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Machetres: Latin Punk Rock Artists (Interview and Performance)

Smithsonian Education
Machetres, who got together at a Latin American Youth Center, addresses their immigrant experiences through punk rock. Listen to learn more about the group and their music. Smithsonian Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day 2012: Central American Traditions September 15, 2012 National Museum of American History

Robert Wilson

Catalog of American Portraits

ARTLAB: "Vernacular", Emerging Artists Showcase Fall 2019

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
ARTLAB hosts "Vernacular", a teen art showcase exhibition exploring the language of our familiar worlds. Featuring the artworks of over 30 teens in the DC-metro area, the showcase combined teen interns from ARTLAB's Emerging Artists and School of Hip-Hop programs. The Emerging Artists program takes teens’ artistic skills to the next level. This opportunity provides teens with exclusive access to ARTLAB technology, leadership opportunities, and direct involvement with events and exhibitions at the Hirshhorn. ARTLAB’s School of Hip-Hop is a ten-week performing artist intensive culminating in a live performance. Teen artists work with Artist Mentors to develop professional skills in songwriting, performance, and beat-production. Head over to to find out how you can join ARTLAB and become Video Production: Teddy Gee Productions Music: Adjatay


Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Bruce Nauman Self-Portrait

National Portrait Gallery
Bruce Nauman born 1941

Over the course of his career, Bruce Nauman has, in a wide variety of media, consistently returned to his own body as a site of experimentation. Nauman's self-reflexive turn finds expression in this self-portrait, which subverts traditional expectations by distancing the artist from the viewer rather than promoting engagement. Nauman's drypoint etching reflects the artist's interest in the front-back reversals inherent in printmaking. Here, it is not only a mirror reversal with which Nauman works, but also a shift of orientation. Positioned horizontally, the artist's profile hovers between a recognizable image and a fluctuating line. Whether sleeping, unconscious, or daydreaming, whether speaking or merely breathing, the artist, through his likeness, resists personal contact, even as he exposes himself. Ultimately, this may be the artist's most provocative gesture: that of deliberate withdrawal, even as he makes himself visible.

Laurie Anderson

National Portrait Gallery
New York performance artist Laurie Anderson has been in the vanguard of multimedia experimentation for more than thirty years. Renowned for her use of visual and musical technologies to create theatrical effects, she has contributed greatly to a new form of American opera. Just as important, Anderson is also a compelling storyteller, creating works that probe and respond to our increasingly technocratic society. Her breakthrough performance, entitled United States-a seven-hour, four-part multimedia event that premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1983-reflected her ambitious desire "to make a big portrait of the country." Often playing a mechanically enhanced violin amid a set that combines dramatic lighting, film, and photographic imagery, she rarely sings in a conventional manner, choosing instead to use her voice as a unique instrument as much as a traditional vehicle of communication.

Robert Wilson

National Portrait Gallery


National Portrait Gallery
Born Waco, Texas

A trailblazer in experimental theater, Robert Wilson has achieved worldwide fame for works such as King of Spain (1969); Einstein on the Beach (1976), in collaboration with avant-garde musical composer Philip Glass; and The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic (2011). Beyond his professional endeavors, Wilson also manages the Watermill Center in Long Island, New York, an interdisciplinary laboratory for theater professionals and students. Wilson’s honors include the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for Lifetime Achievement (1996), the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement (2001), and the Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production (2013). He was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2000).

Artist Chuck Close depicts Wilson using the woodburytype—a photomechanical printing process that results in a slight relief of the image. The close-up framing, elimination of background, and dramatic lighting allow us to engage Wilson eye to eye.


Robert Wilson nacido en 1941

Nacido en Waco, Texas

Pionero del teatro experimental, Robert Wilson se ha hecho famoso en el mundo por obras como King of Spain (1969); Einstein on the Beach (1976), en colaboración con el compositor vanguardista Philip Glass; y The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic (2011). Más allá de su quehacer profesional, Wilson maneja el Watermill Center en Long Island, Nueva York, un laboratorio interdisciplinario para profesionales y estudiantes de teatro. Entre sus distinciones se cuentan el Premio Dorothy and Lillian Gish por su trayectoria (1996), el Premio Nacional de Diseño, también por su trayectoria (2001), y el premio Olivier al mejor montaje de una ópera nueva (2013). También fue elegido miembro de la Academia Americana de las Artes y las Letras (2000).

Para retratar a Wilson, el artista Chuck Close ha utilizado un método de impresión llamado woodburytipia, un proceso fotomecánico con el que se obtiene un leve relieve en la imagen. El encuadre en primer plano, la eliminación del fondo y la dramática iluminación nos permiten tener un “tú a tú” con Wilson.

Chuck Close (nacido en 1940)

Woodburytipo, 2012

James Dine

National Portrait Gallery

Nam June Paik with Video Jungle

National Portrait Gallery

Laurie Anderson

National Portrait Gallery
Born Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Avant-garde composer and performer Laurie Anderson was trained as a sculptor and evolved into a musician during the 1970s when she put on a series of multimedia art installations and performance pieces. She started releasing records in the late 1970s and became part of the countercultural art scene that included such figures as Frank Zappa, Philip Glass, and John Cage, who all bridged popular and high art in order to create new, post-harmonic musical compositions. Anderson attained mainstream success with a number-one record in England (1981), and in 2003 she was named NASA's artist in residence, composing the piece The End of the Moon.

Ritual Performance

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
This elaborately decorated structure, built on top of a restaurant, supports a man dressed in religious attire and a gold ornamented mask. The mask, adorned with a green dragon with its purple wings spread out. Each layer of the structure of this platform consists of different designs of traditional Japanese motifs. Nestled into the background is a parade filled with men in a formal procession. Men in the march support one particular figure that sits in a highly ornate structure. The neighboring rooftops are hidden by clouds to prevent the viewer's eyes from being distracted by the first performance.

