Senior Editor for Hyperallergic and New York Times regular contributor Seph Rodney talks about his long journey to becoming a full-time art critic. As an undergrad he was an English Major, before moving on to an MFA that would deepen his storytelling abilities, and then to his PhD. The road has been long and tumultuous with financial struggle much of the way, getting by with the help of friends, family, and, on one occasion, a tech billionaire. Rodney talks about his current place in the art world, the principles that guide his pen and his mind, “threading the needle,” elitism in the art world, American culture’s White Supremacist foundation, and winning the 2020 Rabkin Art Journalism Prize. Rodney says that when it comes to writing, he “does not aspire to be unbiased but, rather, aspires to be upfront and honest about his biases.”
Greg Allen expands on a thought from Part 1: “selling baubles of the anointed few to the billionaire class.” He proves this is true through what he calls the “naked stratification” of museum galas, the epitome of “art or art-like things done for a tiny audience that either bought their way in or control an institution.” Even with a global pandemic wreaking havoc throughout the United States, Galas are still taking place over Zoom with elaborate catering delivered to your door. Allen contemplates where to shift away from this, especially in light of upcoming museum closures. He also discusses moving from his adopted home of New York to D.C., his resistance to hyping up the “market darlings,” and his wish-list artists as a collector.