Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced the launch of a new online video series, The Artist Project, in which 100 artists respond to works from The Met’s vast collection, which spans more than five millennia and cultures throughout the world.
Since its founding in 1870, The Met has been a place where artists go to gain inspiration from the art of their own time, and across time and cultures. Beginning this month and continuing for a year, The Artist Project will share with the public what artists see when they look at The Met. In this online series, 100 artists have been invited to choose single works of art or galleries that spark their imaginations. Viewers will encounter a diverse group of artists who share their personal, passionate ways of seeing and experiencing art.
Mr. Campbell commented: “We have spoken a lot lately about The Met’s interest in looking at contemporary art through the lens of our historical collections. The Artist Project gives you a glimpse of just what we mean when we talk about that kind of connected view of contemporary art. This innovative online series gives visibility to something we’ve known about The Met for a long time: it is a place of critical inspiration for working artists, often in unexpected ways. I’m excited to share these engaging and beautifully edited episodes with the public.”
Over the course of the year, The Artist Project will be presented in five seasons of 20 episodes each. Season 1 will feature: Cory Arcangel, John Baldessari, Nayland Blake, Nick Cave, Enrique Chagoya, George Condo, Walton Ford, Natalie Frank, Zarina Hashmi, Deborah Kass, Nina Katchadourian, Nicola López, Alexander Melamid, Izhar Patkin, Tom Sachs, Katrín Sigurdardóttir, Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, Xu Bing, and Lisa Yuskavage.
Subsequent seasons will begin on June 22, September 14, and December 7, 2015; and February 29, 2016.
The Artist Project builds on a series of signature Metropolitan Museum online initiatives inspired by The Met’s renowned collection. The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (2000– ) continues to evolve and expand, and receives more than two million visits per month. Connections (2011) offers personal perspectives on works of art in the collection from 100 Met staff members. 82nd & Fifth (2013) and its accompanying multilingual iPad app (2014) invite 100 curators from across The Met to talk about 100 works of art that changed the way they see the world—one work, one curator, two minutes at a time. MetCollects (2014– ) offers first looks at works of art acquired recently by the Museum. One Met. Many Worlds. (2014) invites visitors to explore more than 500 highlights of the collection in 11 languages and to respond playfully, poetically, and creatively. The Artist Project is the sixth installment of collection-inspired online productions.
Visitors can subscribe for updates to the series.
The Artist Project is produced by the Digital Media Department in collaboration with The Photograph Studio and curatorial staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Web design and development is by CHIPS.
Artist Quotes from Season 1 of The Artist Project
Nayland Blake on boli
“I think we’re very used to the idea that you have a flash of inspiration and then you’re done. That’s not necessarily the way that it happens.”
George Condo on Claude Monet’s The Path through the Irises
“I’ve been looking at Monet’s work quite a lot recently, and I came to the Met, and suddenly I got to this painting and I thought, ‘This is a really wild piece.’ I mean, this is some of the ugliest combinations of colors I’ve ever seen in my life…”
Nick Cave on Kuba cloths
“You don’t have to do a lot in order for something to be extraordinary. I think sometimes simplicity is the most powerful form.”
Nicola López on works on paper
“As an artist, to feel as though I can have a conversation with these artists that I really admire, who might have lived hundreds of years ago… But there’s still something that makes our work equate.”
Katrín Sigurdardóttir on the Hôtel de Cabris, Grasse
“What I see as the purpose of art and the necessity of art is that we are able to get closer to a truth about our life, which we cannot necessarily see or frame through an ordinary experience.”
Kehinde Wiley on John Singer Sargent
“My work is not about opining; it’s not about looking at the past and longing for that to be something different. I’m interested in using the past in order to break open into the present day.”
The Artist Project is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.