Debra Singer

  • Debra Singer

    THE NEW YORK STORY may seem to be one of money, but even so, it is a tale encompassing many turns. Certainly, the celestial auction prices of an overheated art market dominated headlines in 2007, to say nothing of griping kaffeeklatsches of collectors, curators, and gallerists. Yet underdiscussed, perhaps, is how the long-bullish economy has affected sectors of the New York art scene that ostensibly linger on its fringes, enabling small galleries and alternative, nonprofit arts spaces to flourish. Indeed, the ever-expanding popularity of contemporary art—underwritten by the city’s many

  • Kalup Linzy

    “I AM CALLING from KK Queens Survey, and today we are contacting artists in your community. . . . Metaphorically speaking, how many asses do you kiss a week? One to two asses a week, three to four asses a week, five to six . . . ?” asks the pollster. “Five to six asses. I used to kiss more,” quips the distressed artist on the other end of the line, “but I got an infection on my bottom lip from all of the bullshit!”

    Occurring about midway through Kalup Linzy’s blistering lampoon of art-world power dynamics, KK Queens Survey, 2005, this bawdy exchange typifies the twenty-nine-year-old, New York–based

  • Tamy Ben-Tor

    PERHAPS THE ONLY THING that exceeds the hysteria within Tamy Ben-Tor’s performances and videos is the degree of hysteria about them. Although she has lived in New York City only for a year and half, having moved here to attend Columbia University’s MFA program, Ben-Tor has already enchanted the city’s art audiences with a series of short performances and performance-based videos that exude a distinctive, meaningful lunacy and reflect a sensibility located somewhere between art-world touchstone Cindy Sherman and the distant shoals of Ali G.

    The foundation for the artist’s live and recorded work

  • Debra Singer

    1 ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS, I AM A BIRD NOW (SECRETLY CANADIAN) These gorgeously crafted ballads about longing and loneliness, desire and pain perfectly combine Antony Hegarty’s ethereal, soulful voice with his highly original, touching lyrics.

    2 BARR, BEYOND REINFORCED JEWEL CASE (5RC) The raw, idiosyncratic energy of Barr’s (aka Brendan Fowler’s) declarative performance style completely won me over. His personal, political, and humorous songs are part inspirational stories, part positive manifestos.

    3 KONONO NO. 1, CONGOTRONICS 1 (CRAMMED) This incredible band from Kinshasa, founded more than

  • Kristin Baker,  The Unfair Advantage, 2003, acrylic on PVC, 60 x 108".

    Kristin Baker

    Accident and control, anxiety and euphoria orbit one another in Kristin Baker’s current series of paintings, which is inspired by the seductive theatricality of auto racing and fuses the sport’s electric colors, industrial materials, and iconic imagery with passages of modernist abstraction. The resulting “dysfunctional panoramas,” as the New York–based artist calls them, posit racing—with its combination of mastery, failure, calculation, and chance—as analogous to painting itself, offering an ambivalent reflection on modernity, spectacle, and global consumerist culture in the process.


    “EAVESDROPPING ON ONLINE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT digital and Net art, I always have a panic-attack feeling that the air has been sucked out of the room. Let's face it, a lot of this stuff is deeply sucky.” Strong words from self-styled tech maven Mark Dery, but the provocation mirrors a common enough skepticism when it comes to the marriage of art and digital technologies. As Saul Anton, Artforum's new website editor and the moderator of this roundtable, pointedly observes, such reserve is “inversely proportional to the exuberant embrace of all things digital in our culture at large.”

    Still, the ongoing