Portrait of David Byrne; Portrait of Maira Kalman, photography by Cyndi Stivers


A Fireside Chat with David Byrne and Maira Kalman

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020
Instagram Live

On the occasion of David Byrne's online exhibition, dingbats, join the artist for a fireside chat with illustrator Maira Kalman on Instagram Live.

Byrne's dingbats are on view on our Online Exhibitions platform and at our New York gallery through November 2, 2020. Byrne’s drawings explore themes associated with daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic, from uncanny scenes of domestic life to surreal figurative illustrations. This intimate conversation will explore these ideas and the importance of art and creativity in addressing and making sense of the “new world” in which we’re living.

Viewers are invited to submit their own captions for Byrne's illustrations by emailing Participants should indicate which drawing their caption is for in submitting their entry. Byrne will read a selection of his favorite captions during the chat.

Event Details

A Fireside Chat with David Byrne and Maira Kalman
Tuesday, Oct 27

How to Watch

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David Byrne: dingbats

Learn More

"What means this dingbat?" by David Byrne

David Byrne

David Byrne (b. 1952, Dumbarton, Scotland) was raised in Baltimore where he briefly attended the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 1971 after transferring from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Byrne studied photography, performance, and video production at MICA. In 1975 Byrne co-founded the group Talking Heads, who in the 80s introduced an innovative visual approach to their performances.

Byrne has been involved with photography, drawing, installations, performance, and design since college and has been publishing and exhibiting his work since the 1990s. Like his music, Byrne’s visual work has the capacity to elevate and transform ordinary elements into iconic ones and challenges our fundamental notions of what can be classified as art.

Recent works include the Broadway debut of David Byrne’s American Utopia (2019) as well as the forthcoming Spike Lee directed film version (2020), the launch of his Reasons to be Cheerful online magazine (2019), and the solo album American Utopia (2018). Byrne co-founded the band Talking Heads (1976), for which he was the guitarist and lead singer, and established the record labels Luaka Bop (1988) and Todo Mundo (2008). Other artistic achievements include the theatrical piece Joan of Arc: Into the Fire (2017); a series of interactive environments questioning human perception and bias, The Institute Presents: NEUROSOCIETY (2016); the theatrical production Here Lies Love (2013); the public installation Tight Spot (2011) at Pace Gallery; the audio installation Playing the Building (2005); the public installation Everything is Connected (2002) at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. Byrne wrote, directed, and starred in True Stories, a musical collage of discordant Americana released in 1986. For his contribution to The Last Emperor’s soundtrack Byrne received an Academy Award for Best Original Score and in 2004, Byrne won the Wired Award for Art for his project Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information (EEEI) that used the presentation software PowerPoint as an art medium.

Byrne’s work belongs to numerous collections, including the Denver Art Museum and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, N.C. His book projects include True Stories (1986); Strange Ritual (1995); Your Action World (1998, 1999); The New Sins/Los Nuevos Pecados (2001); David Byrne Asks You: What Is It? (2002); Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information (2003); Arboretum (2006) and How Music Works (2012).
Byrne lives and works in New York City.

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman is the author/illustrator of over 30 books for adults and children. She is a contributor to The New York Times and The New Yorker. She lives in NY and is the owner of a pair of Toscanini's pants.

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