ROBERT ATKINS is an art historian and journalist who has tracked the relationships between art and politics, representation and identity for three decades. Trained at the University of California/Berkeley, he has written for more than 100 publications and is a regular contributor to Art in America and MODERN. He was a longtime staff columnist at the Village Voice and has written books including Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression, which followed the publications of the bestselling ArtSpeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements and Buzzwords, and its modern-art companion ArtSpoke. A Research Fellow at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry (Carnegie Mellon University), he is a pioneer of online media and the producer of TalkBack! A Forum for Critical Discourse, Artery: The AIDS-Arts Forum and, most recently, ArtSpeakChina.org, the first bilingual wiki devoted to Chinese art. He has curated more than two dozen exhibitions at far-flung venues including the Sao Paulo Bienal and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and organized From Media to Metaphor: Art About AIDS, the first international traveling museum show of its kind.
In 1988, he co-founded Visual AIDS, the art-world advocacy group that originated Day Without Art and the Red Ribbon Project. He is a former board member of the American branch of the International Art Critics’ Association (AICA) and the recipient of awards for his writing from the NEA and other organizations. He is currently at work on The Eternal Frame: Sex and Politics in Recent American Art, a collection of his writing; So You Want To Be an Artist? A Primer for Prospective Picassos and Their Parents; and On Susan Sontag: Media, Modernity & Morality, a region-wide, multi-platform project. (For more information about him visit www.robertatkins.net)