conversations with artists

The Conversations with Artists series provides an opportunity for the public and students to hear from and speak with leading contemporary artists in an informal setting. Since its inception in 2006 nearly three dozen artists working in various media have participated, including Vito Acconci, Nikki S. Lee, Mel Chin, Walid Raad, and Wangechi Mutu, among others.

Kenny Rivero November 8, 2018
Kenny Rivero

Kenny Rivero's aim is to deconstruct the histories and identities he has been conditioned to understand as absolute, in order to reengineer those parts into new wholes, with new functions. This process allows him to explore, and come to terms with, the broken narrative of Dominican American identity, socio-geographic solidarity, familial expectations, race, and gender roles. His syncretic practice is influenced by salsa, hip-hop, house music, jazz, and merengue as well as Vodun and Santeria, both present in his daily life growing up.

Rivero was born in Washington Heights and continues to live and work in New York, He is a teaching artist at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and is adjunct faculty in the Visual and Critical Studies Department of the School of Visual Arts, both in New York. A series of new paintings that recall the dramas of his Washington Heights neighborhood are included in The Lure of the Dark: Contemporary Painters Conjure the Night, currently on view at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA.

Renée Stout January 31, 2019
Renée Stout

Renée Stout is a Washington, D.C., artist whose paintings and sculptures have earned her international recognition. Stout’s assemblages incorporate found objects, African symbols, remnants of stories and letters, and vintage photographs.

A 1980 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, her career began with photo-realist paintings of everyday urban neighborhoods. Soon, she developed mystical interests, delving into ancient African traditions, magic, and her vivid imagination. Her fascination with fortunetellers and the healing power of Voodoo priests was on display in her 1993 exhibition at the National Museum of African Art, where Stout’s fetishistic pieces were presented alongside Kongo carvings, believed to have healing powers.

Her works are in many museum collections, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Dallas Museum of Art.

John Edmonds February 21, 2019
John Edmonds

Brooklyn-based photographer John Edmonds is most recognized for bodies of work in which he focuses on the self-fashioning and performative gestures of young Black men, though he is also known for his evocative portraiture. His examination of identities outside of constructed social bias are the core of his ongoing practice; his work challenges conventional art historical canon by expanding its roster of subjects to include figures historically excluded from representation. He has held residencies at Light Work, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and Fabrica: The United Colors of Benneton’s Research Center. His work is in both private and public collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, FOAM Museum Amsterdam Library, and the George Eastman Museum.

Chemi Rosado-Seijo March 28, 2019
Chemi Rosado-Seijo

Puerto Rican artist Chemi Rosado-Seijo creates community-based interventions with strong ties to their site of origin. He creates multimedia projects that strive to bring daily life to contemporary art and propose alternative readings of political and social situations. Rosado-Seijo is a graduate of the Puerto Rico School of Visual Arts where he studied with the Cuban artist Zilia Sánchez, who is the subject of a major survey at The Phillips Collection in the spring of 2019. He has taken part in such local and international events as the Prague Biennial in 2005, the International Painting Biennial in Cuenca, Ecuador, in 2004, and the Whitney Biennial in New York in 2002. From 2002 to 2004 he did a residency at M&M Projects in San Juan, in 2005 at Art in General in New York, and in 2006 at Caribbean Contemporary Arts (CCA7) in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Previous conversations have featured:
Vito Acconci Diana Al-Hadid Janine Antoni Alice Aycock
Hai Bo Daniel Bozhkov Zoe Charlton Mel Chin
Amy Cutler Marley Dawson Abigail DeVille Mark Dion
Neil Feather Andrea Fraser Johan Grimonprez Wade Guyton
Hans Haake Lyle Ashton Harris Tehching Hsieh Peter Hutton
Matthew Day Jackson Jesper Just Ilya & Emilia Kabakov Hassan Khan
Wolfgang Laib Dinh Q. Le Nikki S. Lee Kalup Linzy
Anthony McCall Michael Jones McKean Linda Montano Wangechi Mutu
The Otolith Group Jorge Pardo Paul Pfeiffer Chloe Piene
Genesis P-Orridge Cheryl Pope William Pope.L Walid Raad
Pedro Reyes Matthew Ritchie Dario Robleto Jim Sanborn
Allan Sekula Jim Shaw Katrin Sigurdardottir Buzz Spector
Frances Stark Dan Steinhilber Catherine Sullivan Fred Wilson
At the Phillips