This newsletter is for those devoted to art, seeking to develop their taste in art, or wanting to discover more art but don’t know where to start. If you’re hungry to have more art in your life — even if only in your inbox — then this newsletter is for YOU.

Everything is curated from the perspective of a self-educated, lifelong lover of art (me:) who often *travels between worlds*: not just establishment or on the edges but defining something in between (and therefore sometimes defying definitions of what art is, and what is the best art).

"Instead of looking at things, look between things." ~John Baldessari

The world has changed so much, yet why haven’t our signals for curating art changed so? (And why is so much art coverage so po-mo and full of performative self-consciousness, instead of just feeling and enjoying the works?)

So, I will share my own favorites and finds here — whether I come across them directly or vet them via other sources — of art in all forms and mediums: whether visual arts (paintings, photography, etc.), moving arts/entertainment, mixed media and sculptures, or even jewelry. And quite often, the spaces (and installation/exhibit designs!) that house and display the works themselves, too. And sometimes, the process behind the outcomes. It’s about making so-called high art accessible, while also elevating other kinds of art.

Most of this is from my head or bottom up — not from top down research. We endow spaces and objects with meaning but we also make the things, and the meanings, ourselves. And while we certainly don’t need anyone else to tell us what those meanings are, we do appreciate signals towards what to see, and what to look for — especially when devoured through the hearts and minds of other art lovers.

Thank you for joining my journey as an arts lover!

~sonal chokshi
@smc90

What to expect:

  • up to weekly emails

  • free (may also introduce special paid content in future, to be donated)

  • just one pick (artist, artwork, space, theme, or specific detail) per issue

  • links to sources, with very selective where-to-learn-mores/ what you can do

  • simple descriptions from the perspective of a viewer, not a critic

  • a bit of recipe-like detail — you know, personal description before the show-me-the-damn-recipe — because this is about experiencing art, not evaluating it!

  • lots of careful curation in a noisy world seeking signal

What’s in a name?

The name of this newsletter combines art + dev — for the qualities in my first line above: devoted to art; developing taste/ developers; and also from the Sanskrit root deva, which means “heavenly, divine, terrestrial things of high excellence, exalted, shining” as well as deities.

At one point, I wanted the name art “das”.* It means servant of god in Sanskrit, and for me it would be all about art as in the service of beautiful things — but I never got that moniker despite many attempts. So now, I will share all that eye-and-thought candy here, under ‘artdev’, which seems like a fitting evolution somehow.

*That was on returning from ArtBasel Miami 2006, over 13 years ago! I only had an admission ticket, and stayed in the cheapest crappiest hotel, as had just graduated and was barely making money; I’m sharing this detail here because even though I couldn’t afford any art then, and that place has become such a scene now — I want people to know that art can, and should be, accessible! The very best talk I experienced there was on the fringes and was free. You’ll also notice that many of the things I share here are because I seemingly accidentally came across them and feel them and therefore see them — signals through salience — not found for the purpose of signaling. That’s what I mean by signal in the noise…