Artist Kennedy Yanko Wants to Teach Your Children How to Make Art During Quarantine
By Alex Greenberger
Next week was supposed to be a big one for artist Kennedy Yanko, as she was supposed to present new work at the Dallas Art Fair by way of New York’s Denny Dimin Gallery. Then the fair, like so many other art events happening around the world, got postponed indefinitely. (It is now scheduled for the beginning of October.) But she had been at least sort of prepped for the disappointment: Having already had an exhibition recently canceled at Milan’s Marco Poggiali Gallery, “I had already experienced my freakout and paranoia,” she said, speaking by phone earlier this week. “I was emotionally prepared.”
Now, in quarantine like much of the world, Yanko—known for metal sculptures torqued in ways that make them resemble human forms—is “just chilling, hard.” But in her downtime, she and her partner—Rasaan Bonair, a guidance counselor at a middle school in Brooklyn—made an instructional video intended as educational outreach: a tutorial meant for children about to create objects from found materials at home. “We wanted to contribute in some way,” Yanko said. “It seemed like the obvious thing to do.”
Despite the circumstances, Yanko insists that “it’s always time for making art.” And in the video, she offers tips for how to work with low-cost materials, such as unused birthday candles from years past and bamboo rods. She also encourages prospective viewers to act without thinking too hard. For Yanko, the project is meant to inspire creativity. “It’s really important to work that intuitive muscle,” she said.