Archive of Paddy Johnson

Paddy Johnson is the founding editor of Art Fag City. In addition to her work on the blog, she has been published in New York Magazine,, Art in America, The Daily, Print Magazine, Time Out NY, The Reeler, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and New York Press, and linked to by publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Boing-Boing, The New York Observer, Gawker, Design Observer, Make Magazine, The Awl, Artinfo, and we-make-money-not-art. Paddy lectures widely about art and the Internet at venues including Yale University, Parsons, Rutgers, South by Southwest, and the Whitney Independent Study Program. In 2008, she became the first blogger to earn a Creative Capital Arts Writers grant from the Creative Capital Foundation. Paddy is also the art editor at The L Magazine, where she writes a regular column.

Paddy has written 917 article(s) for AFC.

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Paddy Johnson

Is Jordan Wolfson’s Art Meaningless?

by Paddy Johnson on March 25, 2014
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“This work is not about adding any value.” says Jordan Wolfson. In his recent exhibition at David Zwirner, that appears to be the case.

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Chto Delat Withdraws from Manifesta 10

by Paddy Johnson on March 17, 2014
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Artists are starting to withdraw from Manifesta 10 in protest of recent events in Russia.

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Sparks: Performance Artists or Band?

by Paddy Johnson on March 8, 2014

All of my YouTube searches lead back to art or puppies. Last night’s brief break from the fairs lead me to a rediscovery of Sparks, a group formed in Los Angeles by brothers Ron (a straight man often wearing a Hitler mustache on keyboards) and Russell Mael (the sexy lead singer). Even a brief look at their career leaves one with the impression that they’re a performance art group that accidentally got labeled a band. I’ve embedded their 1974 hit “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us,” mostly because it’s my favorite song they’ve made, but it’s by no means their best video. For that I recommend the following quirk: “Lighten Up Morrissey,” an instruction set for Morrissey that features a group of dancing women in red wearing black-and-white Morrissey masks, “Dick Around,” a 2006 cat meme ahead of its time (it’s got only 17k views, presumably because it was made before people made careers out of their cats), and “Tryouts for the Human Race” a 1979 classic where we watch the band turn into werewolves. After watching those, the 1980 video “When I’m With You” where Ron turns his brother into a ventriloquist doll should read particularly well.

One final note on the subject of Canadiana: I suspect anyone who grew up in Canada during the eighties and nineties like me will immediately notice the influence Sparks had on Canadian rock star Gowan. Also of interest: Sparks is collaborating with Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin to produce the film The Seduction of Igmar Bergman. That’s a piece I’ll seek out.


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Floral Arrangements Dominate the ADAA Art Show

by Paddy Johnson on March 5, 2014
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Last year there was much talk about what kind of desks and chairs dealers used at the Armory. This year, we note the use of floral arrangements at the ADAA mainly for its ubiquity. I took shots of the flower arrangements in just one aisle at the ADAA and came up with more than enough images for a slide show. I should have shot more.

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