Julian Stern

William Edmondson, Robson Collection

Collecting Self: The Robson Collection at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

To talk about the late Margaret Z. Robson’s collection of self-taught art—recently donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum—you have to talk about how she collected. “My mother was basically a farm girl,” says her son, Douglas Robson, steward of the collection after Mrs. Robson’s passing. “So she was sort of an untrained artist in […]

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Work Over School: Developing Craft Outside the Establishment

To curator jill moniz, there is a tendency in the art world to overhype formal education. “In the art world now, there’s so much emphasis on school. But I had been working for a long time with artists who didn’t go to school and yet somehow managed to be true to their own narrative, and […]

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Mapping the Senses: The Tapestry of Jessie Dunahoo

In the back corner of Latitude Arts, a shared creative space deep in a Lexington, Kentucky industrial complex, Jessie Dunahoo is hard at work. Dunahoo is eighty-four. He sports a sturdy flannel, Liberty denim overalls, and a sewing needle balanced between his lips. For the past few years, three days a week and six hours […]

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A Radical Explanation: The Art of Noah Erenberg

If you ask painter Noah Erenberg about any creative choice, odds are you’ll get one specific response: “It’s radical.” Radical is Erenberg’s guiding principle. It’s why he uses oil paints; it’s his justification for artistic choices like making porcupines green and hanging a surfboard above the art bar being built in his backyard, it’s why […]


Consumption is in the Veins: The Art of Lincoln Townley

Lincoln Townley knows that cities have the power to intoxicate and destroy. The British painter spent the better part of his thirties running strip clubs in London’s Soho neighborhood, and he’s got the cocaine and alcohol addictions to prove it. So after a conversation with an actor friend who’d just returned from Los Angeles with […]

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The Assemblage of a House of Dolls

Most people don’t associate found materials with doll creation, but that is partially what makes Art Moura’s creations so intriguing. These collections of fabric and found materials- colorful rags, cloths, and other detritus are woven, dreaded, tied, and stuffed into each other to create each finished work. But while the building blocks that make up […]

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Earning Your Ink: Self-Taught Artist and Tattoo Specialist Anji Marth

Anji Marth works in a scope of mediums that can be, at times, dizzying: tattoos, painting, drawing, sculpture, jewelry. She even dabbles in taxidermy and just published an adult coloring book. But with range comes a difficulty to explain herself in the way that many exhibiting artists are asked to do. When asked to explain […]


The Collage Dropout

“A lot of collage artists are very meticulous. They’ll say, ‘Here’s a drawer of horses,’ or ‘Here’s a drawer of trees.’ I don’t have that.” This is collage artist Lou Beach. But he is definitively not one of those collage artists. We’re standing in the studio of his Los Angeles home, but in place of […]

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Starting with LEGO: the Self-Taught Journey of the Brick Artist

A man in red stumbles, trudges forward. He’s pushing off of a wall entirely of green, from which five arms are reaching out for him, grasping him, trying to pull him back into the green abyss. This is “Grasp,” a 30” x 67” x 30” sculpture by Nathan Sawaya a.k.a. The Brick Artist. He got […]

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Don’t Worry About Jack Vettriano

Jack Vettriano would greatly appreciate if you could not waste your pity on him. Four months ago, this request would have been easy. Borderline nonsensical. Why would you pity Jack Vettriano? He is, after all, a man who, demographically speaking, was sure to spend his life down a coal mine, but defied that destiny to […]