Matthew Barney & Ari Marcopoulos

all images © ARI MARCOPOULOS
All the artworks in this story were presented in a show entitled DJED at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery (September- October 2011)

Right now there is a thrill of getting right into the creative bowels of a studio; a voyeuristic insight that will lead you to places gravitating towards the world of raw, un-styled visual story-telling (a far cry from the polish of conventional editorial shoots). So, thanks to ARI MARCOPOULOS, the Amsterdam-born photographer took pictures of his atelier visit of the iconic artist MATTHEW BARNEY in his studio in Long Island City (New York) a year ago. At the time, BARNEY was preparing his exhibition entitled DJED at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery, a show based on myths from ancient Egypt:

Matthew Barney’s studio is located along the East River, in an industrial part of Long Island City. He and his assistants dug a hole in the floor of his studio, jackhammering the concrete. Matthew wanted to build an Egyptian death chamber below his studio in order to film in it. But while they were digging, it became clear that the water table was too high, making it impossible to create an underground space. In addition to the water, there was oil and a terrible smell. It seemed wiser to close the hole.

The flooding in the photograph occurred during Hurricane Irene. Together with the artist Keith Edmier, I’d spent the night at Matthew’s place, where we waited for the storm to pass. The storm didn’t live up to the hype on the news. The next morning, though, we went to check the studio and saw that it was flooded, which was slightly traumatic. He lost a few things, but not many. We canoed around in the studio, surveying the situation. – by ARI MARCOPOULOS

Make sure to catch the entire series published in the last issue of Purple Magazine !

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