Please note that this program is in the past. For information about upcoming programs please visit thebroad.org/programs.
“…When I was trying to change myself into a figurative painter, I was more drawn to the rococo and the other damned souls of art history.” – John Currin
Artist John Currin joins James Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, discuss how traditional portraiture influenced Currin's modern interpretation of the form. Co-presented with The Broad's The Un-Private Collection art talk series and the Getty Museum's Getty Perspectives series, their conversation considered Currin's works in the Broad collection and classic European paintings and drawings in the Getty collection.
Currin emerged in the 1990s as one of the freshest voices in American art and was among a wave of contemporary artists who established a renewed interest in portraiture. Drawing from sources as diverse as Northern Renaissance paintings and pinup magazines, he is known for his distortions of the human figure and his critiques of societal ideals of beauty. Currin is also known for his contemporary renditions of old master poses and formats that often conflate opposing sensibilities—vaulted taste with vulgarity, sentimentality with irony, and conventional beauty with banality. Often rife with art historical references and suggestions, Currin’s work overlays with the Getty’s mission as an institution dedicated to critical thinking in the presentation, conservation, and interpretation of the world's artistic legacy.