If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked artist Cauleen Smith — whose new solo show at the Whitney, “Cauleen Smith: Mutualities,” will run through May 17 — about the bike gear, jumpsuit, and cleaning product she can’t live without.
If I could get away with wearing Dickies jumpsuits every single day, I would do it. I have three. I like that they’re designed to fit anybody, but they still somehow manage to fit every body really well — I’ve never seen anyone look bad in a Dickies jumpsuit. On all shapes and sizes, they work. They also allow you to move around — I wear them to work in my studio, or if I’m installing a show — and they repel dirt, so you can just do whatever you want in them without worrying.
I never feel alone when I’m surrounded by the creative works of my friends. LaToya is a good friend of mine and a phenomenal photographer. This is her first book: It covers issues like ecological racism, toxic environments that working people have to live in, and health care. She manages to present all of these very serious issues in a very empathetic way through her own life story. I think it’s a really important book, and the photographs themselves are classically perfect, black-and-white photos. A great body of work.