Met introduces The Artist Project

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has launched a new a new online video series dubbed The Artist Project. A total of 100 artists will take part in the initiative that basically gets them to engage with works of art from the museum’s collection, which “spans more than five millennia and cultures throughout the world”.
For one whole year, the Met will invite a block of 20 artists to participate in one of the seasons (five in total). Their brief is very simple – pick single works of art or galleries and explain what it is that excites and inspires them.
Thomas P. Campbell, director and chief executive officer of the Met, said that as of late he and his colleagues at the museum have been speaking a lot about the institution’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,” he continued. “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.”
The following artists appear in the first series: 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.
It’s always intriguing to see how artists react to works and objects, especially if it is something that strikes a chord with them. Videos like this, personal and inviting, offer us a fascinating glimpse into how they think.
We see similarities, of course, but most of all, it’s their distinct viewpoints that resonate most with us. Everyone has a different way of seeing the world and that is, at a base level, very comforting. It’s what makes us uniqiue.
Here are a few examples.
Cory Arcangel
He says of the harpsichord: “I have this fixation on the harpsichord because I like to work with stuff when people are looking the other way.”
John Baldessari
He says of Philip Guston’s Stationary Figure: “I think it’s brilliant: making art look like it’s not about skill.”
Nick Cave
He says of Kuba cloths: “I think sometimes simplicity is the most powerful form.”
Enrique Chagoya
He says of Goya’s Los Caprichos: “He’s not specific about a particular time and place. The human experience transcends through history.”
Natalie Frank
She says of Kathe Kollwitz: “It was the first time I had seen the world through a grown woman’s eyes.”
Zarina Hashmi
She says of Arabic calligraphy: “Once you are separated from language, it’s a great loss.”
Nina Katchadourian
She says of ‘Early Netherlandish portraiture’: “They feel so specific, like faces that you could see once you walk outside.”
You can gather a sense of awe, of a child-like fascination with the beauty and poetry of something that moves them. And, moreover, this emotional impact goes deeper, beyond just one artist “talking” to another. It’s a very human level of engagement and reminds you of the inherent magic of art.
Cadogan Tate can ship works of art from London to your chosen destination anywhere in the world.