Meet the seven creators to shed light on critical issues

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From IT <h3 class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Photographer: Deana Lawson
"data-reactid =" 32 "> The photographer: Deana Lawson
Photo credit: Deana LawsonPlus

Deana Lawson's meticulously staged photographs often portray people she has just met – sometimes dressed, sometimes naked – but they always convey concentrated intimacy. "Observation is part of it, but it's also about love," she says. "It's a loving look." Her work, which was presented at the Whitney Biennale in 2017 and is presented until February 17 at The Underground Museum in Los Angeles, explores the blurred distinction between what is composed and what is outspoken; how people visually communicate their identities and are imposed identities; and how these questions are informed by class and race. The details speak for themselves. "My whole mission, from the beginning, was to bring complexity or a dimension to the representation of certain bodies – those who, like [the critic] Greg Tate writes, have been "abandoned by the prevailing social order," she explains. For ELLE, she photographed at Essence, a bar and restaurant in Brooklyn near her home. "To find topics for my photographs, I usually go to local bars and churches, or to soul food restaurants, so it was natural for me to work in this type of environment," she says. "Although it's really hard to be the subject – I do not see myself when I ask." Lawson also brought accessories – the carpet and the curtains – to add a little personality. "I want my photographs to be an exacerbated reality, in that they contain certain things that would exist regardless of whether I take the photo or not, and some things that would not," she says. "This interaction is what gives them their power."

The multimedia artist: Judy Chicago

Photo credit: Donald WoodmanPlus

At the end of September, pioneering feminist artist Judy Chicago posted an image on Instagram juxtaposing her painting triptych, Three Faces of Man, with a face showing shock, self-pity, and self-pity, respectively. rage, with photographs capturing expressions made by Lindsey Graham, Brett Kavanaugh and Chuck Grassley at Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing hearings. She made the triptych in 1985 as part of her "PowerPlay" series exploring toxic masculinity, but the parallels were strange. "It seems to take decades for people to understand my work," she says. Some of the pieces in the series are now part of a major poll on Chicago's career, aptly titled Judy Chicago: A Reckoning, which opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami December and continues until to April 21st. "It's gratifying because I bet on the history of art. [mine] comes to the fore, "she says. Although this also means that the problems she was facing still resonated. "The patriarchy has been with us for a long time," she says. "We are engaged in a long historical struggle for equality and we are moving forward and backwards. And we are in a period of recoil. The ICA Miami show will also feature spray-painted pieces from her "Car Hood" series, as well as her needle-centric Birth Project and her test plates created for her controversial vulva-centric scene. The Dinner Party's work, produced from 1975 to 1978. "I've learned the potential of art through The Dinner Party," she says. "That taught me that art could play an even bigger role than I would have ever imagined."

The owner of the gallery: Bridget Donahue

Photo credit: Agaton Strom / The New York Times / ReduxMore

The composition of Bridget Donahue's self-proclaimed gallery in New York's Chinatown spans mediums, generations and unbeatable prices. Works sold sell for between $ 3,000 and $ 150,000. A common element is that in a reversal of the status quo of the art world, the majority of the artists shown are women. Donahue, who has carved a reputation as an avant-garde innovator since the opening of the gallery in 2015, is not intended to tip the scales of genre. "I often go to a party and people will say," Bridget runs an all-female gallery, "and I say," Um, no, I do not, "she says," I'm not trying to reject a social agenda.I am a feminist and I think we should all be.But it was just the artists who occupied me.That's what guides the programming. "Which, of course, is a statement in itself. "My artists have been aligned with the resistance since Trump's arrival before the election, so I did not feel any seismic change [after the 2016 election], "She adds." Things have always been morose and if we think it's worse now, we're deluding ourselves, you know? "But that also means that while many other programs have been altered based on the change in We stayed the course, and many of our artists kept their noses on the wheel, despite a lot of pressure to react, they inspire me that way. "

Photo credit: Gregory Carideo / courtesy of the artist and Bridget Donahue, NYCMore

The Executive Director and Curator: Justine Ludwig

Photo credit: Elizabeth LavinPlus

In June, Justine Ludwig, former vice principal and chief curator of Dallas Contemporary, moved to New York to take the helm of Creative Time, a non-profit organization that commissions works of art. large-scale public, stimulating for dialogue, such as the 2014 Kara Walker Sphinx coated with sugar. -like a sculpture, a subtlety. "All artists share a special focus on the issues that affect us every day," says Ludwig. "But what's really exciting about Creative Time's projects is that they produce beautiful and transcendent moments that make you want to get closer, and then you're suddenly too deep to not tackle the problem you've put in the first place. Ludwig believes that public art has become increasingly essential, partly because of its ability to introduce complexity into concepts that might otherwise appear black and white. "In many ways, it's the power of art," she says. "That's embracing the shades." However, when it comes to the way in which social media spread the notoriety of such projects far beyond their immediate audience, it is more ambivalent. "On the one hand, I love individual experiences," she says. "But on the other hand, social media has done a lot to democratize the art. This can inspire a viewer to have a personal interest in a project. And as ridiculous as it may sound, when you hit a hashtag and you see all these images of people experiencing the same work of art, there is a kinship. "

