Walead Beshty started his Industrial Portraits series in 2008. He realizes them wherever he goes, asking all the art people he works with to pose in their working environment and working clothes: studio assistants, gallery staff, curators, lab technicians, critics, fellow artists, collectors, art handlers and even the “machines,” which contribute to an artwork’s progress from studio to gallery and beyond. Captioned first as “framer,” “Fedex courier” or “darkroom assistant” and then identified with the location and date of the shoot, together his models form a nonhierarchical, kaleidoscopic yet very detailed “facebook” of the art world, following in part the tradition of great American anthropological photographic surveys. This publication gathers together the Industrial Portraits created between 2008 and 2012. A second volume will be published to span the subsequent years.
Introduction by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Published by JRP|Ringier, Zürich
© 2017 the artist and JRP|Ringier