Brooklyn-based artist Caitlin Masley talks about:
Her Carroll Gardens home virtually right under the BQE, and how she's frequently lived near (or under) trains, and how that's been comforting; her recent couple years co-running Guttenberg Arts, an artist residency and community-based art organization, and how her working there came out of her many years doing artist residencies all over Europe and the States; how she had to turn down a 6-month residency in Finland -- which would have included a house, a studio, a daily stipend and a Finnish-English language school for her daughter – because her son was too young at the time; the internal challenges she grapples with daily around living in an urban center with inspiring cultural benefits, and yet one that's also filled with environmental detriments (her son suffers significantly from asthma and food allergies), and the proposition of leaving New York is always on the table, and yet she essentially puts the researching on that topic out of her mind because she's afraid of what she'd find; the 'goldfish scenario' that applies to where they do and might live; the paradoxes of her family's Carroll Gardens neighborhood, which has become extremely pricey due to location and its charming brownstone, while at the same time through its proximity to the Gowanus Canal and a cement-making factory, among other things, the air quality is at dangerous levels; her master's thesis on building a community air trust, relating directly to her neighborhood experience and her son's health issues; the fact that despite her prolific record doing residencies, she's had to apply prolifically as well, getting accepted only 1 out of 50 times, by her count; and her latest residency, Artist Residency in Motherhood.
Feminist performance artist Christen Clifford talks about everything under the sun, including:
Living her entire adult life in New York City, going from the NYU dorms to Williamsburg, to Jackson Heights, Queens, where she now lives with her family, passing up the recommendations she rec'd to get on the lists of artist housing when she was 18; coming to New York planning to break into acting and be on Broadway and eventually a movie star, and how that life course she was anticipating gradually changed; the artists she's been influenced by, including Lynda Benglis and Marina Abramovic, the latter of whom has disappointed her with her works over the last few years, to the point of them tarnishing her legacy; her performance pieces for Ana Mendieta, one outside Dia in Chelsea, the other inside Dia Beacon, both Carl Andre retrospectives (Mendieta was his wife)—how she arrived at them, how they came off (offal was involved), and her passion behind their force, which were so intensely aimed at Medieta's memory and legacy; rape culture, a class she teaches at the New School, and her own experience with rape; her performance "Menstural Symphony," and her activism in getting free tampons in NYC schools; and about her recent bout with cancer, which she feels confident she's gotten through the worst of, and has been doing a social media project during the process.
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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.
Milwaukee-based artist and multi-hyphenate (curator, professor, art reviewer, artist-run gallerist) Michelle Grabner talks about:
Being essentially a life-long Midwesterner, and how for her Chicago was her big-city experience, and she appreciates that city much more now that she no longer lives there, and yet she recommends that all young artists get out of the cities, and certainly towns, that they're from to experience different cultural environs; the scripts that young artists (including her students) are given for when they move to X new city out of grad school (and I offer to doctor the script she gives to her students heading to L.A., suggesting that they head to Milwaukee or Cleveland or NY instead); the way that, post-9/11, the 'Hot Mess' sensibility has been playing out in art, and what that says about the state of the art world and its surroundings; how her survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, combined with her curating the 2014 Whitney Biennial, led to a bit of a gold rush on her work, particularly in being picked up by the James Cohan Gallery in NYC; her co-curating of the 2014 Whitney Biennial, from soup to nuts: how institutions, including the Whitney in particular, don't like to be declarative, as in saying that Michelle was 'the first artist-curator of a major museum exhibition,' though in fact she essentially was; the steps leading up to her getting the job; the process of selecting artists, including doing 130 studio visits in preparation (from which 53 artists were included), and how weird and freaked out artists got, compared to prior visits, because it was a 'Biennial studio visit'; how transparent she was with artists about the studio visits, in saying that she was 'doing research' for the Whitney Biennial; the richness of that one-hour studio visit as an exchange of ideas rather than just a 'you're in or you're out'; the controversy around her inclusion of Donelle Wooldford, the fictional African-American artist – invented by artist Joe Scanlon and played/acted by Jennifer Kidwell – and how that played out, particularly with the departure of the artist collective HowDoYouSayYamInAfrican? that Michelle had curated into the video portion of the show; how the importance of representation in the art world, through that piece, is a conversation that both stirred up a lot of heat but remains a difficult conversation to have and especially to maintain having; on the back end of the show, how frustrating it was that there were hardly any critical reviews that addressed the work in the show, but instead were about the biennial as a whole, the politics around it, etc.; her current preparation for curating the Portland Biennial, opening this July 9th; and finally, she attempts to answer the admittedly charged question: does she have it all?
http://theconversationpod.com/ Please subscribe to The Conversation on iTunes, and leave a positive review: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversation-artist-podcast/id481461646 Los Angeles-based artist and witch (yes, you read that right) Amanda Yates Garcia, along with co-host Deb Klowden Mann, talks about: Her great craftsman home in the West Adams neighborhood, and how she got in before the gentrification race that's going on now; how she answers the question of what she does by saying that she's a witch, and the ensuing conversation around that, including being a provocateur even when she doesn't feel like being one; artists and witches through the ages, and how the meaning of being a witch can be as diverse as the meanings of being an artist; how a big part of being a witch, for her, is examining authority- who gets to make the rules; how to invoke your spirit figure, whether it's a name that's been invoked many times, from your own culture ideally, or more one of your own created entity; how magic, not unlike art, is not about belief, believing in magic, or believing in art; how she was raised in a Wiccan household with a feminist mother, but who also had a lot of patriarchal ideas; the failings of patriarchy today, and what happened in her "Devouring Patriarchy - Healing the Wounds of the Father" workshop; how, in addition to representing for witches, she's also representing for 'healing,' a maligned word in the context of contemporary art, but she doesn't give a f*ck—it's desperately needed in our world now (that and love); her performance "Capitalism Exorcism;" the subtle distinctions between objects used in performance/ceremony as ritual objects, and becoming art objects; how she is able to sustain herself as a witch, but not an artist; how she's no longer attached to the idea of being known as 'an artist,' an identity that she (and many) was especially attached to out of grad school; and she offers a magical financial tip, having to do with getting (buying) the thing that you yourself are selling. The Conversation on Stitcher (the alternative to iTunes): http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/wwwstitchercompodcasttheconversation/the-conversation-art-podcast?refid=stpr The Conversation on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Conversation-An-Artist-Podcast/254884424579431 http://instagram.com/artistpodcast Twitter: @artistpodcast Your support of the podcast is very much appreciated- donations can be made via the website, and help keep the show going.
New York-based painter Mark Thomas Gibson (http://www.fredericksfreisergallery.com/artists/mark-thomas-gibson) talks about: Race in art relations; being a black artist asked by both whites and blacks: 'where is your ethnicity in your work?'; meeting Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock; why he took 10 years off before applying to grad school (9/11); what led him to grad school (Yale) despite his reservations; and what it's like being an artist in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The Conversation's website: http://theconversationpod.com/ Please subscribe to The Conversation on iTunes, and leave a positive review: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/conversation-artist-podcast/id481461646 The Conversation on Stitcher (the alternative to iTunes): http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/wwwstitchercompodcasttheconversation/the-conversation-art-podcast?refid=stpr The Conversation on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Conversation-An-Artist-Podcast/254884424579431 http://instagram.com/artistpodcast Twitter: @artistpodcast Your support of the podcast is very much appreciated- donations can be made via the website, and help keep the show going.
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