The collector and philanthropist: Pamela Joyner

Photo credit: Ike EdeaniMore

The goal of Pamela Joyner is nothing short of reframing the history of art. Joyner – a recipient of the W.E.B. The Harvard Wood Medal (with Oprah Winfrey and Shonda Rhimes) left her career in finance to devote herself to building the collection that she shares with her husband, Alfred Giuffrida, who now boasts nearly 400 works essentially abstract art. most by artists of African descent. "Longtime practitioners in the field thought I was crazy," she says. "But I deliberately made the decision to try to move the institutional needle forward." Joyner's San Francisco home exhibits about 130 works, but her broader intent is to improve the position of her artists in the world of art by placing their works in museums and institutions and attracting the attention of researchers. As part of this effort, she has provided more than 70 works for a traveling exhibition entitled Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner / Giuffrida Collection, which opens at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago on the 29th. January. "Some voices will simply not be rejected. , "she says," Visibility can be delayed, but some work is so critical to culture that it will find visibility, I'm here to help the process. "

The artist of installation and performance: Tania Bruguera

Photo credit: Hector S MartinezMore

Throughout her career, Cuban artist Tania Bruguera has done an explicitly political job. In 2014, she announced her intention to install a microphone in a square in Havana and invite Cubans to speak freely about their country and its diplomatic relations restored with the United States (in response, she was arrested three times). Two years later, she declared that as part of a new satirical project, she intended to run for president of Cuba. Last October, she installed a huge heat-sensitive floor inside Turbine Hall at London's Tate Modern. When enough people lie on the ground, the black expanse is transformed by revealing the portrait of a Syrian refugee. "The image can only be correctly seen when you work with other people, even those you do not know," explains Bruguera. "It takes a spirit of collaboration, [which is also what’s needed] to achieve social change. "When asked what she could say to someone who believes that art and activism must remain separate, Bruguera does not mince words:" Those who say they are not interested in politics are precisely those to whom politicians profit, and artists are no exception. Art is a space where truth can be told even when people are not ready to hear it. Art creates empathy and understanding where there is rejection and ignorance. The art has always reflected the time in which one lives, and these are times for activism.

The painter: Judith Bernstein

Photo credit: Allie Holloway / Studio DMore

When Judith Bernstein arrived in New York in 1967, at the age of 24, she knew that she was an artist, but she did not know how to make a living as such. Raised in a seaside town in New Jersey, she had gone to Penn State University and then to the Yale School of Art, where the dean had told her, "We can not place women," which means that no university would hire him. And that was before she started painting with loaded political images, graffiti in the bathroom and characters like "Supercock" – a man flying in the air with a bigger penis than his body – not to mention charcoal drawings illustrating shapes that were part of the phallus game. In New York, she moved into a working loft in Chinatown for $ 175 a month and helped create the country's first all-female collaborative art space, AIR La Galerie, which hosted her first solo show in 1973. But in 1974, after one of his drawings was censored, he was censored from a museum show in Philadelphia for "redemptive social value," his career stalled. Bernstein spent the next three decades earning a living from further education and rare shows. "I was damn depressed," she says. "But I'll tell you frankly that I knew my job was good. And I knew something would happen eventually. In 2008, after gallery owner Mitchell Algus gave him a solo show, his work finally began to spark interest. In 2015, New York magazine declared Bernstein "finally an art star" and since then his critique of the interaction between the male ego, violence, sexuality and power has become increasingly relevant. Money ShotPaul Kasmin, his first exhibition with his current gallery, presents eight large Trump-themed works illuminated by a black light, which gives each painting a more and more surreal dominant at dawn. Today, Bernstein, 76, stays in this same Chinatown loft, sharing space with two 18 – year – old Persian cats and his ornaments collections for Christmas trees, d & # 39; Beanie Boo stuffed animals and winding robots. Her studio stays at the front, in the best light, and her bed at the back, but the bulk of the work that she has stored during her dry years has been transferred to the world . "I've had a lot of success now, which has been fabulous," she says. "But the best thing is that my voice is heard and valued. I do not make the kind of money the big guys do, but it's still an extraordinary thing. "This article appeared in the January 2019 issue of SHE.GET THE LAST NUMBER OF HER(# You might also like,,)