The Art Angle Podcast: How Photography Is Being Revolutionized in the Coronavirus Era

Critic and curator Antwaun Sargent discusses the major shifts in image-making initiated by young black photographers and our current crisis.

Antwaun Sargent, courtesy Antwaun Sargent. Illustration courtesy Artnet News.

Welcome to the Art Angle, a podcast from Artnet News that delves into the places where the art world meets the real world, bringing each week’s biggest story down to earth. Join host Andrew Goldstein every week for an in-depth look at what matters most in museums, the art market, and much more with input from our own writers and editors as well as artists, curators, and other top experts in the field.



Today, Antwaun Sargent is known as the preeminent critical and curatorial voice for one of the most important movements in contemporary photography. Along with its accompanying exhibition, his book, The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, stands as an important statement on a diverse set of young artists finding their own unique ways to break down the traditional boundaries separating two disciplines that have always been more intertwined than has been widely acknowledged.

Yet just a few years ago, Sargent was virtually unknown to the fine-art establishment. He found his footing as an independent writer looking to spotlight rising black artists in his peer group (think: Jordan Casteel, Awol Erizku, and Jennifer Packer), then quickly expanded his scope to place their practices in conversation with a long line of artists of color whose pioneering work too often went unrecognized by the (usually) Western white male gatekeepers of their respective eras. His essays have since appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and several institutional publications, enlightening audiences on not only the work of particular photographers, but also on how their collective efforts are shifting the conventions of image-making—inside and outside the art world alike.

On this week’s episode, Sargent joins the podcast for a wide-ranging conversation touching on everything from Awol Erizku’s instant-classic pregnancy-reveal photos of Beyoncé, to the leveling power of social media for a generation of image-makers eager to control their work’s distribution, to how photography is simultaneously evolving in response to the coronavirus crisis and memorializing its effects on global culture.

Listen above and subscribe to the Art Angle on Apple PodcastsSpotifySoundCloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. (Or catch up on past episodes here on Artnet News.)


Listen to Other Episodes:

The Art Angle Podcast: Why Germany’s COVID-19 Relief Plan Is the Envy of the Art World 

The Art Angle Podcast: The Unbelievable True Story of the Mystical Painter Agnes Pelton

The Art Angle Podcast: Three Ways Coronavirus Will Transform the Art World

The Art Angle Podcast: Why Art and Fashion Need Each Other Now

The Art Angle Podcast: What Does an Art Scene Look Like Under the Coronavirus?

The Art Angle Podcast: How an Art-Dealing Prodigy Became the market’s Most Wanted Outlaw

The Art Angle Podcast: Is the Museum of Ice Cream the Future of Art, or Just a Sugar Rush?

The Art Angle Podcast: What Is Saudi Arabia Trying to Do With Contemporary Art?

The Art Angle Podcast: How Hollywood Finally Fell for the Art Market

The Art Angle Podcast: How Jeffrey Epstein Made the Art World His Hunting Ground

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.