Christopher Sperandio
Kartoon Kings
Princeton, New Jersey

Paper: “ARTSTAR”

International printmaking competitions, like all juried exhibitions are predicated on the belief in quality. The taste and expertise of the juror or jurors make this system work. With this in mind, what could be more appropriate than a reality television show set in New York City where aspiring artists compete for fame and recognition? Earlier this year, working with Gallery HD and Deitch Projects, "ARTSTAR" was announced, a groundbreaking new television documentary. "ARTSTAR" is the first-ever unscripted television series created and produced by an artist, and is set in the New York art world. Selected from an open call, eight artists had the opportunity to participate in a group exhibition at Deitch Projects, and may have a chance to land their own solo exhibition with Deitch Projects. The pilot episode of "ARTSTAR" documented these eight artists as they interact with leading critics, collectors, curators and artists in New York, while making new artworks as part of the competition.

For my presentation, I'll discuss the "ARTSTAR" back-story. For more on this project, see:

CHRISTOPHER SPERANDIO works collaboratively with British artist Simon Grennan. Sperandio was educated as a printmaker at West Virginia University and as a painter at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Based in the suburbs of New York, Sperandio is a Visiting Adjunct Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Visiting Artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Confounding typical expectations and bridging cultural spheres, the artworks of Grennan and Sperandio are rooted in vernacular forms. The pair first came to international attention with their "We got it!" chocolate bar produced as a part of Sculpture Chicago's groundbreaking "Culture in Action" exhibition. The "We got it!" bar was the result of a collaboration with the unionized workforce of a suburban Chicago chocolate factory. Since 1995, Grennan and Sperandio have made new comic books in collaboration with a variety of people. Presenting true stories as told by members of the public, these comics are commissioned by museums and art centers and have been co-published with Fantagraphics Books of Seattle and DC Comics. Their project "Soy Madrid" completed in February of this year was comprised of stories as told by a variety of people in Madrid, translated into comics that ran in Spain's largest paper, El Mundo, each weekday. Their comics include, "Invisible Cities" a comic book about people who work the graveyard shift in New York City and "Modern Masters," a project done for PS1 (MoMA) that tells about the experiences of viewers to modern art. Upcoming projects include a new computer game created for the city of Cardiff, Wales as a part of the upcoming Art and Technology conference “MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES.” For more information on this inaugural conference:

ABOVE: "ARTSTAR" contestants wait to present their art at Deitch Projects
BELOW: Covers of selected comics by Grennan and Sperandio