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New York: When Creativity Ruled the Streets
Speaker(s): Barbara Hoffman, Jack Waters, Jeannette Montgomery Barron, Rosalba Carriera
Recorded at: ART NEW YORK 2017

New York: When Creativity Ruled the Streets

New York’s artists made a giant impact on the art world. We saw the rise of art-as-popular-culture heroes Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Andy Warhol was leading the Pop Art movement. Further, the downtown performance art scene is legendary and the impact of works of art commissioned in a renewed spirit of civic art, as well as the postering of public spaces by the Guerilla Girls is evident to this day. Join our panel, led by pre-eminent art lawyer Barbara Hoffman with an original member of The Guerrilla Girls, Rosalba Carriera, legendary photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron, and artist, filmmaker and writer Jack Waters, as they discuss New York’s electrifying cultural scene, the artists that left their mark, and the vibrant scene today, which is the legacy.

Talk Details

This session took place live during the Symposium at Art New York 2017.


Speaker Details

Rosalba Carriera

Rosalba Carriera is the adopted name of one of the original Guerrial Girls.

Rosalba Giovana Carriera (12 January 1675 – 15 April 1757) was a Venetian Rococo painter. Appealing to Rococo styles for its soft edges and flattering surfaces, she is remembered as one of the most successful women artists of any era.

Clearly, in her time, she was very well known and financially successful.  However, she never made it into any art history books. The Guerrilla Girls adopted the names of dead women artists, such as Rosalba Carriera, as a way of making the world aware of their existence while keeping their own anonymity.

More about the Guerrilla Girls:

In 1985, a bunch of female artists, incensed by an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art that included 165 artists but only 17 women, founded the Guerrilla Girls.  Dubbing ourselves “The Conscience of the Artworld,” we started making posters that bluntly stated the facts of discrimination and used humor to convey information, provoke discussion and to show that feminists can be funny.  We assumed the names of dead women artists, and began wearing gorilla masks when we appeared in public, concealing our true identities and focusing on the issues rather than on our personalities.

In the years that followed, we produced over 90 posters, actions, billboards, postcards, books, and magazine projects, examining discrimination in art, culture and politics. Posters which once appeared on the walls of SoHo in the dead of night now appear on the Internet, in museums and in books.  We have traveled the world over, daring to speak out against injustice wherever it lurks.

Thousands of our supporters own copies of our work, as do institutions such as the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Getty.  We have been the subject of countless articles in newspapers and magazines here and abroad including The New Yorker, Ms. Magazine, Vogue, Esquire, and The New York Times.  We have been featured on PBS, CBS, CNN and many international TV and radio stations.  We have spoken at colleges, universities and art museums all over the world.

We have received awards from the National Organization for Women, the New York City Borough President’s office, the Center for Women’s Policy Studies, New York Woman Magazine and The Ministry of Culture in Berlin.  We were the subject of a documentary film, “Guerrillas in our Midst,” that has won numerous prizes.

In 1993 the National Endowment for the Arts funded our quarterly newsletter, “Hot Flashes.”  In 1995 we published our first book, “Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls.”  “The Guerrilla Girls’ Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art” was published in 1998.

Between 1985 and 2000, close to 100 women, working collectively and anonymously, participated in the group.  At the turn of the millennium, three separate and independent incorporated groups formed to bring fake fur and feminism to new frontiers.

More about Rosalba Carriera:

1675  Born in Venice

1689 Takes painting lessons from Giuseppe Diamantini

1700 Wins reputation as a painter of miniatures and pastels, both among Venetians and tourists

1705 Honorary member of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome

1706 Prince William of the Palatinate invites her to his court in Dusseldorf and for years commissions paintings and pastels from her

1720 Becomes honorary member of the Academie Royalde la Peinture in Paris and the Accademia Clementina in Bologna

1720-21 At the invitation of banker and collector Pierre Crozat, she makes her successful visit to Paris

1739 Elector Frederick Augustus II if Saxony bought her entire output of paintings.  This resulted in Dresden’s Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister now having 150 of her pastels resulting in a Rosalba room.

