“the recording of art history”

Annie Kevans … I got Annie Kevans on the podcast! I have been smitten with Annie’s dreamy portraits since the first time I saw them way back in 2009. Well, nine years later and here we are {I like to ease into meeting my heroes}. Annie is a British artist who spent her early childhood in France, attended a {super weird} private school in England, lived in Barcelona for awhile, then London again, and NOW she lives in France. Again. Her story is so, so, so good, and I know first-hand because I was lucky enough to write all about it in my new book! We’re going to talk about all of it – from that super weird private school and her passion for women in art history, to Andy Warhol in drag and jumping off cliffs with a kite type of thing on her back. You can listen right up there under that lovely portrait of Lady Gaga (!), or subscribe on iTunes.

First up, Annie’s ‘Boys’ series. Let’s kick things off with Hitler, shall we:

Yep, dictators before they were dictators … dictators when they were sweet, young, rosy-cheeked boys. ps. This was the series that Charles Saatchi bought just as Annie was graduating from art school. THE. WHOLE. SERIES. Yeah.

‘The History of Art’sigh. I cannot explain how much I love this series featuring pioneering female artists:

So powerful, so beautiful. We mentioned Edmonia Lewis a few times and she is in there, of course … her story is so inspiring {she’s also the person Annie named in the not-so-speedy speed round as her choice for a dinner companion. I want to come too!} These unstoppable artists seem like a perfect segue into this next tidbit:

Yep, Annie is in my new book, ‘A BIG IMPORTANT ART BOOK – Now With Women’ – and she happens to be the first artist in Chapter 1! I had the honor of writing her story and displaying her gorgeous work. I have also sprinkled bits about historical women throughout the book, and in Annie’s section I just had to include Sofonisba’s story.

Alright, from inspiring women to fabulous male artists … who dressed like women from time to time:

These paintings are from Annie’s ‘Drag’ series, and here is part of her artist statement about this work:

In the ‘Drag’ series, Kevans reveals male art stars comfortably posing as women but confident that their achievements will not be forgotten.  Artists such as Francis Bacon, Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Robert Mapplethorpe and Cecil Beaton all photographed themselves in drag but the question remains: would these artists continue to be so revered had they been born women?

Hm. Excellent question, Annie. Excellent question.

And finally, Annie holding things together in Europe:

Ha! When you find something like this on your guest’s Instagram feed, well, YOU POST IT. Thank you soooo much to Annie for doing this with me, and for also being part of this big important book that is ridiculously important to me. Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and thank YOU for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

comments (7)

  1. Bea /// 10.06.2018 /// 1:11pm

    I bought your book because I so appreciate what you do…

  2. Barbara Johansen Newman /// 10.07.2018 /// 11:48am

    We actually studied the art of Marisol in college back in the 70s. The first I time I actually saw it in person was in the Albright Know Museum in Buffalo while i was in art school in SUNY. It is perhaps because she never played the fame game, that we know less about her these days. What a shame. She deserves to be better known. I’ve never heard her art described as “pop” before. It’s far deeper than that, really. What I love about her work is the combination of mixed materials and her play with surfaces. Now that I work in assemblage I especially appreciate her. Very glad to hear her mentioned. I want to look for that documentary film.

  3. Shandra Smith /// 10.09.2018 /// 8:26am

    Lovely portraits! And I especially like Annie’s story of getting expelled and being a rebel. You go girl -keep it up! Thanks for another informative podcast Danielle

  4. Laura /// 10.09.2018 /// 2:19pm

    What is the name of the documentary you mentioned on the podcast? It sounds fascinating!

  5. Gabriella /// 10.17.2018 /// 4:24pm

    Enjoyed this interview. I was curious what’s the name of the turpentine substitute Annie mentioned on this podcast? A lemon substitute she mentioned. thanks!

  6. Rosemary D'Elia /// 10.19.2018 /// 10:02am

    Speaking of children and skydiving, I made my daughters all promise that if they ever did something as terrifying (to me) as skydiving, that they would only tell me about AFTER they were safely back on the ground and not broken. Thinking that I was raising children who would never be so silly as to jump out of a perfectly working airplane.

    Right, so one Saturday morning I get a phone call. “Mom, guess what I just did!” Yep, she had gone skydiving and lived to tell us all about it. My advice, however, had worked and her Dad and I only had a few moments of heart stoppage because it was over a done. So if Charlie really wants to – make him swear he will only tell you afterwards, and after he turns 18 lol.

    Danielle, thanks for all of your amazing podcasts and fun books! I am in my studio listening, and feeling grateful to you for the kick in the pants to be out here painting, because for so many years that Inner Jerk kept me from it. And really, I have you to thank. Keep at it!!

  7. the jealous curator /// 10.19.2018 /// 7:16pm

    haha! that’s brilliant!!! i will for sure tell him that – thanks rosemary 🙂

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