“If I could tell a 15‑year‑old self something, it’d be to try not to care about your appearance. Besides that, I think to always hold on to that sense of childhood wonder, that excitement. I always try to make sure I remember to put that back into my work, to remember that from doing it because I love it, and it’s not just a job, and doing it for play. As an artist, I think it’s incredibly important to hold on to the fearlessness that you have as a child. It helps you take risks in your art.”
In honor of International Women’s Day this week, we are posting quotes from our latest Creative New York interview with Petra Collins, highlighting important issues relating to body image, openness and collaboration, and health care access as an artist. Read the entire interview at nyc.moma.org.
“My work is always about mapping. About mapping sometimes in a more literal sense, where I walk around in space in order to be able to reproduce it in a narrative way and also overlay that space with stories of people and stories of particular spaces. Then, there’s also mapping in a larger sense, which perhaps has more to do with understanding that [cartography] is making something visible. It’s drawing a line and grouping elements together so that those elements become visible as a part of a single space.”
–Valeria Luiselli, author of Story of My Teeth. PopRally spoke with Valeria about her nomadic upbringing, living in Harlem, and the pleasures of a good walk. Read the full interview at nyc.moma.org.
[Polaroid by Valeria Luiselli. Courtesy the artist]
Eastman Johnson (1824-1906)
“A Ride for Liberty - The Fugitive Slaves”
Oil on paperboard
Located in the Brooklyn Museum, New York City, New York, United States
Johnson portrayed an enslaved family charging for the safety of Union lines in the dull light of dawn. The absence of white figures in this liberation subject makes it virtually unique in art of the period—these African Americans are independent agents of their own freedom. Johnson claimed to have based the painting on an actual event he witnessed near the Manassas, Virginia, battlefield on March 2, 1862, just days before the Confederate stronghold was ceded to Union forces.
“I was mostly in love, and in love in a way that I’ve never been again with New York, when I was much younger, the first time I arrived here, and I was trying to be a dancer. There was a kind of love for the city that has developed now into maybe a much more mature marriage, with all its boredom and all its beauties as well.”
– Valeria Luiselli, author of Story of My Teeth. MoMA’s PopRally spoke with Valeria about her nomadic upbringing, living in Harlem, and the pleasures of a good walk. Read the full interview at mo.ma/creativenewyork
Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873)
“Countess Alexander Nikolaevitch Lamsdorff” (1859)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York, United States
The twenty-four-year-old countess depicted here was the wife of Alexander Nikolaevitch Lamsdorff, a Russian aristocrat and Francophile. The book of English poetry in her lap is thought to be a reference to her father, Ivan Alexandrovitch Beck, a poet and translator. Her choice of a fashionable day dress may have been suggested by Winterhalter, who is known to have advised his sitters on their wardrobe and posed them to their best advantage in his studio.
“This series of animations was inspired by finding solace in celebrating traditionally dismissed feminine objects, the act of creating a world that mirrors my desires, and Eiichi Yamamoto’s dark psychedelic fantasy tale ‘Belladonna of Sadness’ (1973).” - Grace Miceli
For PopRally Presents Petra Collins: In Search of Us, artists Madelyne Beckles, Aleia Murawski, and Grace Miceli have created a series of original, short artist videos, conceived with Petra Collins, that re-examine the canonical representation of the female body. This contemporary take on the 19th-century Salon des Indépendants has been released over the course of the week on our Instagram account, in advance of Saturday’s PopRally event, where a site-specific, live tableau will confront these very notions IRL. The event is sold out, but tune in to Instagram on Saturday night for live posts from the event. More information at mo.ma/PopRallyxPetra