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becoming / what if?
this episode:
jonathan blum
painter, new york


in his ‚becoming‘ series, martin eugen raabenstein interviews artists, art professionals and art enthusiasts about their opinions and ideas on various aspects of the art market and its current presentation practices.

jonathan blum has been running his storefront/studio space in brooklyn since 1999. with his individual mixture of comic style and surrealism, the chagall-inspired painter succeeds in creating an extremely subtle artistic signature, especially with his successful focus on forehead portraits.

nice to have you with us. would you like to introduce yourself?

hello, my name is jonathan blum. i’m a portrait painter of realistic and fictitious people and animals who lives and has a studio/storefront space in brooklyn, new york.

you are the new artistic director of a renowned art gallery –
you have a lot of exhibition space and an even bigger budget at your disposal. how would you plan your first year in office and what would be your most important goals?

i have curated many group shows in my life and I find group exhibitions that are based around a theme the most interesting of all. i have curated a circus exhibition, a circle exhibition, and a self-portrait exhibition among others. if i were a director of a renowned gallery with an unlimited budget, I would continue down this path of having themed group exhibitions this time with well-known, a-list artists.

can you explain this in more detail with the help of a project,
an idea?

maybe I would host another self-portrait show because the results are endlessly fascinating, or another idea i have is to curate a group exhibition that answers the question, „who is your hero? or „what is your idea of a hero?“

which artistic positions are of particular interest to you?

what are your all-time favorites in the visual arts?

i have so many favorite artists that I will limit it here to five. walton ford, for his exquisite animal drawings. lisa yuskavage, for her boldness and wonderful compositions, chuck close for his close-up realistic portraiture, anselm kiefer, for his monumental creations, and pablo picasso, for his lifetime achievement and ageless body of work.

thank you very much. it was an honor.

iir, january 2024

becoming, jonathan