where artists can submit a wide variety of media, from contemporary painting, digital art, and sculpture to photography and video.
Jeff Koons is an American artist known for his large-scale installations and sculptures that test the boundaries between popular and elite culture. But before his work was selling for millions at art auctions around the world, Koons was a commodities broker on Wall Street. The artist used his day job to finance his art projects in the early 80s. In 1985 his groundbreaking show Equilibrium, which included basketballs floating in aquariums and lifesaving devices cast in bronze, caught the art world’s attention and allowed Koons to leave the finance industry behind and focus full time on his art.
Richard Serra is an American minimalist sculptor known for working with large-scale assemblies of sheet metal. To fund his art during the 1960s, Richard Serra started a furniture removals business in New York called, Low-Rate Movers. He employed many of his fellow struggling art friends, including artist and composer Philip Glass, who worked as his assistant helping him to install shows and lug furniture up and down steps.
After dropping out of college at Syracuse University and spending a semester at Parsons School of Design in New York in 1965, artist Barbara Kruger got a job as a graphic designer at Condé Nast in 1966. She worked on Mademoiselle magazine, a women’s publication primarily about fashion. A year later, Kruger was named the magazine’s head designer.
In 1969, Kruger began to create her first artworks, it was her experience in publications and exposure to advertising that inspired her work, and saw her adopting punchy graphics and catchy slogans to convey her ideas on power, identity and sexuality.
Artist Mark Rothko is seen as one of the great abstract painters in history. The artist became interested in the art scene when he moved to New York in 1923. He subsequently enrolled in various classes and courses in the city including Parsons School of Design, and in 1928 he exhibited work for the first time with a group of other young artists.
While Rothko saw modest success as an artist from that point onwards, the artist still needed to supplement his income and in 1929 he began giving classes in painting and clay sculpture at the Center Academy of the Brooklyn Jewish Center. The artist remained a teacher there for 22 years, leaving in 1952.
From 1981 to 1993, conceptual Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei lived in the United States. In 1983 he came to New York and studied briefly at Parsons School of Design and then attended the Art Students League of New York for three years. He dropped out of school and made a living out of drawing street portraits and working odd jobs like house painting and carpentry.
When Weiwei was living in the East Village, the artist became fascinated by blackjack card games and often went to Atlantic City casinos to play. In gambling circles Weiwei is still regarded as a top tier professional blackjack player.
Keith Haring was an American artist whose pop art work grew out of the New York City street culture of the 1980s. Using the streets of the city to spontaneously create work that addressed political and societal themes and then progressing onto large scale murals, Haring’s work has grown to be iconic. Before this international fame, Haring first worked as a busboy at Danceteria, a well-known four-floor nightclub in New York City which operated from 1979 until 1986. It was the same club Madonna worked as a coat-check girl in the early 80s.
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