Julia Wachtel is an artist based in New York.
What artworks would you have/do you have in your drawing room?
In my drawing room I have a Tim Rollins/KOS brick (house on fire) that I’ve had since the 80s. It’s been on display since it was given to me. There are a handful of other art works that are always on display and never suffer removal in a new rotation. Another in that category is a painting I bought on Canal Street maybe 30 years ago for just a few dollars. It is abstract and has a tiny tear in the middle that coincidentally mimics another shape in the painting. I’ve never grown tired looking at it. Also in my drawing room is a Sherrie Levine watercolor of a Mondrian hanging next to a Cynthia Daignault painting of a Wachtel. On an adjacent wall is Peter Nagy’s laminate “Intellectual History” and an Allan McColllum Plaster Surrogate. Leaning on my mantlepiece is an edition by London based artist Julia Warr next to a beautiful and eccentrically carved Japanese wooden bowl given to me as a gift sitting next to a McCollum framed shape drawing.
On a fantasy and very aspirational list would be work by Manet, Magritte, Neel, Warhol and Lichtenstein. I’d also love to have a site specific Louise Lawler shaped to fit photograph.
What books would you read/are you reading in your drawing room?
I normally have several books of different genres going at the same time. Currently I’m reading the Ron Chernow biography of Ulysses S. Grant. I’ve been a bit obsessed with early American history and biographies more specifically. I recently read the Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton and David McCullough’s biography of John Adams. I’m also currently reading a Sci Fi novel, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, and A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History by Manuel De Landa. On deck to read next is Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum and My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard.
What movies would you watch/are you watching in your drawing room?
While I go to the movie theater to watch films, I am more likely watching reality t.v. in my drawing room. Usually of the most degraded variety, although there are shows that even I won’t watch! These days I am taking a lot of iphone pics of the t.v. screen to incorporate into paintings. For the purpose of this photo project I watch a lot of t.v. commercials as well. As the question did ask about film I will offer up that The Royal Tenenbams directed by Wes Anderson may be my favorite film. His sense of compassion for all his characters no matter how flawed and the hope of redemption I find very moving. Not to mention the exquisite art direction and humor.
What music would you listen to/are you listening to in your drawing room?
I listen to a wide range of music in my drawing room. At the top of the list is always Kendrick Lamar. After that a wide range. Currently on rotation is Anderson Peak, No Name, Amy Winehouse, Edmar Castenada, Masego, Steve Reich, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, Snarky Puppy to name a few. I also stream a number of radio stations. WKCR for early music and jazz, WFMU (free form radio) for a fantastic random playlist and Oberlin college radio station WOBC. As I primarily live and work in a semi rural town, I sometimes stream NYC radio station WBLS just to mentally relocate.
Who would you/do you invite into your drawing room?
All my friends. If Barack Obama wanted to stop by I’d be thrilled!