The Creators: 8 Young Artists You Should Know

08/15/2012 4:00 AM |

The Civilians, Theater Troupe

The Brooklyn-based Civilians do what they call “investigative theater”; their shows tackle socio-political issues, the scripts derived from research and interviews—often verbatim! In 2010, they presented at the Irondale in Fort Greene In the Footprint, a musical about the development of Atlantic Yards (within walking distance of the construction site!) that included the voices of residents, activists, and politicians. In September, they will present a new show at Joe’s Pub about the Occupy movement on its one-year anniversary, and in October they christen BAM’s new Fisher theater with Paris Commune, about Europe’s first working-class uprising.

We spoke to Civilians composer Michael Friedman, who co-created Paris (and wrote the music for In the Footprint) with founder and artistic director Steve Cosson. Friedman’s perhaps best known for writing the score to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which moved to Broadway from the Public in 2010.

What neighborhood do you live in?
Clinton Hill. I love it—the architecture, the people, the mood.

How long have you been in NY? What brought you here?

I came here for no good reason 15 years ago.

What’s the best venue where your work has been performed in NY? And where would you love to see it that you haven’t yet?

Actually, having my work performed at BAM had been a dream since I came to NYC, so that’s coming true. I’ve had work at some really great venues; the Delacorte in Central Park and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Allen Room have the best views.

If you could collaborate with any artists, living or dead, who would they be?
Living, Jasper Johns; dead, Balanchine.

4 Comment

  • Very cool article, but maybe changing the title to 8 young “musicians” you should know, + one theater troupe and one playwright.

    Using the term “artist” as a blanket term for anyone who makes anything more complex than a monkey wrench is both misleading and alienating to painters, typographers, sculptors, draftsmen etc. Yes, art is everywhere, and anyone can create art… but not everyone is an artist. As an illustrator and animator myself, I was expecting to see artists. Bit of a let down.

    Cool none the less though

  • Nice piece! Though many of these artists are not “young.” It’s great to feature all of them but it drives me a bit batty the way that youth obsession works in arts media. I write this as a 44 year old who is often described as a “young artist.” I’m not. 44 is really not young. I feel the media wants to make its readership excited about something interesting and fresh, so we must then be perpetually young? It’s also a disservice to artists who are actually young – the 25 and unders who don’t get enough of the spotlight because those of us who’ve been working for 25 years keep getting ink as “the new young things.” It’s bonkers.

  • The near-absence of artists of color on this list is disturbing.

  • In response to the above comments, you should check out my artist interview series — A Random Moment With — they’re all not young but I do include a diverse group. It’s an ongoing series so check back weekly!