Los Angeles-based artist and writer Maya Gurantz talks about:
Getting out of the staid confines of where she grew up, and what it was (and is) like being an angry feminist from an early age; her ‘accountability group,’ a group of women artists (from various art forms) she organized to hold each other accountable to work-related goals; her teaching and mentoring of students, at U.C. Santa Barbra; making work that is “messy,” as in tending to be potentially less likable than other work; and three of her epic essays: one on James Turrell related to his retrospective at LACMA, one on Carl Andre and Ana Mendieta (the piece that led us to Maya initially), and one as yet unpublished piece on Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead.
New York-based artist/performer Matt Starr talks about:
His never really fitting into artist communities in New York, both during his time living in Brooklyn and now Manhattan; his performance-based art, including his highly interactive street-based performance Amazon Boy; how some of his projects led to advertising work, and his ambiguous and complex relationship to that form; his severe ADD (his description), and how it’s affected his art and his work life; co-directing his film project, “My Annie Hall: a Remake Starring Seniors,” which has led to a documentary film about their making the film; his “I’m Sorry…” bus poster project, including “I’m Sorry – Men,” which went viral and sparked a lot of dialog; his “Baby-core” couture project (inspired by norm-core), which also went viral, but despite that, none of the original fashion pieces he made were purchased; his “Famous Artist Looking for a Job” poster, which actually led to a couple of brief gigs, one working in a Japanese hair salon and the other enrobing chocolate truffles; and his project “Looking for Friends,” which is pretty much what it sounds like, and turned out to be a very satisfying endeavor.
New York gallerist Jimi Dams of Envoy Enterprises talks about:
His dissolution with the art world (and particularly the market and fairs); his one-a-day exhibition series, when he observed poor behavior in a curator, an early indicator of unraveling in a way that would continue to unfold through the art world; his story of switching from being an artist – which he had to quit due to health issues - to opening a gallery, despite being a socialist, with the financial support from the late Hudson, former owner of Feature Gallery; how he ran/has run his gallery as a former artist, including having pizza nights where all his artists get together and hash things out openly; his frustration with the priorities of graduate schools today, with an over emphasis on 'professionalism' and the like; his (rather firm) advice to younger artists on what they should do, advice that art students he's spoken to have struggled to hear let alone accept; and how during his gallery's openings, you won't find him out in the gallery but in his office.
Brooklyn-based artist Kate McQuillen talks about:
Moving to Greenpoint, Brooklyn from Chicago, a move she made rather abruptly though she cushioned the transition with brief stints in Connecticut and then Boston; the turning points that led her to her move, including both art career opportunity and the breakdown of her marriage; how the intensity of her marriage falling apart led her to seek out talk therapy for the first time mostly on her own with just a little bit of reinforcement of the idea from a friend, and what she learned about herself once she found a great therapist (on her 2nd try); the sales of a significant amount of her work to Saks 5th Avenue through their acquisitions director, who came back around to buy even more work after that first major purchase, thus becoming something like a fairy godmother for Kate; baby steps in starting to date again after leaving her marriage; and how it hit her, in the middle of this past winter, that this (New York…Brooklyn) is her new life.
Along with co-host (and gallerist) Deb Klowden Mann, Los Angeles-based Matthew Gardocki, former gallery manager at Patrick Painter and Mark Moore galleries, talks about:
His decade-plus time working for two long-running L.A. galleries, the different management style of each, how he transitioned from one gallery to the other (they were across the parking lot from each other at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica), and how he became a good fireman (by getting really good at putting out fires); his experiences going to art fairs, both to sell and to sneak in a little travel; we talk about the viability of mid-sized and/or family galleries as business models, vis-à-vis the recent closing of Matthew's last employer Mark Moore; various art world comparisons, particularly mid-sized galleries vs. the big galleries, the big galleries vs. museums, secondary market sales as a way for a gallery to survive (and how the 2ndary market has dried up according to Matthew), and the challenge of mid-tier galleries; how he's looking for gallery work, and what's come up in his interviews, including his availability as a father of a 2-year-old; the reliability (or lack thereof) of collectors making studio or gallery visits; gender bias in the workplace, and finally, Matthew shares a very unusual birth story (of his daughter) that you likely haven't heard before.
