I admit it - this post probably belongs in the pages of People magazine. But, in the spirit of Valentines Day, my sentimental side is out in full force. Just for today, I bid adieu to any form of propriety and present to you a list of five top artist couples:
5) Bjork and Matthew Barney
Here’s a great excerpt from a story about the eccentric Icelandic singer and her husband, a freaky artist and one-time Ivy League quarterback:
Bjork searched for an image to describe a man with whom she had just spent a year making a movie and composing a two-and-a-half-hour soundtrack, the longest and perhaps most ambitious musical project of her career.
She had been in Iceland for several days, so the English language was hitting her at odd angles, but she finally found the word she was looking for.
“He’s a bit of a submarine,” she said, and grinned.
It was an apt description, not only because the man in question â€” Matthew Barney, the artist and filmmaker and Bjork’s boyfriend for almost six years â€” operates at a kind of deep-sea level, silently (he dreads talking about his work) dredging up fantastical and sometimes fearsome creatures from the dark ocean bed of human consciousness.
On a scale of weird from 1-10, I give them a 19!
While Pollock may have come out on top in the history books, most contemporary art historians also give Krasner a lot of credit. She stood strong with Pollock as he battled alcoholism and created highly respectable art in her own right. Many feminists have expressed frustrations that Krasner’s work was marginalized by Pollock’s legacy. With time, hopefully the importance of her work will be able to be assessed free of any bias.
3) John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Now this is a contentious one. Yoko Ono may be one of the most hated nice people on the planet, as many Beatles fans claim she brought on the band’s ruin. In terms of aesthetics, however, there is no doubt that both of them were exceptional minds. Ono emerged out of Japan and became a lead figure in the Fluxus movement and in feminist art. As for Lennon, his music and work for peace changed the world. (I’m only ranking them at number three because Lennon was never a full-fledged visual artist.)
2) Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg
Johns and Rauschenberg have never explicitly said they were lovers in the 1950s, but the art historical jury seems to be out (no pun intended) and most people accept that the two men were romantically linked. Talk about a power couple, eh?
Some critics go so far as to tie their gender into their art historical legacies. Johnathan Katz pushes the thesis that Abstract Expressionism was a monolithic, macho art, which Mr. Johns and Mr. Rauschenberg were in “joint opposition” to. In truth, Abstract Expressionism was not so chauvinistic- - its circle included gay artists, dealers and critics, and Mr. Johns and Mr. Rauschenberg have both repeatedly acknowledged their respect for it. Nonetheless, Katz’s theory is scandalous!
1) Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo
Frida is perhaps the most iconic artist of all time. Well after her death, her unibrowed visage has turned into a mass-produced visual commodity. During her life, however, her work was virtually unknown. Her husband, Diego Rivera, was a world famous muralist and communist supporter. Without their connection to one another, it’s highly likely neither of them would have reached such insane levels of fame, and Latin American art would arguably have remained much more marginalized than it is now.