Lot Details

Executed in an edition of 100, this portfolio of 18 gelatin silver prints by David Robbins titled ‘Talent’ is perhaps the artist’s best known work, comprised of portraits of notable contemporary artists taken in a headshot style employed by the entertainment industry. Robbins acted as an “agent” for the selected artists, styling their looks, scheduling the shoot, and paying for expenses. The series aimed to completely reinvent portrayals of visual artists in the context of the entertainment industry and cultural perceptions of the “tortured”. The project took over seven months to complete, and used James J. Kriegsmann studio who were renowned for their specialization in headshot photography.

Artists included in ‘Talent’ are Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer, Cindy Sherman, Allan McCollum, Ashley Bickerton, Robert Longo, Michael J. Byron, Larry Johnson, Thomas Lawson, Alan Belcher, Clegg & Guttman, Jennifer Bolande, Peter Nagy, Gretchen Bender, Joel Otterson, Steven Parrino, Robin Weglinski, and David Robbins.

In 2012, Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York held an exhibition curated by Michelle Grabner titled “25 Years of Talent”, which featured the work of each artist included in Robbins’ original portfolio.

Contemporary American photographer and writer David Robbins (b. 1957) is known for his work which investigated the overlap between art and entertainment. With his work, Robbins advocates to make art more engaging and approachable, creating a sense of accessibility and refining the characteristics which identify traditional models of entertainment and art. Having attended Brown University, Robbins got his start working under Andy Warhol, George Plimpton, and Diana Vreeland where he would interview emerging artists. The artist has exhibited extensively at such venues as Misako-Rosen Gallery (Tokyo, JP), Musee d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (Paris, FR), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL), and Tate Modern (London, UK), among others.

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The seller has recorded the following condition for this lot:
Tears / Punctures / Holes
Area: Image
Location: Upper left
Notes: There are three 1/4 inch tears in the upper left edge of the Jenny Holzer image only.
Degree: Moderate

Definition Key
Image The central image area, composition, or focal point; the area inside the margins/plate marks.
Margin Areas bordering the central image, outside the plate marks, or the perimeter area.
Edge The farthest edge of the object.
Verso The reverse/back of the object.

Minor An existing condition which generally does not involve risk of loss.
Moderate Noticeable damage, increasing in severity and/or size; should be monitored or corrected by a conservator.
Major Distinct, recognizable damage; the stability of the work is questionable and risk is a factor. Requires the attention of a conservator.
Extreme Advanced and severe damage; work is insecure and at great risk.

  • Private Collection, West Coast.
  • Pickup Location: California, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.32 cm.)
Accepted: Wire Transfer, Check
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