign for her proposed OMA/Rem Koolhaas designed performance institute. (featuring Lady Gaga).

At MOMA she sat silently for a total of 700 hours. Does meaning follow if you stick with something long enough? 

With love, 

Mom

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ANN HAMILTON

DEAR SOPHIE - 

The New York Times art critic JOHN ROCKWELL may have summarized it best when describing  the theatrical installations of ANN HAMILTON: 

Work like this challenges the stale conventions of dividing the arts into neat little categorical boxes like classical music, pop music, dance, film, television and art. Artists have broken out of their categorical cells, sloughed off their categorical chains. They make art that crosses all boundaries, bursts out of all boxes. All we art lovers have to do is put aside our old expectations and hang on for the ride.

New York Times September 24, 2004

The New York Times > Arts > Reverberations: Stretching Traditional Art Into Theater and Inviting Other Arts In 

With love, 

Mom

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MARTHA GRAHAM

Dear Sophie - 

While now it appears traditional, the highly emotive choreography as conceived by MARTHA GRAHAM was radical modern dance in its day. She sustained a career for 70 years including a dance company in her name. Her collaboration with Noguchi on her set designs, innovative wardrobe and documentation enhanced her impact while recording her legacy. 

With love, 

Mom

 while this may be her most iconic singular image, i chose her arms reaching up for apple, devoid of angst! 

while this may be her most iconic singular image, i chose her arms reaching up for apple, devoid of angst! 

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TRISHA BROWN

Dear Sophie - 

With her willowy intelligence, TRISHA BROWN has staged some of the most stunning choreographed works of our time. As a founding member of the Judson Church Theater group (along with Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton and Simone Forti), she has pushed the boundaries of dance traditions with a kind of startling simplicity.

With love,

Mom

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ROBERT WILSON

Dear Sophie - 

The seminal work of the theater director ROBERT WILSON is Einstein On The Beach, a modernist operatic 5 hour epic featuring a score by PHILLIP GLASS his collaborator and the choreography/performance by LUCINDA CHILDS.  The set design is boldly architectural, minimal and dramatic, Glass's score hypnotic and Child's movements repetitive and exacting.

I attended the U.S. premier at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in 1976 and again when re-staged in 1984. It had lost none of its passion and verve. 

With love, 

Mom

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LAURIE ANDERSON

Dear Sophie -

In the vibrant days of Soho, there was a 2nd floor performance space in a loft at the corner of Wooster & Broome streets called THE KITCHEN that featured live performances of some of the great artists of the time including Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, Bill T Jones & Arnie Zane. One night, backlit by a large screen with changing abstract imagery I stumbled upon the artist/musician LAURIE ANDERSON, her muscular androgynous body with spikey hair and the mysterious, poetic strains of her electric violin. 

With love,

Mom

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VITO ACCONCI

Dear Sophie - 

As I walked into the Sonnabend Gallery in the 1970's there was a wooden floor built on a slant. While at first it seemed empty, It was disclosed that VITO ACCONCI was underneath the angled crawlspace, masturbating as he fantasized about those above. his groans and provocations trasnmitted through a speaker. It was shocking and disturbing as an unsuspecting participant or entrapped voyeur. So public, yet hidden, radical and raw.  

His career has evolved from performance to architectural works, furniture and landscape design.  Always original, poetic with a dash of wit.

With love, 

Mom

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YOKO ONO

Dear Sophie - 

The artist YOKO ONO was an important contributor to the 1960's/'70's FLUXUS movement which included John Cage and Joseph Beuys. Her work features themes of feminism and peace. While often chided in the press for her disruption of the relationship among the Beatles, she was clearly the love of John Lennon's life.

With love, 

Mom

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YAYOI KUSAMA

Dear Sophie - 

YAYOI KUSAMA obsessively constructs works, installations and performance pieces with dots, eggs and phallic forms. Raised outside of Tokyo, she came to New York in the 1960's where she was central to the emerging performance art community. Her inclusion of images of herself is integral to her practice.

She returned to Japan in the 1970's and ultimately admitted herself to a hospital where assured of her emotional security, she continues to live and work today.

With love, 

Mom

 

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JEAN TINGUELY

Dear Sophie - 

We have spent endless hours captivated by the animated fountain in Paris, the collaboration between the Swiss born kinetic artist JEAN TINGUELY and Nikki St Phalle. (Yes, the one with the spinning hat and spouting boobs.)  His career is a symphony of repurposed mechanical refuse into complex constructions of delight.  

With love, 

Mom

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 This image is from a commissioned MOMA NY installation designed to self-destruct.

This image is from a commissioned MOMA NY installation designed to self-destruct.

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YVES KLEIN

Dear Sophie -

YVES KLEIN was a French artist who was central to the Nouveau Realisme movement in the 1960's which included the artists ARMAN and JEAN TINGUELY. His pioneering works were precursors to the performance and conceptual art movements. International Klein Blue, or IKB was a formula he patented, used for his paintings, sculptural and performance pieces.

With love,

Mom

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APPLE

Dear Sophie -

Every step of the Apple experience is informed by the power of design. The ethos of STEVE JOBS was that beauty & accessibility gives dignity to a brand. That while at first it would appeal to the artists, it would ultimately be universally appreciated, forming the basis of a loyal engagement.

Beyond the sublime objects overseen by the industrial designer JONATHAN IVES, Apple's values are expressed through the architecture of the stores and continues throughout the user experience - from the exquisite packaging right down to the fonts.

By employing LEE CLOW to shepherd the advertising, Steve was assured a thoughtful, rigorous eye. Lee entrusted me to express the ideals of Steve's return to Apple. With the powerful words "think different" I crafted "Think different." 

With love, 

Mom

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 an homage to dieter rams.

an homage to dieter rams.

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MARY WELLS LAWRENCE

Dear Sophie - 

MARY WELLS personifies media arts, having engaged a constellation of the foremost artists of the times to create a voice for Braniff Airlines. She employed ALEXANDER GIRARD for typography, graphics & fabrics, and EMILIO PUCCI for futuristic uniforms. She set the stage for ALEXANDER CALDER to paint the exterior of the plane, and for George Lois (another famed ad man) to enlist ANDY WARHOL & SONNY LISTON for the power of their celebrity.  

WowOwow. 

With love, 

Mom

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