Lara Jo Regan, Girl Running from Malibu Fires, 1993, Los Angeles, 1993, courtesy Lara Jo Regan.

DECODER

Urgent Apathy

The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again,…
Read Article →
Agnes Martin, Falling Blue, 1963, © 2016 Agnes Martine/Artists Rights Society, New York, photo courtesy Pace Gallery

DECODER

The Spectacle of Curation

If you’ve been to a museum lately you’ve noticed all the not-art. The artist’s notebook, the artist’s ticket to Switzerland, the fragment of the stage…
Read Article →
Illustration by Dave Shulman

DECODER

The Dummies Guide To Interviewing Artists

Q: What are your influences? A: Mediocre things, like this interview. That’s a terrible question. So I think “When I do an interview, I need…
Read Article →
DECODER

DECODER

Beauty is a Slut

Writing “It’s beautiful but…” means you’re stupid. Other fields don’t put up with this shit. “Delicious” is no joke: in the 17th century the Dutch…
Read Article →
Patricia Chow, Untitled (2018), courtesy of the artist

DECODER

Impulses of the Heart

Regular readers might remember a column from a few months ago where I got loud about how publicists are just one more way the art…
Read Article →
Jack Nance in David Lynch’s Eraserhead, 197.

DECODER: LOOKING FOR AMBIGUITY

I think we might have to consider the possibility that fine art is a genre. Or perhaps has become a genre. Someone clever whose name…
Read Article →
Carolee Schneemann, Interior Scroll, 1975, performance.

DECODER

The Wrong Kind of Sex

I know a curator who used to work for Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen—her job was to look through all the old press clippings…
Read Article →
DECODER

DECODER

But So Instagrammy

Artists will ask, “What’s your Instagram?” It’s horrible. Anything: Twitter, Facebook, just Google me, even asking for a business card is fine (even though I’ve…
Read Article →
DECODER

DECODER

Incredibly Layered

Galleries usually just send you their press releases, but sometimes you get them from a whole PR firm. I’m on this firm’s list now, and…
Read Article →
Cosey Fanni Tutti in Ritual Awakening, Zap Club, 1986

Zak Smith in conversation with Cosey Fanni Tutti

Strange Forms of Discipline

You find out about Cosey Fanni Tutti’s various bodies of work by rumor or implication—did you know that someone once did this? Did you know…
Read Article →
“The Curated Loo: The Dick Pic Show,” curated by Katie Bode and Kenton Parker, installation view, photo by Ruben Diaz, courtesy Chimento Contemporary.

DECODER

“Penises: 1850–2017”

“Regrettably, the provocative nature of your content is likely unsuitable for our audience at this time.” It may shock you to discover that artists still…
Read Article →
Robin Schwartz’ portrait of crab-eating macaque with a banana taking a bath in a sink at Alice Austen House Museum.

DECODER

Planning a Day of Art in New York

Let me be honest with you, New York, I can start a Wednesday all about a museum visit on Friday but by Thursday evening the…
Read Article →
George W. Bush, José E. Santiago, Specialist, United States Army, 1999–2006.

DECODER

Please Move Over George W. Bush

The art world is in a genteel panic—reliable work isn’t selling, galleries are moving and closing, Andrea Rosen has said she’ll no longer represent living…
Read Article →
Alice Neel, Nazis 
Murder Jews, 1936

DECODER

Whatever You Were Doing, It Didn’t Work

If you ever said fine art was a political act, you were wrong. Consciousness-raising—as art’s broad project, as an abstraction somehow implied in the diversions…
Read Article →
DECODER

DECODER

Art Criticism So Passé

In the line to vote, a woman from Guatemala is very proud to be voting Hillary and a guy from Silver Lake is very proud…
Read Article →
Russin at LACE exhibition: “(en)Gendered (in)Equity: The Gallery Tally Poster Project,” organized by Micol Hebron, 2016.

DECODER

Interview with Sarah Russin

Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, located right in the middle of the Walk of Fame, isn’t just a rare example of a nonprofit contemporary art space…
Read Article →