1751 Becomes blind

1757 Dies

Jack Waters

Jack Waters played the title role in the critically acclaimed film “Jason And Shirley” showcased at MoMa in 2015 the year of its release. 

Jack’s own experimental short, “The Male GaYze” exhibited at the Whitney Museum in the groundbreaking “Black Male: Representations Of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art”.  He and his partner, Peter Cramer, co-directed the paradigm shifting downtown cultural center Abc No Rio in the mid ’80s. Jack and Peter recently presented their mixed media work “Spaghetti Wrestling” at The Herman Nitsch Museum/Fondazione Morra in Naples, Italy. Always the trailblazers, they currently host events at Le Petit Versailles, the cutting edge garden venue on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

His profile photo is a portrait by Sally Apfelbaum taken at Le Petit Versailles.

Jeannette Montgomery Barron

Jeannette Montgomery Barron was born in Atlanta Georgia and studied at the International Center of Photography, NY, NY. She became known for her portraits of the New York art world in the 1980s, which were later published in Jeannette Montgomery Barron (Edition Bischofberger, Zurich, 1989). Her next book, Photographs and Poems (1998), a collection of her still life photographs, was a collaboration with the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jorie Graham. Mirrors (2004) includes a text by the celebrated author Edmund White. In 2006 she published Session with Keith Haring, 20 photographs taken by Montgomery Barron in Haring’s studio one afternoon in 1985. In My Mother’s Clothes, Montgomery Barron created a poignant portrait of her late mother through still life images of her cherished clothing, shoes, and personal possessions. As her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s progressed, robbing her of any remembered past, Montgomery Barron began this unique visual album as a way of both sparking her mother’s memories, and coping with her own sense of loss. Scene (2013) is a remarkable compendium of portraits of renowned personalities from arguably the most exciting era of New York City underground culture—the 1980s—when the young and indomitable flocked downtown in search of places to work and live among like-minded collaborators. These musicians, filmmakers, painters, writers, fashion designers, publishers, actors, models, and photographers played together, worked together, made their own rules, and changed our culture, as we know it, forever. My Life in the 1980’s New York Art Scene (2014) was published in conjunction with a major exhibition of Montgomery Barron’s work at Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
On October 13, 2016, The American Academy in Rome opened the exhibition, A View of One’s Own: Three Women Photographer in Rome, which featured Montgomery Barron’s work along with Esther Boise Van Deman and Georgina Masson. The exhibition is slated to travel to travel to the U.S. in 2017.

Her works are in numerous public and corporate collections, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Kunsthaus, Zurich; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; The Archivio Fotografico, American Academy in Rome and The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. She has shown internationally at Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich; Scalo, New York and Zurich; Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta; ClampArt, New York; and Magazzino D’Arte Moderna, Rome.


Barbara Hoffman

Barbara T. Hoffman is recognized internationally and nationally as one of the preeminent art, intellectual property, and cultural heritage lawyers. With more than forty years of practice in every aspect of the field, Hoffman has been acknowledged by her peers with leadership positions in the New York City Bar Association and International Bar Association, elected to Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in New York, Best Lawyers in the United States, and named to Art and Auction’s 51 Power Women in the Art World 2016: “As an attorney who has specialized in art law for more than three decades, Hoffman advises artists, their estates, and foundations; museums; collectors; galleries; auction houses; and even foreign governments on matters related to intellectual property, copyright, artists’ rights, and cultural heritage. Working with renowned artists such as Maya Lin and Faith Ringgold, she has litigated precedent-setting cases involving copyright and fair use, establishing copyright protection for visual images on par with that for music used in film and television. She has also been instrumental in drafting contractual guidelines for public art projects around the world.”

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