Brooklyn-based artist Jean Shin talks about:
Gradually turning her Hudson Valley barn originally bought for art storage into a summer/weekend retreat; her extensive experiences with Brooklyn real estate including living and working in spaces all over Brooklyn, and leveraging various mortgages – starting with a "tiny" apartment in Carroll Gardens, before eventually buying a 1000 sq. foot storefront studio in Red Hook and a slightly larger apartment in Cobble Hill with her husband, leaving her settled (as long as there isn't another hurricane); her massive public art project for the 63rd Street stop of the new 2nd Avenue Subway line in New York, including the $1 million dollar budget (which was comprehensive for fabrication, design, materials, etc.- she didn't even earn 1% of that herself after all was said and done), and what it was like interacting with the public as the murals etc. were being installed…it was a project she worked on from 2010 thru the end of 2016; her working in labor intensive projects (with discarded ephemera), and the process of collaborating with museum curators as well as various assistants, including learning to trust the process of working with collaborators, and even trusting them enough to give them keys to the studio; and what it's like serving on the board of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, addressing inequity where possible along the way.
Brooklyn-based artist and activist Grayson Earle talks about:
His unplanned landing in Brooklyn, where he couch-surfed into a commune-style house, and where he's remained since moving to NY from California in 2010; his fluid relationship with the identity of "artist," ultimately one he embraces because it affords him more opportunities that if he took on the identity of "activist;" his experiences with artist collection The Illuminator, including getting arrested while projecting provocative phrases challenging donor Charles Koch onto The Metropolitan Museum; his admiration for open source programmers, and the process of sharing software and information, and the choice, in his words, of being an artist who either influences culture or makes saleable art objects; his experience being onsite at the start of Occupy Wall Street, and his role procuring food for that first generation occupiers (including vegan pizza); interacting with the problem of where our tax payments go through his project Tax Deductible Expenses, which features Earle eating and/or drinking in a series of YouTube videos, with the receipt for his goods posted alongside; and his Illuminator projection of a holographic bust of Edward Snowden, in place where an anonymously placed actual bust was placed in Fort Greene Park, in turn making it an odd completion of the original piece (they wound up meeting the pair behind the bust of Snowden, which is now available as a file for 3D printing).
New York artist Will Cotton talks about:
His neighborhood of Tribeca, where he and his girlfriend bought a place, and how he's seeing Chelsea galleries starting to move there; his studio schedule, and how he still allows time to be social and finds the need to be out – including providing face-time for collectors, et al. - even though he's had gallery representation with Mary Boone since '99; how he consciously keeps it down to just himself making his work (he does have an assistant, Emily, who handles the desk/administrative duties), because he's seen artist friends turn into managers more than artists; how he builds his 'tabletop maquettes,' and one of his anecdotes in which he got in trouble for the overuse of a root beer waterfall for one his scenes; another anecdote involving discovering something inside one of the cakes from his maquettes, after its long-since dried shell cracked; the genesis of his using live models in his candy scenes, and how that's both been fruitful and also gotten him into a little bit of trouble for accusations of exploitation; the 'hedonistic and druggy' (specifically vodka and cocaine) phase of his life, just prior to starting the candy land-fantasy work that's become his oeuvre; and his gratefulness for his life in the studio.
Clearfield, Pennsylvania-based artist Rebecca Morgan talks about:
Her hometown of Clearfield, a financially distressed former coal town, where she currently lives in the home she grew up in with her mom, in between teaching gigs in other states, which affords her tons of time to work, but also feels like suspended adolescence; the liminal relation she has to the town, which both rejected her and she rejects, and despite those rejections she's roughly the only one among her fellow school kids who's still (for the moment) there; her dating life in all its challenges and even brutality, through dating sites and aps, and which include things like driving 4 hours to New York to go on dates with art dudes; how happy she'll be to settle in just about any city EXCEPT New York, even though she went to Pratt and connected with the gallery that now represents her before leaving the city, and how her current home in the middle of nowhere affords her the time and space just to exist (vs. killing herself to survive in NY); how she doesn't think she would have left NY had it not been for her landing gallery representation; her very substantial Instagram following: how she got there, what she posts, how she interacts with her followers, and how it gives her a presence, and even sales, even while living in 'the middle of nowhere;' her most impactful IG supporters: Juxtapoz magazine and Amy Sedaris; body image in relation to her self-portraiture, which ranges from naturalistic to over-the-top; and we close with an audio dating profile for Rebecca, where she makes her intentions known and I begin playing a little matchmaker.
