Art & The World – Stories and Virtual Events Connecting Art and the World

(Image credit: Unsplash)
(Image credit: Unsplash)

Art and the World is the evolution of Joelle McTigue’s Twitter account (@joellemctigue) that began in 2009 to share contemporary art events, artists, art spaces, and galleries in the Los Angeles art scene. While covering the city, its art world matured from old-school cool and hipster independent spaces to blue-chip gallery rows.

Joelle McTigue LA Landscape
Joelle McTigue, LA Landscape

While living in Los Angeles, Joelle’s interest in street photography happened organically. Long walks wandering the city began with a departure point, but never a destination. Los Angeles is filled with chanced adventures for those who explore the city by foot or public transportation. Eventually, Joelle took a camera to document the fortuitous finds.

The derives-driven series Los Angeles Landscapes was produced by choosing Twitter interactions with @joellemctigue– ranging from LAX runway extensions at the Westchester/Playa del Rey Neighborhood Council to May Day demonstrations supporting Immigration Reform.

Joelle McTigue May Day
Joelle McTigue, May Day

As Twitter relationships grew, cultural institutions and events invited Joelle to live post (an early form of social media influencer). For the newly TCL branded Chinese Theatres in Hollywood, Joelle covered the Phantom with David Duchovny, Jack the Giant Slayer, and Safe Haven movie premieres and Robert De Niro’s imprint ceremony. 

Brands, bands, and venues soon followed, inviting her to live-tweet Guns N Roses at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas as well as showcases for HAIM, Elle King, and Tame Impala. Los Angeles Landscapes became a linked and contradictory archive of Joelle’s relationship with Twitter and Los Angeles.

Joelle McTigue Robert Deniro Handprint Ceremony
Joelle McTigue, Robert Deniro Handprint Ceremony
Joelle McTigue Los Angeles Athletic Club
Joelle McTigue, Los Angeles Athletic Club
Joelle McTigue Koreatown
Joelle McTigue, Koreatown

In 2015, Audi asked her to join the massive community-driven #paidmydues campaign, an extension of the “Paid My Dues” ads starring Ricky Gervais. The campaign culminated with a live show that brought together 15 artists to celebrate the creative spirit and featured performances by the Upright Citizens Brigade.

  • Top 100 Los Angeles Influencer by Kred
  • Top 0.01% Influencer in 13 Arts & Culture topics by Klout
  • 10+ Million impressions/month by TweetReach

Audi #paidmydues
Audi #paidmydues

Joelle’s street photography evolved into the current work after traveling full-time for five years and becoming enamored with Europe’s grand gardens. The gardens, their history, and how the land is re-purposed inform how photos are deconstructed and rebuilt. The original photographs are of public spaces that embody the power dynamics of practical, leisurely, and spiritual pursuits.

Joelle McTigue Paris
Joelle McTigue, Paris
Joelle McTigue, Rathaus, Basel Town Hall. Basel, Switzerland 50 × 60 in
Joelle McTigue, Rathaus, Basel Town Hall. Basel, Switzerland

The series Control and Cooperation is also inspired by the Ray and Charles Eames’ Powers of Ten film. The original photographs are taken apart and re-stitched together to collapse the perspective and emulate an aerial point of view. The outcome is closer to a digital painting than a photograph.

Power of Ten by Ray and Charles Eames

Joelle spent most of her full-time travel in Europe. The time allowed a deeper understanding and ability to learn about local culture and history, “I have tremendous respect for the people I’ve met who have a deep understanding of their cultural identity and heritage. I have an array of cultural influences, and none of them dominate any other. For me, cultural identity is elusive.”

Montenegro was one of the first places Joelle stayed during the early years of travel and knew a return visit was inevitable. Finding the familiar in the unfamiliar spurred a creative burst. Within two weeks of the second trip, Joelle settled in Montenegro. The country serves as a comfortable home base to have easy access to visit European art fairs, galleries, and cultural hubs.

Joelle McTigue Kotor
Joelle McTigue, Kotor
  • Top 3 Influencer from Montenegro by Klear
  • Top 0.1% Influencer in 6 Arts & Culture topics by Kred
  • 5.5+ Million impressions/month by Union Metrics

2020 has been a very interesting year. Quarantine and social distancing caused a slow-down and change to our world. Even though we lived in a tech-driven world, 2020 has pushed the adaptation of virtual worlds and live streaming. The artworld is back. Join Joelle in exploring art fairs, talks, and exhibitions as we virtually connect with art and the world.

What is Contemporary Art?

Art is not created in a chasm, and the world is duller and less understood without art. Dialogue, identity, and politics run through contemporary art at every level. Art is a form of communication with the past, present, and future. No matter what you are trying to convey, invoke, or record with art, the commonality is an attempt at communication.

Joelle McTigue New York City
Joelle McTigue, New York City

If you aren’t familiar with contemporary art, that’s fine. Art & The World will make side notes to clarify terms and ideas that frequent the art world’s vernacular but are not always written out or clear in context.

Modern and contemporary art are not as synonymous as they sound. Modern art refers to work created between the 1860s and 1970s, particularly representative of that time. Where once stood firm boundaries of acceptable themes, topics, and mediums, modern artists took an internal and personal view of the world.

“To do a dull thing with style-now that’s what I call art.”

Charles Bukowski

There was a definite shift away from creating how others tasked. Realism bent towards abstraction and traditional literature gave way to beat prose. The modern art era pushed generational shifts on art’s view towards the seemingly constant definitional changes within contemporary art and literature.

Joelle McTigue, Los Angeles Fashion District
Joelle McTigue, Los Angeles Fashion District

Contemporary art is work created between the 1970s and the present. Or, in other words, of our time. People often think of the art world as an isolated and barricaded subculture. Even contemporary art as vain, which it can be. But that’s also a reflection of who we are as cultures in our time. In reality, contemporary art portrays much more diverse and critical worlds and voices than ever before.

About Me

Joelle McTigue, Submarine Tunnel, Built by the Yugoslav Army. Rose, Montenegro 30 × 60 in
Joelle McTigue, Submarine Tunnel, Built by the Yugoslav Army. Rose, Montenegro

Joelle McTigue (b. 1984, New York, USA, and raised in the Caribbean) received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is a part of the permanent Rubell Family Collection and The John Paul Getty III founded Siena Art Institute Library Collection. McTigue’s exhibitions have been in New York City, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, England, and Los Angeles and covered by The New York Times, Artforum, and The Wall Street Journal. McTigue lives and works in Montenegro.


Do You Want to Contribute?

You can send a pitch if you have a story that connects art and the world. If you have an upcoming virtual event you want to share, reach out on the contact page here.