By Sarah Thornton

ISBN-10: 0393240975

ISBN-13: 9780393240979

This compelling narrative is going backstage with the world’s most crucial residing artists to humanize and demystify modern art.

The best-selling writer of Seven Days within the paintings World now tells the tale of the artists themselves―how they go through the realm, command credibility, and create iconic works.

33 Artists in three Acts deals unheard of entry to a stunning diversity of artists, from foreign superstars to unheralded artwork academics. Sarah Thornton's fantastically paced, fly-on-the-wall narratives contain visits with Ai Weiwei ahead of and after his imprisonment and Jeff Koons as he woos new clients in London, Frankfurt, and Abu Dhabi. Thornton meets Yayoi Kusama in her studio round the nook from the Tokyo asylum that she calls domestic. She snoops in Cindy Sherman’s closet, hears approximately Andrea Fraser’s psychotherapist, and spends caliber time with Laurie Simmons, Carroll Dunham, and their daughters Lena and Grace.

Through those intimate scenes, 33 Artists in three Acts explores what it ability to be a true artist within the actual global. Divided into 3 cinematic "acts"―politics, kinship, and craft―it investigates artists' psyches, personas, politics, and social networks. Witnessing their crises and triumphs, Thornton turns a wry, analytical eye on their varied solutions to the query "What is an artist?"

33 Artists in 3 Acts unearths the behavior and attributes of winning artists, providing perception into the best way those pushed and artistic humans play their video game. In a time whilst increasingly more artists oversee the construction in their paintings, instead of make it themselves, Thornton exhibits how an artist’s radical imaginative and prescient and private self belief can create audiences for his or her paintings, and examines the increased position that artists occupy as crucial figures in our culture.

forty four illustrations, three maps

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His older sister, Karen, was better at everything. One day, Koons made a drawing that his parents thought revealed some talent. “The praise gave me a sense of self,” he explains. It’s often said that a true artist is good for nothing but making art. Koons’s variation on this chestnut is that art was the only domain in which he could compete. The artist goes on to identify other formative epiphanies. Shortly after arriving at art school, his class went to the Baltimore Museum of Art, where he was unfamiliar with most of the artists on view.

London’s Turbine Hall is a major test for a living artist. At the heart of Tate Modern, the space is 500 feet long by 75 feet wide and a spectacular five stories high. When the building was a power station, the hall housed the electricity generators that lit up most of central London. Now it is a secular cathedral for commissioned works of contemporary art that aim to enlighten in other ways. Artists need great intelligence and ambition to give meaning to a void this size. The content of Ai’s commission was a closely guarded secret until last night’s private view.

Although most of the artists have attained high degrees of recognition somewhere in the world, each act contains a scene with an artist who teaches and, like the majority of artists, doesn’t make a living through sales of their work. The themes that govern the book’s three acts were a key influence on my choices. Politics, kinship, and craft are rubrics that you might find shaping a classic anthropological tome. They are not typical of art criticism or art history, but, through research, I discovered that they demarcate the ideological border that differentiates artists from non-artists, or “real artists” from unimpressive ones.

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33 Artists in 3 Acts by Sarah Thornton

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