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Beverly Semmes at Microsoft

Cover: The Last Folk Hero Photo: Dietz

Waiting for Godot Photos by Donn Young and Frank Aymami.

Courtesy of Creative Time.

© All rights reserved

Dear Readers,


This summer’s issue of The Art Section could perhaps be called our “art-insiders” issue, as all three articles are from the perspectives of people who have been involved in or looked behind the scenes of various art worlds. Clear-eyed, they report to us with both enthusiasm and healthy skepticism on what they have seen there.

We begin with The Art Section’s Editor-in-Chief Deanna Sirlin’s interview with Michael Klein, who has had a distinguished and multi-faceted career as gallerist, curator, and, currently, documentary filmmaker. Klein speaks of how he came to be interested and involved in art, conveying his passion for that world and its inhabitants. He discusses his work as a producer of documentary films about artists in terms of a strong desire both to demystify the artistic process for a general audience and preserve artists’ legacies in audio-visual records. 

Next up is Andrew Dietz, author of the controversial book The Last Folk Hero: A True Story of Race and Art, Power and Profit (Ellis Lane Press, 2006), who raises provocative issues concerning the exploitation of folk artists and the question of whether exploitation is inevitable when art meets the market. We present an excerpt from the book and the author's reading of it.

Finally, Laura Hunt interviews Shane Brennan, Curatorial Assistant at Creative Time, Inc., who was part of the team that presented Waiting for Godot in New Orleans in 2007. Brennan speaks not only to the poignancy of performing Samuel Beckett’s bleak vision in post-Katrina New Orleans and the power of art amid devastation, but also to questions arising from the potential politicization of art.

Have a great summer. We’ll be back with a new issue in September! 

All my best,


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