No. 6 | The Art Issue

In 2010, I visited the MoMa in New York City to see performance artist Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present. As I walked through the exhibition, I was filled with awe, curiosity and a rare feeling of excitement and inspiration. I recall leaving her show quietly, unable to express my emotions. I sat in complete silence on the subway heading home. All I could do that day was mentally unravel the significance her performance had for me. It took me a long while to understand the impact of that day. Only recently did I realize what happened: I had stepped out of the MoMa a new person, transformed, with a new perspective and a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.

Great artists often express ideas that are transformative, ideas that are ahead of us and not yet easily put into words. Sometimes it takes a painting, a performance—some visual analogy—to enlighten us, fill a void or guide us to a place of discovery.  

It’s no surprise, then, that the many artists who have discovered the upstate region have irrevocably transformed the cultural landscape. This issue is dedicated to them and their ability to construct new paradigms. We are incredibly proud to feature Marina Abramovic, arguably the most important performance artist in the world; Brice Marden, among the most profound abstract painters of the last four decades; Ryan McGinley, a photographer whose documentation of youth culture and the human form has been highly influential; and many other incredibly talented and inspiring artists based in this region. They are your neighbors, members of your community and, with any luck, your friends.

Nhi Mundy


Image: A portrait of the poet and painter (semi-secret hero in American art and culture) René Ricard who passed away in 2014 by Nan Goldin hangs on a wall in painter Brice Marden’s Hotel Tivoli in Tivoli, New York.