33 Artists in 3 Acts offers unprecedented access to a dazzling range of artists, from international superstars to unheralded art teachers. Sarah Thornton's beautifully paced, fly-on-the-wall narratives include visits with Ai Weiwei before and after his imprisonment and Jeff Koons as he woos new customers in London, Frankfurt, and Abu Dhabi. She meets Yayoi Kusama in her studio around the corner from the Tokyo asylum that she calls home. She snoops in Cindy Sherman's closet, hears about Andrea Fraser's psychotherapist, and spends quality time with Laurie Simmons, Carroll Dunham, and their daughters Lena and Grace.
Through these intimate scenes, 33 Artists in 3 Acts explores what it means to be a real artist in the real world. Divided into three cinematic "acts" - politics, kinship, and craft - it investigates artists' psyches, personas, politics, and social networks. Witnessing their crises and triumphs, Thornton turns a wry, analytical eye on their different answers - and non-answers - to the question, "What is an artist?"
©2014 Sarah Thornton (P)2014 Tantor
"With effortless sophistication, Thornton takes readers on a journey across the globe and into the homes and minds of contemporary artists." (Publishers Weekly)
Love the interviews. Sarah Thornton def had lovely access. Not so into her descriptions and francophiliac writing. Not a fan of the narrator. All that said, totally worth the listen. Excellent subjects and interviews.
I found this book about artists from around the globe fascinating. Being very familiar with art and artists, I listened knowing that the artists chosen were hugely successful but were a minuscule section of the art world at large. This could be good or bad news. That said, it was interesting to hear about the days in the lives of these art stars that everyone in the field is familiar with. Thornton had a way of pulling the curtain back on these artists, exposing their everyday, their gimmicks (if applicable), their strengths and weaknesses, but also their humanity.
The narration was good and I imagined in the tone of the writer.
The narrative flows nicely from one artist to the next.The author incorporates not only insights into the specific artists' approaches and philosophies but puts it all in a global context. The author looks at the people and the rolls they play in the art world today. It's difficult to conclude after listening to this book, that what is being touted today as the best contemporary art will stand the test of time.
Fascinating, enlightening and real.
I loved Sarah Thorton's subtle comparison of Ai Weiwei with Jeff Koons. I had never considered the artists to be opposites before and yet their work symbolically critiques each other. Brilliant!
Gilbert's inflection was perfect, her pauses were appropriate and her voice felt warm and welcoming. I enjoyed spending 12 hours in the car with her.
I could never listen to this book in a single sitting. I listened to it in 30 minute chunks, and it gave me a lot to think about at the end of each day.
This book is for art lovers and delves deep into the art market. A text version of this book with photos would be much more enjoyable to a casual art lover. I would only listen to this audio book if you already have a strong background of contemporary art history and know several of the artists that Thornton writes about.
This book delivers on its promise. It takes you into the lives of several contemporary artists, and it revealed the state of modern art.
The moments when Thornton was able to bring us into the artists' process were the most fascinating to me. Mainly, because many times, I had to reconsider what I thought art was - and what the role of the artist was in its creation.
I have not heard any other performances.
Addictive and provocative book. Just like Seven days in the art world. A must read if you are interested in the fascinating topic of contemporary art.
The value in this book is the insightful perspective the author has garnered over many years in the art world--perhaps better access than anyone among this segment of the art world. Her writing is superb, fun and entertaining besides educational.
Another great account by the one and only Sarah Thornton. We are transported right at her side while she elbows her way around the sometimes caged art world and she dominates the beasts so well! I love those beasts even more now!
Good book of art world gossip and humanizing interviews with the artists. The audio performance was really great. I would rec.
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