"Contemporary art speaks directly to the important questions of our time, as well as to the changing landscape of identity. It is both a mirror of contemporary society and a window through which we view and deepen our understanding of life as it exists today. Who are today's artists? What are they thinking about? How do they describe their work? Why do they do what they do?" "These are some of the questions addressed in Art:21 Art in the Twenty-First Century 5, companion volume to the fifth season of the Emmy-nominated, Peabody Award-winning PBS series, which introduces fourteen artists who draw on a variety of subjects, experiences, and aesthetic influences to create their work. The book echoes the style and philosophy of the television series, presenting the artists without interpretive mediation through excerpts of interviews juxtaposed with illustrations of their work. Among the artists profiled are John Baldessari, Cao Fei, William Kentridge, Florian Maier-Aichen, Cindy Sherman, and Carrie Mae Weems." "Images of the artists culled from documentary footage provide a behind-the-scenes look into the creative process. In a rich mosaic, the artists are depicted at home, in the studio, and in the community - with collaborators, friends, and family - debunking the Romantic notion of the artist as an isolated genius. An intimate portrait, these visuals capture what Susan Sollins, Curator and Executive Producer of the Art:21 series, describes as the moment when "the makers - those who have allowed their own creativity to flow - look us directly in the eye."" "Throughout this volume the artists' varied and engaging voices speak to us directly - musing, analyzing, and laughing about their lives, work, and inspiration. As Kay Larson of the New York Times put it in a review of the series, "Artists may charm, irritate, instruct, entertain, confound. But they achieve their effectiveness ... just by being themselves ... They have identified what suits them, nurtures them and lets their lives expand. And they will tell you so at length if you invite them." In turn, their comments invite us to listen and look, to inquire more deeply, and most of all to enjoy and understand the richness and diversity of contemporary art." --Book Jacket.