Juan Munoz

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

It seemed as the new dawn of democracy broke in Spain in the late 1970s that artists in their twenties had a great subject – the Civil War and the forty years of repression that followed it. What is strange and fascinating is that the best of them, figures like Pedro Alomodovar in film, Javier Marias in the novel and Juan Munoz in the visual arts mostly avoided the obvious dramas of the past; they viewed the nightmare of Spanish history as though it were a sort of plague.

Jenny Holzer

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

‘I am not a painter, I am a poet,’ the poet (and art critic) Frank O’Hara wrote in 1956. And then he wrote: ‘Why? I think I would rather be a painter, but I am not.’ The envy between writers and visual artists is as old as the lust between Adam and Eve. Writers think that painters have all the luck, that painting is all action, and it results in something immediate, ambiguous and exciting. Visual artists, on the other hand, think that sentences are immediate, ambiguous and exciting.

Jeff Koons

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

There was a time when the more you looked at a painting or a piece of sculpture the more you saw. You judged a work by the quality of its ambiguities, by the amount of nuance, shade and subtlety which it contained, and the sort of slow levels of spiritual meaning it revealed or visual stimuli it offered.
This is all over.

James Lee Byers

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

Had James Lee Byers not actually lived between 1932 and 1997, then it would have been necessary to invent him. He was a shaman, whose work is filled with messages and quasi-religious imagery, and also a showman, whose work is filled with pure nonsense.

Isa Genzken

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

Isa Genzken could easily be seen as a strange, marginal eccentric German sculptor whose body of work, while containing moments of purity and something close to mysterious beauty, has been too restless, uncertain and uneven for her to match her contemporaries or merit huge attention.

Gregory Crewdson

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

In the summer of 1996 the photographer Gregory Crewdson spent two months alone in a cabin in a remote part of Massachusetts. Crewdson, who often seems the most stagy and theatrical photographer, simply took black and white photographs of fireflies. The photographs include his signature sense of disturbance and mystery, of a drama caught at one of its most deeply suggestive moments. They offer stillness as a sort of dream, a sort of creepiness, and beauty as something fleeting and untrustworthy.