Just before the end of last semester on April 25th, Amy Wilson’s Foundation Drawing class took a trip to the Soho studio of artist Joy Garnett to look at her work and hear her speak about her artistic practice. While the students were there, student Berny Tan took a few photos, three of which I’ve included here.
Garnett’s paintings use images of catastrophic events mined from a variety of media outlets, including online news sites and magazines. As part of her presentation, Garnett showed the students folders filled with some of the images she’s collected, and spoke about how she transforms these images into paintings that reflect the “apocalyptic sublime,” her term for a mingled sense of wonder and dread we sometimes experience when faced with the vast natural and cultural forces that seem to have an increasing presence in contemporary society.
Since so much of her art involves the use of copyrighted materials, Garnett is also involved in the evolving debate on fair use and the rights of artists to appropriate proprietary images for their own creations. For over a decade, she has been writing about art, politics, and copyright issues on NEWSgrist, a site that started out as a small electronic newsletter over a decade ago. In addition, she is the Arts Editor of Cultural Politics, a journal that examines the cultural effects of global media, culture, and politics. She also mentioned that she is currently organizing a panel discussion on fair use and copyright issues for artists that will take place at SVA next year.
You can see more of Garnett’s art at her web site, and also at this link to her profile on Winkleman Gallery in Chelsea, which represents her. The current edition of Cultural Politics also features an interview with Garnett by John Armitage, which you can read here.