Remember when MTV was cutting edge? When 120 Minutes, Kurt Loder and those low-fi Space Man animations were de rigeur? When a typical viewing session could be inspiring and educational? In the era of Jersey Shore and 16-year-old pregnant moms, we don’t blame you for forgetting. The stars, however, are aligning with a fresh wave of inspiration set to rock the airwaves once again and put MTV back in the position of introducing its audience to video art. Art Breaks is a revival of an 80s series in which original art works by some of the world’s most celebrated young artists is curated by MoMA PS1 and New York-based nonprofit Creative Time.
The first batch of videos come from artists Mickalene Thomas, Tala Madani, Mads Lynnerup, Jani Ruscica and Rashaad Newsome, the latter of whose contribution is a psychedelic animation channeling early 80s analog video art and the hip-hop culture of that time. According to Creative Time’s director, Anne Pasternak, the project’s been in the works for quite a while. ”We’ve been working on this for three years!” she exclaimed. Two of those years were spent working with an army of lawyers on compliance issues relating to licensing and the rights of the artists, so, like most anything truly extraordinary, this project has been a serious labor of love. ”We’re so thrilled to have this platform to present the artist’s work. Something like 600,000,000 viewers will be watching, so it’s pretty incredible.”
Tune in on MTV or the channel’s Facebook page, or a dedicated Tumblr (which also houses vintage Breaks featuring Richard Prince and Jean Michel Basquiat. Click through to watch the Newsome’s video!
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