Arts writer Paddy Johnson spells out her goal of delivering honest and intelligent art coverage, particularly for emerging artists, and her fight to keep New York affordable for working artists and writers.
“I have thirteen years in New York and I have nine running a blog. I definitely have a stake in the art world, and I feel like it’s really important, if you believe in something… to stake those claims out. Because you want to live and work in the art world you’d like to see.”
Paddy Johnson is a New York-based arts writer, curator, and activist, and the Founding Editor and Executive Director of the nonprofit blog Art F City. Johnson was born in Guelph, Ontario. She studied at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Jersey, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1998. Johnson also attended graduate school at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick, earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2001. She subsequently moved to New York and took a number of short-lived gallery positions before teaching herself HTML and founding Art Fag City (now Art F City) in September of 2005. The blog responds to exhibitions at all levels of the art world, with an emphasis on those of emerging and under-recognized artists. Art F City also engages with political activism, most recently working with Skowhegan and the Artist Studio Affordability Project (A.S.A.P.) to organize a panel discussion on affordable studio space in New York. The blog received the Village Voice Web Award for Best Art Blog in both 2011 and 2012.
Johnson’s writing has appeared in a number of publications besides Art F City, including artnet, ArtReview, Art in America, The Daily Beast, The Economist, Flavorpill, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Print Magazine, The Reeler, and Time Out New York. She has also worked as Assistant Editor at Tristan Media and Art Editor at The L Magazine. In 2007 Johnson became the first art critic in residence for iCommons, and in 2008 she was awarded a Creative Capital Arts Writers grant from the Creative Capital Foundation, the first ever such award to a blogger. In 2010 she was nominated as best art critic at The Rob Pruitt Art Awards. Johnson’s curated projects include Playlist, Graphics Interchange Format, and The Sound of Art. She is also an active speaker, and has lectured on art and the Internet at such venues as Yale University, Parson, Rutgers, South by Southwest, and the Whitney Independent Study Program.