Art Monster: On the Impossibility of New York

Art Monster: On the Impossibility of New York

by Marin Kosut
Art Monster: On the Impossibility of New York

Art Monster: On the Impossibility of New York

by Marin Kosut


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Why do people choose the life of an artist, and what happens when they find themselves barely scraping by? Why does New York City, even in an era of hypergentrification, still beckon to aspiring artists as a place to make art and remake yourself?

Art Monster takes readers to the margins of the professional art world, populated by unseen artists who make a living working behind the scenes in galleries and museums while making their own art to little acclaim. Writing in a style that is by turns direct and poetic, personal and lyrical, Marin Kosut reflects on the experience of dedicating your life to art and how the art world can crush you. She examines the push toward professionalization, the devaluing of artistic labor, and the devastating effects of gentrification on cultural life. Her nonlinear essays are linked by central themes—community, nostalgia, precarity, alienation, estrangement—that punctuate working artists’ lives. The book draws from ten years of fieldwork among artists and Kosut’s own experiences curating and cofounding artist-run spaces in Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Chinatown. At once ethnography, memoir, tirade, and love letter, Art Monster is a street-level meditation on the predicament of artists in the late capitalist metropolis.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231216135
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 07/02/2024
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,065,717
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Marin Kosut has published fiction and nonfiction in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Cabinet Magazine, Hobart, Rejection Letters, and elsewhere. She founded Pay Fauxn, a gallery in an abandoned pay phone shell at a Brooklyn bus stop. A MacDowell fellowship recipient, she holds a PhD in sociology from the New School and teaches the sociology of art at SUNY Purchase College. She lives in Brooklyn.

Table of Contents

Author Statement
Part I
1. Other Art Worlds
2. Somewhere Else
3. Over
4. Will You Listen to the Problems of a Stranger?
5. Habiter
6. Art in America
7. Artists I Knew
8. Artistness
Part II
9. Cupcake City
10. Poison
11. Neighborhood
12. Good Housekeeping
13. Handling
14. Melancholia
Part III
15. Yes
16. Hierarchies of Distance
17. Fishing
18. Group Club Association
19. Pay Fauxn
20. Pay Fauxn Manifesto
21. Miracle
22. Oblique Attempts (Toward a Conclusion)
Methodological Appendix
CREAP Manifesto
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