Kabuki Performance

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Vantage Point - "Take a Picture with a Real Indian" (James Luna performance)

National Museum of the American Indian
On Monday, Oct. 11, in observance of Columbus Day, performance artist James Luna (Puyoukichum [Luiseño]) invites the public to "Take a Picture with a Real Indian" at 4:15 p.m. at the Christopher Columbus statue outside the front of Union Station in downtown Washington, D.C. Luna employs humor, irony and penetrating insight to confront commonly held perceptions of Native Americans. In this restaging of his acclaimed performance work, he will involve members of the audience, who can take away photographs of themselves with the artist. Luna's work is featured in "Vantage Point: The Contemporary Native Art Collection" on view through Aug. 7, 2011.

Star Concord Movie Advertisement

National Museum of American History
Poster promoting several films, including: Pack Up Your Troubles starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy; Cabin in the Cotton starring Richard Bartholomew and Bette Davis; and Tiger Shark starring Edward G. Robinson and Richard Arlen.

Artists & Entertainers

National Portrait Gallery

Nam June Paik

National Portrait Gallery
Born Seoul, South Korea

Celebrated for his groundbreaking contributions to time-based art media, Nam June Paik was a pioneer in his recognition of television and video as artistic tools. The Korean-born artist studied music in Japan and Germany during the 1950s, becoming a key participant in the international fluxus movement, which stressed liberation from traditional artistic categories, with an emphasis on performance. Combining his interest in electronic art and musical composition, Paik collaborated with John Cage and developed a longstanding artistic partnership with the cellist Charlotte Moorman, who famously performed in a "TV bra" created by Paik. A deep sympathy with Zen Buddhism, shared by many artists of his generation and alluded to in this playful portrait by Abe Franjndlich, informed much of Paik's art, leading to projects such as Zen for Film (1962) and TV Buddha (1974). In 2009, the Smithsonian American Art Museum became the home for Paik's archives.


National Portrait Gallery
Jim Dine, whose work often depicts objects with which he feels a personal association, adopted the motif of the bathrobe as a self-portrait after spotting one in an advertisement in the New York Times in 1964. For Dine, the image was more than just a found object. As he explained, “There was nobody in the bathrobe, but when I saw it, it looked like me.” Shortly thereafter, the robe became the basis for an exhibition of paintings at the Sidney Janis Gallery. The robe also served as the motif for the artist’s first foray into etching. As though reflecting his pride in his early command of a medium that he would describe as “drawing with acid,” the bent elbows of the robe—conveying the invisible gesture of an artist with his hands on his hips—seem to signal youthful satisfaction.

Jim Dine suele representar objetos con los que siente una relación personal. Escogió el motivo de la bata de baño a manera de autorretrato luego de ver dicho objeto en un anuncio publicitario del New York Times en 1964. Para él, la imagen fue más que un mero objeto encontrado. Según explicó: “Nadie llevaba puesta la bata de baño, pero cuando la vi, se parecía a mí”. Poco después, la bata sería la base de una exposición de pinturas en la Sidney Janis Gallery. También sirvió de motivo para la primera incursión del artista en la técnica del aguafuerte. Como si reflejara el orgullo de Dine por sus primeros trabajos bien logrados en una técnica que describió como “dibujar con ácido”, la bata con sus mangas arqueadas, comunicando el gesto del artista invisible con las manos en las caderas, parece expresar una juvenil satisfacción.

Iowa - Music and Performing Arts

Smithsonian Magazine

Every summer, blues and jazz musicians from around the country come to Davenport’s LeClaire Park, on the banks of the Mississippi River. The three-day Mississippi Valley Blues Festival takes place on or around the July 4 weekend, and organizers promise a "down-home, non-commercial atmosphere." A few weeks later, LeClaire Park hosts the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, named for the legendary coronet player and Davenport native. The four-day festival has brought top bands to Davenport since 1972.

The Des Moines Arts Festival brings a juried visual arts exhibition and a variety of performing artists to Iowa’s state capital every summer. Past weekend-long festivals have featured blues concerts, ballet, poetry slams, jazz and street theater, as well as a fireworks show on Saturday night.

Design Your Own Performance

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson plan has students analyze images relating to Celia Cruz and then design a performance to understand the role of aesthetics and style in the performing arts. This lesson is a resource included in the online exhibition entitled Azucar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz.

Self-Portrait on J.D. Paper

National Portrait Gallery
Self-Portrait on J. D. Paper

Jim Dine born 1935

For Jim Dine, etching contributed to a new approach to self-representation. As he later observed: "Making prints was the first place my interest in figurative art raised its head." Dine's transition to figuration in the 1970s reflected increased personal and professional confidence. He confronts the viewer with an intense gaze. Using a profusion of expressive lines, he captures the thickness of his beard and the hair around his temples, and also conveys the aging of his skin. Professing his interest in "what life has done to the face," Dine has remarked, "I love people's tracks. . . . I want all that history." Taking advantage of etching's capacity to register such expressive marks, Dine invests his 1978 self-portrait with yet another layer of autobiographical significance, printing it on paper watermarked with his initials: J.D.

Oral history interview with Senga Nengudi, 2013 July 9-11

Archives of American Art
9 sound files (2 hr., 45 min.): digital, wav

Transcript: 53 p.

An interview of Senga Nengudi conducted 2013 July 9-11, by Elissa Auther, for the Archives of American Art's, Stoddard-Fleischman Fund for the History of Rocky Mountain Area Artists, at the University of Colorado and at RedLine Denver in Denver, Colorado.
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