Visual Arts

Artist Unknown/The Free World

Organized by John D. Monteith & Oliver Wasow

Oct. 29, 2011 – Jan. 29, 2012
Opening Reception: Fri., Oct. 28, 6 - 9 pm
Book Release Event: Sat., Oct. 29, 1 - 4 pm

The U.S. premiere of a first-of-its-kind exhibition features hundreds of images of vernacular photography found online by artists John D. Monteith and Oliver Wasow. From the bizarre to the sublime, these anonymously sourced amateur photographs provide a fascinating view of American culture through the new frontier of social media.

Artist Unknown/The Free World is born of countless hours of online conversations between Wasow and Monteith. It reflects a new, emerging genre in contemporary visual culture and the artists’ recognition that in a digital environment the artist’s practice is increasingly migrating from the confines of the studio to the image-rich landscape of the World Wide Web.

Photography has traditionally been the most accessible and enduring visual medium for documenting a personal aesthetic. The advent of social media sites such as Facebook® has democratized photography even further. Artist Unknown/The Free World explores the nature of these developments to look at the different kinds of images that are providing source material to artists. How people choose to represent themselves on social networking sites and chat rooms illuminates their self-image from spaces once considered private or intimate. The project explores the growing practice of utilizing found images by artists, and in doing so, presents a picture of our culture through the collective lens of these amateur photographers.

In addition to the exhibition of found photographic imagery, the Center in collaboration with Gean Moreno’s [NAME] Publications will produce a book to accompany this exhibition. With hundreds of images selected by the artists, the book will include texts by internationally recognized art critics Jerry Saltz and Marvin Heiferman, the Center’s Curator of Exhibitions Jane Hart as well as a transcript of dialogue between John D. Monteith and Oliver Wasow which corresponds to this ongoing project.

Book Release Event

Sat, Oct. 29, 1-4pm

Free special event with artists and exhibition organizers John D. Monteith and Oliver Wasow, and [NAME] Publishing’s Gean Moreno on the occasion of the release of the book Artist Unknown/The Free World, published in conjunction with the exhibition. Q&A and book signing.

Hot Topics Speaker: Marvin Heiferman

Sat., Oct. 29, 4-6 pm

Hot Topics Speaker: Jerry Saltz

Sat., Dec. 10, 5-7 pm

Click here for more information about our upcoming Hot Topics Discussion Series and to purchase tickets.

Funding Acknowledgements

Funding Logos: State of Florida, Broward County, City of Hollywood

The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported in part by its members, admissions, private entities, the City of Hollywood, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council; and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. We welcome donations from all members of the community who wish to support our work.