Archive of Paddy Johnson

Paddy Johnson is the founding editor of Art Fag City. In addition to her work on the blog, she has been published in New York Magazine, artreview.com, Art in America, The Daily, Print Magazine, Time Out NY, The Reeler, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and New York Press, and linked to by publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Boing-Boing, The New York Observer, Gawker, Design Observer, Make Magazine, The Awl, Artinfo, and we-make-money-not-art. Paddy lectures widely about art and the Internet at venues including Yale University, Parsons, Rutgers, South by Southwest, and the Whitney Independent Study Program. In 2008, she became the first blogger to earn a Creative Capital Arts Writers grant from the Creative Capital Foundation. Paddy is also the art editor at The L Magazine, where she writes a regular column.

Paddy has written 1125 article(s) for AFC.

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Paddy Johnson

Changes at Contemporary Art Daily: A Conversation with Founder Forrest Nash

by Paddy Johnson on July 22, 2015
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When I first met Forrest Nash he was wearing khakis. It was June 2009 in Venice, four months before Hyperallergic declared Khaki pant wearers amongst the most powerless—at least in the Lower East Side. I liked Nash immediately. He was smart, had a great eye, and was almost completely lacking in pretension. His knowledge of art was encyclopedic and at that point he’d only been running his blog Contemporary Art Daily for a year.

Contemporary Art Daily (CAD) is a curated website featuring extensive documentation of selected art exhibitions from around the world. There’s no one style the site gravitates towards, but the photographs on the site typically show art deliberately hung and arranged in interiors like gallery and museum spaces and include a range of installation and individual shots of the work.

Now updated 10 times a week and religiously followed by art professionals across the globe, the blog began with Nash in 2008, while he was still a student at The Contemporary Art Institute in Chicago. It has since grown. In addition to CAD site now includes Contemporary Art Venues, (a venue listing service) and Contemporary Art Quarterly (comprehensive documentation of an artist’s career). To make all this happen CAD now employs four full-timers including Nash. In 2012 the blog became a non-profit.

In short, a lot has happened over the past seven years, and a lot of his happened relatively recently.. Contemporary Art Quarterly was launched earlier this year and Nash moved from Chicago to California this summer. I wanted to get the full history on the site, so we sat down to talk.

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Stories Made With Love: Sondra Perry’s Lineage for a Multiple-Monitor Workstation

by Paddy Johnson on July 7, 2015
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It’s an overcast day in March when Sondra Perry shoots her family portrait. She gathers the roughly ten members to stand in front of what we assume is her grandmother’s house, and asks them to hold up the American flag. They are all African American and wearing neon-green ski masks. “1-2-3,” chants Perry. “Cheese!” says the family.

A finder window pops up. The cursor clicks around and starts the music. “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” rings out and the window begins to slowly rotate and float back into the neon-green desktop wallpaper.

It’s a hypnotizing and beautiful entry point into Perry’s 25-minute “Lineage for a Multiple-Monitor Workstation: Number One,” a video that uses multiple windows on dual computer screens to invite viewers and her family to reimagine black identity and social history. Perry casts her relatives as themselves, and asks them to recall and reconstruct personal and fabricated family traditions. The result is a film that presents identity as half-true, half-constructed, and entirely mutable in the digital age. It’s a brilliant video, and one of the most worthy of attention I’ve seen in a long time.

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Seven Takeaways From Stay in New York

by Paddy Johnson on July 1, 2015
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The rent in New York sucks. It’s really high. It’s only getting higher. Is there any end in sight?

Last Saturday roughly 200 people descended on the Queens Museum to attend Stay in New York, a six hour long conference organized by Art F City in the hopes of finding an answer to this question. We didn’t come up with a grand solution, (sorry), but certainly there were a few useful take aways.

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Return to the Real? A Survey of the Analog in Photography

by Paddy Johnson on June 24, 2015
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Bryan Zanisnik’s “Green Owls Manhattan Bridge” is all illusion. In reality, this apparent flat collage is actually an elaborately constructed set, complete with foregrounds and backgrounds, stools, digitally printed wall paper and even windows to the outside world. Through July 1st, Zanisnik’s studio was located on the 8th floor of 20 Jay Street in DUMBO, (only a few floors above our office) with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge. The artist waited until sunset to shoot his still lives, which created that perfect blueprint blue you see in the shots of the bridge above. The set itself was photographed under studio lights.
This approach reminds me a little of Artie Vierkant’s digital manipulations of his exhibition documentation—in both cases, the artist’s statement seems to be that the documentation is the work. But it also seems a break from artists in the early aughts whose work relied mostly on various photoshop filters. Lucas Samaras’s self portraits and Cory Arcangel’s Photoshop gradient instruction paintings might be the highest profile example of such work, but there are plenty more examples. Is this new interest in physical illusion a shift away from digital manipulation?

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Gloom, Doom, and Glory at the Wassaic Project

by Paddy Johnson on June 18, 2015
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A look at this year’s group show at the Maxon Mill. (Spoiler alert: It’s good.)

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Your Kid Did Do This: Brian Belott at 247365

by Paddy Johnson on June 12, 2015
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Over at the Lower East Side gallery 247365, artist Brian Belott has opened Dr. Kid President Jr. one of the stranger shows you’ll see this summer—an exhibition comprised of 34 counterfeit paintings of found children’s art. The paintings are hung salon style on the gallery walls and the only clue that they are made by anyone other than a child is their surface. Each is painted with PolyColor on canvas. (PolyColor is a high end version of tempera.)

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