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Boston-based photographer's photographer David Hilliard talks about:
Being a nearly life-long Boston resident, why he loves it and calls it and New England home; the straight-laced culture of photography/the photographer, and the challenges of breaking the rules after you've learned so many of them; his various photo workshops, which he does around the country; his teaching experiences with students who are about to complete grad school yet have a completely insufficient understanding of their own work and how to talk about and market it, and what that phenomenon is due to; his long-standing and ongoing series photographing his father, who's been a nursing home for some time, and how Hilliard and his dad have grown closer through that extension of their relationship; his work photographing young men who are either people from his neighborhood or strangers he meets on his travels, and how nerve-wracking it continues to be – he refers to himself as his 'own worst enemy' - for him to approach them to ask whether if he can take their picture; how he strategically uses an assistant, usually a young woman, for his shoots, to help make his portrait subjects comfortable; the large number of editions he makes his photos available in, but with a lower price point so they're accessible to a wider group of people/collectors; how you have to make the work that you have to make (which he tells his students); and the house he and his long-time partner – formerly romantically, but still best friends (they call themselves 'prends') – have built in Maine, a house on a 100-acre forested area where he goes to decompress.
Brooklyn-based painter and email scan vigilante Jim Gaylord talks about:
The gentrification in his home and studio neighborhoods (Clinton Hill and Fort Greene in Brooklyn), and the homelessness there compared with the homelessness in his former home of San Francisco, where it's more visible, and how homeless populations, at least in SF, are not the last buffer of complete gentrification; how Ft. Greene is a historic district, meaning no high rises, and yet all around the perimeter of Ft. Greene high rises are visible, as if his neighborhood were a fortress against development; his earlier studio situation, in DUMBO, when he was with a roommate and painting in his bedroom-cum-studio; his various side projects, including Art Crit Zingers, a collection of harsh criticisms received by artists in studio visits, planned as a book, as well as his extended email exchanges with would-be email scammers; Jim and I perform an actual email exchange he had which he calls 'Dancing Asparagus,' which lasted over a month (me as the scammer, he as himself); how one of his 'non-scams' that he thought might be a scam was joining the collection of the young autistic adolescent Anthony in London (subject of a This American Life story); how he had a show while still in grad school before he was really ready to show based on some colleagues' assessment, but managed to come through it unscathed; how he's seeing more of a focus on figuration than abstraction, a backlash against the zombie formalism trend; how the way people are digesting/consuming art, and even creating it, is through its Instagram-ability; and how he personally uses Instagram.
Huffington Post Arts writer Priscilla Frank talks about:
Writing about art and culture for the Huffington Post, including how her writing and their audience differs from other visual arts hubs like Hyperallergic, and the difference between paid staff writing for the site and blog writing for the site, as well as the realities of click bait; outsider art, including the Outsider Art Fair, and why she's a fan of the niche and its artists; her piece "F**k Your Idols: What Celebrity Worship Reveals About Female Sexuality," which deconstructs women's ambiguous desires to both be and/or f**k a given celebrity hero, in this case Rihanna…she argues her point by contrasting females tendencies with males through the avant garde-ish Is Tropical video "Dancing Anymore" (seen below), as well as John Berger's Ways on Seeing, and how a woman puts more into how she presents herself is part of that; how, in contrast to what art writer Ben Davis suggested, Frank believes that art does for sure trickle into the popular culture (Beyonce, etc.); how cats have always been associated with femininity and feminine power, but it's the artist Carolee Schneeman who has really tapped into that connection in her photo and video work; her discovery of the Oakland-based artist Stephanie Sarley, and her crazy-great fruit-sex Instagram videos and anthropomorphized vagina drawings; and how both she and Sarley's goals are to get more women artists recognized, and how proud Frank is of her record of such a smorgasbord of coverage she does for the Post.
Brooklyn-based painter Kadar Brock talks about:
His non-association with the cohort of process-based abstractionists, and how though you could compare what he does on the surface as similar, he points out that he doesn't have time to participate in the market-based machine element of it; the studio building he has a studio in and subleases (at a very low $2/sq. foot avg.) to fellow artist tenants in East Williamsburg, and how, in combination with an affordable apartment nearby – part of the fortune one needs to maintain traction as an artist in NY; how his career turning point came through participating in a group show that was curated into Ross Bleckner's studio in Chelsea; how he became a full-time artist, by gradually transitioning out of art handling/preparing and in combination with managing the sublease of his studio building made it financially viable; fond memories from his art trucking days; how he was courted by, and eventually came to do business with, his primary dealer, Vigo Gallery in London, which has been a dream gallery for him; his passion for fantasy online games, including Dark Souls, where he met a wild punk dude in Detroit whom he now follows on Twitter; his thoughts on the explosion of abstract painting, which he argues comes down to marketing by the powers that be, whether they're trying to sell abstraction or figuration as the dominant trend, and is ultimately about people trying to make a profit, and yet Brock admits that his being able to paint full-time is indeed connected to that market rise in abstraction; and how he manages his studio time, which he keeps on a regular daily schedule, by balancing it out with external activities (openings, dog walking, basketball, etc.); and what he'll be doing while listening to this (his) episode of the show.