Current artists: Amon Azizov, Wei Chen, Qiao Fu, Gao Min, Guo Kun Sheug, Artashes Karslian, Ji Yin Jin, Li Qun, Lin Ruo, Dean Lu, Ren Jien-Guo, Jorge Rivera, Sharif Sadiq, Peter Walsh, Xiang Yue Chuan, Dario Zapata, Zhuang Xuemin

Organized by Peter Walsh, Ongoing.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Test portrait exchange between Peter Walsh and Xiang Yue Chuan, April 23, 2009.

Welcome to the new blog for Central Park Portrait Exchange! I hope to be adding content rapidly as the project gets up and running. The actual drawing performances may start as early as next week, the second week of May 2010. Keep an eye out for details!

Why this project?

I've been wanting to do a portrait exchange with artists working in Central Park for several years. As a drawer myself, I'm impressed by the speed and precision with which they work. Yet I'm also interested in the economics of art-making. These artists get paid one price, artists in Chelsea get another, and as a conceptual artist supporting myself with non-arts jobs, I frequently get nothing in exchange for my art!

On top of these issues, the City of New York and the NYC Parks Commission have forced my hand by proposing that most of the talented artists working in Central Park and in other parks be shut down. The time to act is now!

For example, New York City’s Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe told the New York Times on April 16th, 2010 that artists working in New York City’s parks are “selling stuff that you wouldn’t consider expressive art.” In other words, he believes they aren’t artists and aren’t protected by the first amendment. One way to challenge this assertion is to create an art project that highlights the quality of the work created by professional artists working in the parks.

And so, the Central Park Portrait Exchange is born.

1 comment:

  1. Peter...this is awesome! They did the same thing with the subway artists and they stole the amazing street cred performances by 'real' street performers and umbrella'd them under 'Music Under New York'. Total bullshit! Any performer now has to be approved and pay taxes. They look for anyway to corporatize ANYTHING and collect money in the long fold. That is exactly what this sounds like to me. Can we get ANY less like Paris, Berlin, South America, Asia, Canada, ALL of Europe for that matter. It's NEW YORK FUCKIN' CITY for God's sake! NYC. One of the most populated, creative outposts in the world. You know things are going south when the Knitting Factory has to move out of Manhattan, or anything else good for that matter. New York is the new conglomerate Disney. I give you my blessings!