Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Talented and Worthy

This week's Talented and Worthy award goes to 29-year-old, New York-based artist Dana Schutz. Dana graduated from the art school at Columbia only three-and-a-half years ago, but she is already internationally recognized as one of the leading artists of her generation. She's sold out gallery shows all over Europe and America and there is a waiting list for everything she paints. One of her pieces is hanging opposite Andy Warhol's "Hammer and Sickle" in the Museum of Modern Art.

How she got her break: At the age of 25, during her last year of graduate school, Dana's 23-year-old "art dealer" friend showed her paintings at a tiny little fourth-floor walk-up "gallery." The show was attended by Roberta Smith, an art critic for The New York Times, who loved the work and gave it a great review. The art market for young, fresh talent was hot at the time, so everything seemed to fall into place. Dana's first solo show was in 2002 and things have snowballed from there. Her most recent show was in Berlin and it was a huge success.

What She's About: Dodie Kazanjian, a writer at Vogue, has described Dana's work as "high-impact--filled with figurative and often grotesque imagines in singing, Fauve-like oranges, reds, yellows, and greens." She has a series of paintings called "Frank from Observation," which are based around Frank,"the last man on earth." She also paints what she calls "contemporary monsters." Portraits in this series include a "choleric Dennis Kozlowski," "a nude Ted Turner," and an "autopsy of Michael Jackson." My favorite picture is "Self-Portrait as a Pachyderm."

Despite her success:
Dana comes off as really cool in the interview and articles I read. I like the fact that she drinks Dunkin' Donuts coffee as opposed to Starbucks, that she worked for years in a non-air conditioned studio, that she often sleeps on a mattress next to her paintings. Check out some of her paintings here. And read a cool interview here.

1 comment:

tanya said...

These are so awesome! I love her stuff--thanks for the intro.