Annie Wharton spends her mornings writing, her afternoons at The Company (the gallery where she’s a director), and her evenings cooking or working on curatorial projects. She also paints and creates videos. And since she’s in LA, she spends a ton of time on the road. Here’s what’s playing through the speakers in her car.
What do you listen to while you work? Since I’m a multi-hyphenate (gallerist/artist/curator/writer), it varies. When I write, I prefer ambient music without words so I can focus on creating my own editorial, and at the gallery there many times video works are playing their own soundtracks. When I’m installing an exhibition and getting my hands dirty, there’s a west coast hip hop vernacular to my taste, and while in the studio painting, my mix-tapes run the gamut from Air to Biggie Smalls to John Coltrane to Elliot Smith to Seabear.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I like Jango.com. Sigrid Sandstrom (one of the artists we represent at The Company) has a brother who started his own Pandora-equivalent website and it’s really good.
Does music influence your work? Absolutely. Above is still from a video I made using only existing ambient noise, the majority of which being screeching brakes and the songs “Pony” by Ginuwine and Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” blasting from a nearby car on K-DAY (LA-based old school hip hop station). (Image title: Annie Wharton, Magellan Hollywood, 2010)
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? Our awesome gallery assistants at The Company are great at recommending music, and I spend a lot of time looking at art videos on Vimeo or YouTube, which usually eventually lead me to music videos. My father is a guitarist; so even in utero, I was exposed to excellent music. Music is an intrinsic element to most of the important moments in my life, and there is always a soundtrack running in my mind. I am terrible at names, but I will probably remember what song was playing when we met.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? Wow, that is quite a challenging question and one that feels a little odd for me to answer. John Lennon comes to mind as someone whose music was appreciated by the masses, but who marked his own path and wasn’t afraid to try new things or create work outside of the mainstream or what the public expected.
Bright Lit Blue Skies, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
The Chauffeur, Duran Duran
The Passenger, Iggy Pop
I Feel Cream, Peaches
Walking on the Moon, The Police
Landslide, Sin Fang Bous
I Got 5 on It, Luniz
Alejandro, Lady Gaga (there is a very sweet backstory here involving this music video and dancing to it with someone via Skype)
Today Was a Good Day, Ice Cube
Warm Leatherette, The Normal
Images: Annie Wharton