You Should Be Watching: The Artist Project

Launched last week on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s YouTube Channel, The Artist Project looks at specific artists or works of art in the Museum’s permanent collection from the perspective of artists who have been affected by that work. The whole 20-episode series is worth watching, with an average episode length of three minutes. Below, I’ve shared the introduction to the series, along with three episodes of interest to fashion and textile historians. The first examines Kuba cloths of the Democratic Republic of Congo; the second and third highlight two painters that depicted detailed costume in their portraits: Hans Memling and John Singer Sargent. Watching these videos makes me want to visit the Met soon to take another look at these objects. The Met plans to produce 5 seasons of The Artist Project for a total of 100 episodes.

In this online series, artists reflect on what art is, what inspires them across 5,000 years of art, and in so doing, they reveal the power of a museum and The Met. Their unique and passionate ways of seeing and experiencing art encourage all museum visitors to look in a personal way. – YouTube Video Description

Nick Cave, the creator of the cartoonish Sound Suits that exhibited at Boston’s ICA last year, revisits the Kuba textiles that first inspired him when he was 18 years old.

Visual artist Nina Katchadourian, the photographer behind the viral “Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style,”  speaks affectionately of the Early Netherlandish portraits she views whenever she is at the Met.

Kehinde Wiley‘s own painting of The Veiled Christ is in the Met’s collection. Wiley discusses class boundaries and the motivations underlying the dress and poses of John Singer Sargent’s portrait subjects.

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