|Curator Sarah Bancroft, with some of the Biennial artists|
Few people know that being an Art Whore is a glamorous profession.You see lots of Art for free.
Curators tell you gossip off the record.
You hob-nob with young, vibrant artists.
You get invited to press junkets and offered free food.
I'm seated next to
Sarah Bancroft, the talented young curator of this year's Biennial, and
five of the artists involved: former Santa Ana resident Carlee Fernandez, Brian Dick, UCI graduate Juan Capistran, Sherin Guirguis and Futurama animator Jason
Plapp of Finishing School. Everyone is
personable and friendly, the caffeine in the ice tea getting everyone
chatty, the conversation drifting from mundane topics like marriage
(with most everyone at the table hitched or headed towards the altar
over the next months) to the dearth of OC artists involved in the show
(more about that in next week's blog when Art Whore hosts an e-mail
conversation with Ms. Bancroft).
In recession-era America, free food is important.
The down side?
Can't think of one.
We talk about the rarity of women
curators, especially ones with families: "It's not a 9 to 5 job. It
really isn't," says the single Bancroft.
"Sleep is so
over-rated," adds Fernandez.
Bancroft tells us she won't follow in
the footsteps of predecessors and do any repeats of previous Biennial
invitees. "It seems counter-intuitive to invite people who've already
been in the exhibition," says Dick.
so," Bancroft says, wrily.
Preferring to focus on emerging talent is a
welcome trait from any passionate curator hoping to shake things up a
bit and I'm excited and impressed that she's traveled to almost 150
studios to gather the 45 artists involved: "There is nothing more
exciting for me than to do studio visits."
How does she even
begin to keep that many individual artists straight? "Everyone has a
file," she tells me, and explains that there's always an epiphanic
moment when she's looking at the artist's work or talking with them that
sets those she invited to participate apart from the other 100-plus.
ask if it's all new work, and she tells me that the artist's roster will
involve both already existing and site-specific work from my
table-mates, as well as as the artists below. (Click on the links
provided to get an idea of the diversity of Bancroft's eclectic taste):
David Adey, Agitprop, b.an.g. lab, Gil Blank, Nate Boyce, Luke Butler,
Zoe Crosher, Dru Donovan, Mari Eastman, Eve Fowler,
Goldfarb, Katy Grannan, Alexandra Grant, Drew
Hopkins, Alex Israel, Glenna
Jennings, Barry MacGregor Johnston, Vishal
Kolar, Jennifer Locke, Los Angeles Urban Rangers,
Tom Mueske, Tucker Nichols,
Ontiveros, Nikki Pressley,
Andy Ralph, Will Rogan,
Talepasand, Wu Ingrid Tsang,
Nina Waisman, Flora
Wilson and John
The 2010 California Biennial will run from October 24,
2010 thru March 13, 2011. For more information, go to the OCMA website.