Joan Jonas, a pioneer of video and performance art, is considered the “ideal mentor” by Thao-Nguyen Phan, from Vietnam, where she has pushed the boundaries of contemporary art by combining painting, video, performance and installation.
For photographer Sammy Baloji, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the experience of working with Olafur Eliasson opened his eyes to other forms of artistic expression. “I was inspired simply by seeing his studio,” he says.
William Kentridge opened his studio to Mateo López and encouraged him to expand his concept of what it is to be an artist, pushing him past his comfort zone. To his surprise, López enjoyed the experience and has embraced a more spontaneous approach to his art.
Nicholas Hlobo’s work is intimate and provocative. The creations of his mentor are gigantic and enigmatic. These two unique artists enjoyed a lively dialogue, each intrigued and eager to learn about the other’s style.
Both mentor and protégé revel in the art of turning experience inside out. In their mentoring year, each artist found their way back to where they began, in some way.
Alejandro Cesarco and John Baldessari see images and complexity beneath words, offering a surprising plurality of meanings to the viewer.
Matthias Weischer wanted to watch David Hockney at work. He had to wait for his wish to be granted, but the experience was a revelation.
Sahel Al-Hiyari’s maturity as well as his strong visual language greatly impressed Álvaro Siza. The master also appreciated his future protégé’s awareness of the context and environment inherent in all architectural work.
May 2017 Colonization of the Congo by Belgium has left political and social scars that are the continuing theme of Sammy Baloji’s striking work.
April 2017 Vietnamese visual artist Thao-Nguyen Phan talks about the parallels between her work and that of her mentor, performance artist Joan Jonas.
March 2017 Mateo López chose his first solo art show in New York as an opportunity to collaborate with fellow protégé, choreographer Lee Serle.