Art Film Literature Parties

Here Are CULTURED’s 10 Most-Read Stories This June

Photography by Anton Gottlob. Styling by Studio&. All clothing and accessories by Prada.

1. 'Why Are We So Hungry?': Willem Dafoe and Marina Abramović Discuss Their Many Appetites

We’re used to seeing Willem Dafoe’s face blown up 90 feet wide at the movies. Marina Abramović looms just as large in the art historical canon for confrontational performances as daring and indelible as those of her Hollywood counterpart. But the two know one another on a much more intimate scale: Abramović first encountered Dafoe through his performances at the theater below her Manhattan apartment. Dafoe, for his part, felt a sense of kinship with the artist’s work—its riskiness and force—before he even met her. Rather than resting on their laurels, Dafoe, 68, and Abramović, 77, share a gnawing hunger to create. The reason for their shared relentlessness is plain: They simply can’t stop.

Photography by Alana O’Herlihy. Styling by Tess Herbert.

2. Ultra-Private Musician 070 Shake Lifts the Curtain on Her Most Vulnerable Album Yet

The loamy funk that emerges from the earth after rain falls on dry ground is called petrichor. This substance stems from the spontaneous release of aerosols and oils trapped in soil that bursts upwards, champagne-like, when it meets water. Petrichor is also what 070 Shake has named her newest project, which she just put the finishing touches on in Malibu. “It’s going to feel like a breath of fresh air,” the singer says of the forthcoming album, her third. “Petrichor is a feeling—the perfect word to describe this body of music.”

Photography by Sean Thomas.

3. Everyone in the Art World Has a Take on Julian Schnabel. With a New Show in the Hamptons, He’s Rewriting the Narrative

Everyone in the art world has preconceived notions about Julian Schnabel. He has lived many lives since his rise in the New York art scene in the 1980s with the reputation of an artist bad boy. But the art speaks for itself. His gigantic smashed-plate paintings, inspired by the mosaic benches of Antoni Gaudí, feel as radical today as when he unveiled the first one in 1978. In the nearly five decades since, Schnabel has painted a stream of masterworks on velvet and tarp—all while honing an illustrious film career. Beneath all of it lies a relentless drive to create. 

Photography by Will Pippin.

4. Springs’s Enduring Appeal to Artists Can Be Attributed to an Eccentric Sardinian Sculptor. Here’s a Peek at the Life He Lived There

Artist Adrian Nivola awoke in London in late May in the special kind of haze one feels when caring for a 3-month-old baby, but his easy demeanor is still felt, even through Zoom. He speaks with openness about his family, fluidly recalling stories of his grandparents and the home that has been in his family since 1945. He tells Athena Calderone, CULTURED's Hamptons Issue guest interiors editor, how it all started in Springs—the spirit of this entire place we all lovingly refer to as “out East.” There, his late grandfather, sculptor Costantino “Tino” Nivola, worked with sand in a style that was nearly undefinable. Yet the way of life that he designed for himself became the blueprint for Hamptons culture as we know it. 

Photography by Lucia Bell-Epstein.

5. Abbi Jacobson and Jodi Balfour’s Wedding Was an Ode to Total, Unscripted Togetherness. Look Inside Their Raucous Brooklyn Festivities

Abbi Jacobson and Jodi Balfour can recall, with startling clarity, every bead in the strand of their relationship: a fateful text message sent during lockdown, the spatial intricacies of a carefully orchestrated first date, the many paper bags of fresh strawberries and tomatoes in-between. When they met (virtually) in 2020, each was peeking over her own precipice. “I was riding out Covid alone—it was a ‘dark night of the soul’ kind of vibe,” recalls Jacobson. Balfour, for her part, was untethered by the loss of a sibling and the end of a long-term relationship. “It was a watershed year for me in many ways,” the actor recalls. “Meeting Abbi felt like the pinnacle of a long-overdue step in my own evolution.”

6. CULTURED's Power Art Advisor List: 20 Advisors Shaping the World's Top Collections

There are a handful of professions in which the gap between excellence and competence is especially large. Plastic surgeons. Olympic swimmers. And, yes, art advisors. CULTURED consulted expert contributors, gallerists, art-fair executives, and collectors from around the globe to assemble a group of trustworthy and influential advisors shaping some of the world's top collections. They range widely in age, offer expertise that stretches from Old Masters to ultra-contemporary, and work with clients across the tech, entertainment, sports, and finance sectors. What they share is a passion for hunting down the best work they can find and playing matchmaker with a collector who will treasure it. While their efforts often unfold behind the scenes, these figures are critical to informing what we value—and to building the art history of the future.  

Image courtesy of AP/REX/Shutterstock.

7. How Did 5-Time Pulitzer Finalist Joyce Carol Oates Become a Gen-Z Twitter Meme?

“It is all very ephemeral and quickly forgotten,” says Joyce Carol Oates when asked about social media. She offered this linguistic equivalent of a hand wave in response to a years-long fascination with her puzzling online presence. The author joined Twitter, now X, in 2012 on the suggestion of her publisher, Penguin Random House, and has since amassed an audience of over 250,000 followers who tune in to absorb, with both genuine interest and morbid curiosity, the unpredictable thoughts of a literary titan.

Installation view of Nour Jaouda’s "The shadow of every tree” at Union Pacific’s Statements booth at Art Basel. Image courtesy of the artist and UPS.

8. Dealer’s Choice: 11 Art Basel Exhibitors Spotlight the Booths That Deserve Your Attention

Most gallerists spend the greater part of art fairs chained to their booths, keeping track of comings and goings, small talk that may turn into a sale, or how close a coupe of Ruinart gets to a sensitive work—with undivided attention. At many fairs, there’s even a special stall in bathrooms reserved for exhibitors, so a booth doesn't stay lonely for too long. A few days into a fair however, when VIP previews are history and the bulk of the schmoozing is over, dealers are able to come up for air and pop out to see what’s happening at other booths. CULTURED asked 11 exhibiting dealers to highlight a booth that’s tickled their senses, earned their respect, and even sparked a little envy at the fair. 

Matthew Barney, SECONDARY (Production Still), 2023. Photography by Jonathan O’Sullivan, and courtesy of the artist and Fondation Cartier.

9. At the Fondation Cartier, Matthew Barney Traces the Formal Aftermath of One of Football’s Greatest Tragedies

American football has only made one appearance at the Olympics, during the Summer Games that took over Los Angeles in 1932. The reasons for its disqualification are myriad; among them are an incompatibility of timing (a week-long break is required between professional matches), the sport’s propensity for injury, and the fact that the United States would undoubtedly win out. But the game will leave its mark in another way during this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris. A 20-minute Métro ride away from Arena Paris Sud—the venue that will host volleyball, table tennis, weightlifting, and handball competitions—Matthew Barney will populate the Fondation Cartier with his meditation on the sport and its discontents: “SECONDARY.”

Jonathan Lyndon Chase, summer dream number two, 2023-24. Image courtesy of the artist and Company.

10. The More the Merrier: Here Are This Week’s 9 Must-See Group Shows

So much to see, and so little time; it's the age-old lament of the gallery-hopper. Navigating the ever-busy, ever-evolving art scene in creative hubs such as New York, Los Angeles, and Paris can be overwhelming at best, and anxiety-inducing at worst. Every week, CULTURED lends readers a hand in deciding where to go and what to see. For the week of June 17, we wrote about the new Off Paradise show, an exhibition inspired by Donna Tart’s “The Secret History,” and the where to swing by during the Paris Olympics.