Visiting Artist Lecture: Janine Antoni. By: Nicole Avant

For my visiting artist I chose to do Janine Antoni.  I firstly want to say that I was amazed at how many people came out to see her.  The entire 1B20 was packed to a level that I have never seen before I think that this was a huge reassurance to her that people do enjoy her work and want to see it.  On a more personal level, I really like Antoni’s work.  I think that she puts an exceeding amount of thought and care into the works that she produces.  For example, in Loving Care she thought of pushing people out of the room as her mother would do when she was moping the kitchen floor.  I like her take on art and the fact that when she is making art she thinks about how it is going to make people react.  I liked the fact that she really went into describing her work and why she did what she did.  An unfortunate aspect of her work is the fact that to really understand it you have to know what it is about.  I never really appreciated her work until I went to this lecture and learned some of the real meaning behind it.  If a person was to simply google her work they would not get a true assessment of what it is really about.

I think my favorite aspect of her work was the fact that she is always thinking about connections and the connections that exist between two things.  In her piece 2038 she is looking at the connection that we have with cows and then reversing it so the cow is actually drinking from her.  Another reason I really like her work is the fact that you have to look at it with an open mind.  Some of the things that she has done in her work is very out there, for example peeing off the Sears Tower, but you cannot judge her for that you have to look for the connections rather than what she is actually doing.

Per piece she conveys a very strong narrative by saying that all things are connected.  I think one of my favorite pieces that she told us about was Love Letter.  I like the fact that she did all of that even though she will not be able to see the reaction of the people to the letter that she left.  I think that this shows a great deal of confidence in her work, that although she will not be able to see people’s reactions she knows that it will still make an impact on them.

I thought that it was a little unfortunate that we were unable to really see her work.  So much of her work is performance, so it can only be represented through pictures rather than actually seeing the piece.  Another aspect of this is that most of her pieces are installation and ephemeral.  For example, Gnaw is a piece that I would have loved to seen but it is no longer around because it was made of chocolate and has probably melted by now.   I think that the fact that she uses her own materials adds to her work in the fact that she is willing to take the time and make the piece 100% hers.  All of her pieces are hers from the concept of the idea to the finish every aspect has been influenced by her.

I really enjoyed going to this lecture and listening to Antoni talk about her work.  She takes so much time in each piece and I never really realized how much each piece really meant to her until I attended this lecture.  She really demonstrated to me the time and thought that she puts into each piece and how passionate she is about art.

I think that the lecture made her art more effective.  I was able to really see what she is thinking when she makes each piece and how much each piece means to her.

3 Responses

  1. Antoni seems like a pretty amazing artist. I think the fact that you have research her work if you want to really understand what she was thinking is more typical than one might think. Most artists have their idea of what their work is, and then some people get or some don’t. The initial reaction her work had on me was definitely that this was dense and had a lot of meaning behind it. It interested me because it seemed pretty extreme and even gross. I agree with you though that hearing her explanation does make the work more relatable.

  2. I really love how you explained that to get to know and relate to the art, that the artist needs to explain it. With her work this is especially true and because of that i feel that you really captured the beauty of it in your paper as well. Her work i feel is very deep and takes a while to understand because it has so much meaning and emotion to it.

  3. I definitely agree about how you reacted to Antoni’s work. She is perhaps my favorite artist. There is something valuable about her work in that she puts herself into it, unlike many modern artists who just have a team of people create something for them. I agree that if someone were to just look at her artwork on a page they wouldn’t understand how integrated is, and how personal it is. I would agree with your assessment of her work and there is definitely a reason why she is so popular.

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