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'Death of the Artist' by Nicola McCartney explores artist identity in contemporary art
“Nicola McCartney gets it: anonymous groups subvert the Western convention of the artist as a lone genius (usually a white male).” --Guerilla Girls


LONDON.- Death of the Artist is an exploration of the meaning of artist identity and authorship in the contemporary art world. An increasing number of artists are using alternative identities, pseudonyms, or collective identities to create cutting-edge pieces of art with complete anonymity. The question, therefore, remains how do we classify authorship and the traditional artist-author roles. McCartney, through case studies of contemporary artists such as the Guerilla Girls; Bob and Roberta Smith; Marvin Gaye Chetwynd; and Lucky PDF, debates the question of intellectual property and artistic identity. She demonstrates that this use of anonymity, behind pseudonyms or alternative identities challenges the art market and the concept of the ‘original’ as well as rebelling against cultural and political norms.

The use of pseudonyms and alternative identities stand as fairly modern concepts, this being so their use has not been well recognised or documented. McCartney sets out to show the extent to which they are being used, the purpose, and how we can classify art under this umbrella. It is a unique study that has been formed using previously unpublished interviews with a range of elusive contemporary artists. This book is a fine contribution to the study of modern art and artists and will help us to understand the practice and significance of alternative identities, pseudonyms and collective identity.

Nicola McCartney is a practicing artist who has exhibited throughout London and the UK, she has received public commissions and undertaken residencies. Nicola is also a lecturer of Cultural Studies at Central St Martins, University of the Arts.

Praise for Death of the Artist:

“Nicola McCartney gets it: anonymous groups subvert the Western convention of the artist as a lone genius (usually a white male).” --Guerilla Girls

“...McCartney charts the careers of artists who question the role of the artist and who seek to subvert the notion that art is produced only by artists. McCartney asks who do these artists think they are?” --Patrick Brill, Associate Professor of Art, London Metropolitan University






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'Death of the Artist' by Nicola McCartney explores artist identity in contemporary art

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