A weekly podcast that brings the biggest stories in the art world down to earth. Go inside the newsroom of the art industry's most-read media outlet, artnet News, for an in-depth view of what matters most in museums, the market, and much more.
The Rise and Fall of Anne Geddes, Queen of Baby Photography
The Art Angle team is taking this week off for Thanksgiving, but we thought we'd share one of our favorite episodes from the past year to see you through this unconventional holiday weekend.
Picture this: a doughy, apple-cheeked infant nestled in between the soft petals of a dew-kissed flower, sound asleep, like the start of a real-life fable. Almost everyone who conjures that mental image will do so using a nearly identical aesthetic—and whether you realize it or not, that’s almost entirely because of the work of legendary baby photographer Anne Geddes.
After her debut photography book, Down in the Garden, soared to number three on the New York Times Bestseller list in 1996, Geddes’s wholesomely surreal infant images became inescapable. Oprah went on air to declare Down in the Garden the best coffee-table book she’d ever seen, and by late December 1997, Geddes’s publishing partners had sold more than 1.8 billion (yes, with a “b”) calendars and date books of her photography for the upcoming year. Her dizzying success soon spurred the artist to ramp up production, with a standard Geddes shoot requiring six-to-eight months of planning and a budget between $250,000 and $350,000. But who could blame her for going big? Geddes’s empire of adorable infants seemed unstoppable.
Cut to 2020, however, and the picture has changed dramatically—not just for Geddes, but for an entire creative economy driven by analog photography, print publishing, and the high barriers to entry formerly associated with both. Years after smartphones first began putting increasingly high-quality cameras in nearly everyone’s pocket, and Instagram began providing masses of self-trained shutterbugs a free and wide-reaching distribution platform for their images, it’s not hyperbole to say that the pillars on which Geddes built her career have crumbled. So what’s the Queen of Baby Photography to do when her kingdom becomes unrecognizable?
Back in May, Andrew Goldstein chatted with Noor Brara, Artnet’s art and design editor, about her recent profile of Geddes. Together, they discussed the artist’s rise, fall, and reckoning with culture’s digital evolution.
Why New York’s Art Scene Will Reign Supreme Post-COVID
The news cycle for the past seven months has been dominated by staggering data points that seek to quantify the scope of the pandemic's effects on the United States and beyond. Within the art world, statistics detailing layoffs and furloughs, museums facing imminent closure, and galleries struggling to make ends meet add to the collective fear and anxiety gripping the world at large.
But there have also been bright spots in both the broad economy, and, surprisingly, within the art market itself.
A new study commissioned by the Independent art fair and Crozier Fine Arts, carried out by data guru Clare McAndrew lays out one aspect that is not just surviving amid the turmoil—it's actually thriving. For the inaugural NYC Art World Report, an analysis of dozens of private art collectors living in New York shared insights about their buying practices, interests, and disdains within the new, largely virtual art ecosystem.
On this week's episode, Elizabeth Dee, veteran gallerist and founder of Independent, joins the podcast to put the report into context, and shares her thoughts on its conclusion: that New York City remains the epicenter for committed art collectors, and will continue to reign supreme across the international landscape.
As a coda to Elizabeth's observations, Artnet News's business editor Tim Schneider provides a layman's analysis of the data within the report, and helps make sense of what to do with this new wealth of information.
How Does the Art World Feel About Joe Biden’s Victory?
Well, it finally happened. Former vice president Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, have won the United States presidential election. They ran on the promise of a return to democracy and decency—as well as a repudiation of the past four years under Donald Trump.
After all of the hand-wringing, punditry, and poll watching, we're now left to consider what this regime change actually means. For artists and art workers, the jubilation of a Biden win is tempered by a healthy dose of skepticism. Both Biden and Harris have expressed general appreciation for the arts, but it remains to be seen if and how they will act on it. The inhabitants of the art world's historically liberal bubble are also facing the reality that they, like the pollsters and so many others, were entirely wrong about the margin of victory and the extent to which they live in a deeply divided country.
On this week's episode, Artnet News contributor Brian Boucher, market reporter Eileen Kinsella, and chief art critic Ben Davis join the podcast to discuss the seismic changes afoot—and what it could mean for the future of culture.
How Pepe the Frog Explains America's Toxic Politics
When San Francisco-based artist Matt Furie created a zine in 2005 featuring a rag-tag group of immature adolescent animals, including a heavy-lidded frog named Pepe, he had no idea that his humble drawing would become a flashpoint for roiling cultural and political tensions across the world.
A new documentary titled Feels Good Man, directed by Arthur Jones and produced by Giorgio Angelini, charts the story of Matt Furie and his creation. On this week's episode of the Art Angle, Jones and Angelini speak with Artnet News's chief critic Ben Davis about cultural appropriation, freedom of speech, and the power of images in the digital landscape.
The story of Pepe is a story of Internet culture at its best and worst—from being transformed into an innocent meme to its designation as a hate symbol is both a cautionary tale and a triumph.
Ed Ruscha and Jimmy Iovine on How Art Can End the Trump Era
One of the most salient images of America's tattered democracy is Ed Ruscha's Our Flag, a startling painting of Old Glory, shredded and flapping against a dark sky.
How Frida Kahlo Can Change Your Life (for Better or Worse)
Frida Kahlo is, by every metric, one of the most famous artists in the world. Recently the priciest Latinx painter at auction, she has also been the subject of solo shows at prestigious institutions around the world, and she continues to be a pop-culture sensation whose image and iconography grace everything from apparel, to dolls, to smartphone selfie filters (and much more).
Though Kahlo died in 1954 at the young age of 47, her life continues to inspire people around the globe today. One person particularly enamored with her story is Arianna Davis, a journalist and digital director of O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine. Davis recently published her first book, What Would Frida Do?: A Guide to Living Boldly, which channels Kahlo's legacy through a self-help lens to guide readers toward unapologetic pursuit of their desires. On this week's episode, Davis joins the podcast to discuss her book, its lessons, and the artist at the foundation of both.
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Diverse perspectives and amazing production quality.
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It’s spectacular the union of news and art covers the full spectrum of life’s colors
Mythologizing history thru monuments
Ben Davis did an excellent job analyzing the history of the Columbus monuments and revealing what is the problem with all the monuments glorifying historical moments and their political motivation. And I like his solution!