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Steve Mantinaos

When we bond with nature, she rewards us with beauty. Seeing true nature is a fascination and challenge for me and it drives my artistic practice. My desire to create leads me on a path to discover what is essential to all human beings— what is essentially human and what is essentially non-human. Culture runs through us bringing currents of objectification as well as reification. Technology increasingly assigns human-like traits to inanimate objects while we become more inanimate and homogeneous in the presence of technology. What it is to be human is called into question.

Gallery Sitters

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‘Gallery Sitters’ take a moment to return clients’ texts as they finish hanging the next show. The setting is a fictitious space where the world’s most expensive artworks are on display.  Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, Peter Doig, Elizabeth Peyton, and Damien Hirst are among the artists depicted. The gallery floor is textured with spikes of titanium white against a dark grey background that have a mesmerizing effect when seen in person from various angles. This represents the cost of real estate to be traversed to get to the artwork, paid for in part by the hard work and hours of devoted time spent by art workers. In stark contrast to the art establishment, they very often make only minimum wage. They are called upon to make last minute changes and meet unrealistic deadlines in a highly charged stressful environment. Art Workers’ Coalition (AWC) was founded in 1969 to address social reform in the Arts. Art workers banded alongside artists to bring about a more open and less exclusive exhibition policy by highlighting the lack of representation of women artists and artists of color. This just one example of the many issues they tackled together. It seems as though art workers have since been forgotten and the vital role they play in facilitating the aesthetic response. 

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