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 1143 article(s) for AFC.

Posts by author:

Paddy Johnson

Kunstraum by the Navy Yard

by Paddy Johnson on September 1, 2015
Thumbnail image for Kunstraum by the Navy Yard

A visit last week to the Kunstraum introduced me to their new studio program dedicated to provided short term affordable studio space and exhibition space to artists. The spaces I saw didn’t look to be much larger than a couple hundred square feet—perfect for some and small for others—but part of the program includes the opportunity for studio artists to use the gallery as a space for curation and events. So that’s awesome.

Read the full article →

Highlights from the Creative Capital Retreat: Part Three

by Paddy Johnson on August 28, 2015
Thumbnail image for Highlights from the Creative Capital Retreat: Part Three

In one of her many talks at the Creative Capital retreat this July, President & Executive Director Ruby Lerner spoke of the importance of keeping the organization weird. The short explanation of what this means is simply that she wants them to continue to fund projects that aren’t beholden to the market. (Lerner has announced her retirement, so the succession planning has begun in earnest.) More specifically, though, it means supporting artists who bring a point of view to the table, who aren’t afraid to fail, and who pursue excellence in whatever field they work in. These are artists who exemplify the creative spirit. Their work must be supported.

In my previous two posts summing up highlights from the Creative Capital retreat, I’ve tried to highlight presentations by artists who I felt exemplified those qualities. In my last post on this year’s retreat, I highlight three more. Here goes.

Read the full article →

If a Tree Falls in the Forest and There’s No New York Art Critic to Review it, No One Cares

by Paddy Johnson on August 27, 2015
Thumbnail image for If a Tree Falls in the Forest and There’s No New York Art Critic to Review it, No One Cares

I like looking. It’s why I write at Art F City, and why, every summer, I chose to vacation in the wilderness. I don’t want to stop looking, but I need a break from the rest of the job.

Spending a bunch of time on a trail makes that easy. This year, I spent part of my vacation at Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. One of the best qualities of visiting a national park: admission doesn’t come with a press release telling you what to think about your experience and why it’s important to humanity. Nobody expects visitors to theorize their experience in the woods or even reflect on it. The job is just to enjoy it. (Which I did.)

More after the jump.

Read the full article →

Updated: City Councilmen Holdup Bill to Save the City’s Artists and Small Businesses

by Paddy Johnson on August 26, 2015
Thumbnail image for Updated: City Councilmen Holdup Bill to Save the City’s Artists and Small Businesses

What is it going to take to get city politicians to start doing the right thing? It costs a small fortune to live in this city and when bills are introduced that would help give a leg up to artists, there isn’t enough support to get them off the ground.

Case and point: The Small Business Jobs Survival Act. This is a bill that will help commercial tenants facing displacement from rising rents—including artists’ studios and small businesses—and it currently has only 23 of the 26 votes it needs to pass.

The bill would require commercial landlords to offer ten-year leases to all existing tenants who’ve paid their rent on time. If the two sides can’t agree on terms, they go to arbitration. Currently a landlord doesn’t have to renew a tenant’s lease, can kick the tenant out whenever it suits them, raise their rent exorbitantly, and the tenant has no means of contesting the decision.

Read the full article →

GIF of the Day: Petra Cortright’s System Landscapes

by Paddy Johnson on August 24, 2015

Petra Cortright

Petra Cortright’s floral digital paintings command a lot of attention these days, but given the choice, I’d pretty much always look her system landscape GIFs from 2007. Perhaps it’s just a preference for her choice of media, but I also consider the work more important for its early example use of the computer environment as a compositional device. We see that a lot more commonly now—new and established artists like Camille HenrotSondra Perry and Saul Chernick have all used the commuter screen to frame their work with great success—and with good reason. It has a large presence in our minds and shapes how we see the world. Cortright was sensitive to this earlier then most.

Unlike most landscapes, which suggest passage through them, many of the animations in this series show us the places, but prevent us from entering. At every mapping stage there are broken notices like “Try Again.” and “Door is Closed.” Later in the sequence, the images switch to small growing flowers surrounded by wire frames that size up as the plants get bigger. By the end the windows have become tiny. “Connected” reads one, followed by “Disconnected.” Ten “Cloud Forest”, then a seemingly endless number of tiny squares with landscapes, each reading “Away Message.” “I’m back!”

system

flowers

away

Read the full article →