Los Angeles-based art business writer Tim Schneider, creator of The Gray Market blog, talks about:
His nerd roots in the Midwest; "COINs," which stands for "Collectors Only In Name," who tend to be labeled villains for art flipping tendencies, as opposed to collectors such as hedge funder Steven Cohen, who 'plays by the rules' at least as perceived by gallerists, even though he's also been known to flip works himself; his Gray Market blog, which he describes as "peeling back the layers of what we can see reported…traditionally, and asking: Why are people doing these things? What's the strategy?"; choosing between screenwriting and art for a career, and why he chose the path he chose; how he navigates the art world as a professional skeptic and somehow still get access to the inside, where some of the most useful intelligence is; the prospect of becoming "the Anthony Bourdain of the art world;" his upcoming book, "The Great Re-Framing: How Technology Will and Will Not Change the Gallery System," which he's self-publishing, because it includes time-sensitive information that can't be wasted on the overly long traditional publishing process (the book is slated to come out by June 1st, on the Amazon Kindle platform); and what it's like living in Downtown L.A. right by the Grand Central Market (directly downhill from MoCA, the Broad and Disney Concert Hall on Grand St.).
Custom framer/owner of Downing Frames Clint Downing talks about:
Starting his business out of his apartment across the street from Pratt, where he went to art school; his collaborations with artists, and how "there isn't a place that we won't go…"; how he reconciles production failures in working on new designs with delivering products that meet Downing Frames' best-of-industry standards; how he's very satisfied being behind the scenes in the art world, largely because he and his company receive a lot of gratitude for their work from customers; what it's like interacting with clients, and their staff, onsite in their homes, from the sit-down introduction to the 'shakedown' he receives from the overprotective freight elevator operators and supers, but ultimately it's about coming to the clients as an expert, and being respectful rather than subservient.
Hudson River Valley-based artist Anne Lindberg talks about:
Her relatively new (as of 2+ years) home in the Hudson River Valley, after having spent 28 years prior in Kansas City; her roots in Iowa City, where her mom was an artist and her dad taught at the University; her and her husband's decision to move from Kansas City to Ancramdale, NY, partially engineered through their pied-a-terre on the Upper West Side, which her husband moved into when he started teaching at Parsons School of Design; her unusual home and studio setting, surrounded by farms, and how the move to rural New York has been a clarifying process in terms of her priorities and the downsizing of possessions; how because of her relative remoteness, especially in relation to NYC, studio visitors need to make a day of it, between the roundtrip train ride, ride from the station, and taking a walk in the neighborhood, in addition to the studio visit itself; how the Hudson River Valley in general, though particularly its light, which she describes as both amber and seeming to come from the side, affects her work; her unique process of using a 10-foot-long architectural parallel bar on a 10-foot vertical table that raises and lowers on an electric wench; how pivotal her participation in the Omi Residency Program was for her work; and the whole world of farmers in her rural neighborhood that have opened up a new community for her.
Brooklyn-based artist and performer Guy Richards Smit talks about:
Moving to Williamsburg in the early '90s, and living in Bedford Stuyvesant now while having his studio in Williamsburg, after growing up in Manhattan, and how he avoids having those cliché conversations about 'how much things have changed…"; the tenuousness of living in New York, especially as an artist, and how he doesn't like being tied down with home ownership, etc., so he could leave town at a moment's notice (in his fantasy) if necessary; living across the street from Morningside Park, which during the time he was growing up was "terrifying;" his forays into comedy, starting with being the 'funny guy' for survival in his neighborhood, through open mics and eventually doing satirical comedy as the character Jonathan Grosmalerman (a name that may have come from his take on comedians as entertainers as being "gross;" his time as the lead singer of the band Maxi Geil! & Play Colt, and how being a performer has paired with being an artist alone in the studio; navigating the murky waters of the entertainment industry in order to try and sell his alternative sitcom (which includes references to painters); the difference between 'eating shit' as an artist and 'eating shit' as an actor or screenwriter; and the Williamburg artists of the mid-'90s who inspired his Jonathan Grossmalerman character.
London-based filmmaker/artist Steven Eastwood talks about:
His East London neighborhood of Hackney, where he's been for 15+ years, and the evolution it's gone through from dodgy to hipster haven; the divisiveness not only between London and the rest of the U.K., but also between generations, as in Steven and his father, with whom his values vastly diverge, who voted for Brexit and perceives London as intimidating and full of cultural elites, and ultimately wants the country to go back to the way it was; his productive time in the U.S. teaching film at SUNY Buffalo from 2004-07, after a 48-hour interview process (in the U.K. you're in and out the door in 45 minutes, he said); his evolution as a teacher, which is lead him to something of a dream teaching job currently, with a research post that allows him to spend a lot of time on his films; the complexities around distribution of art-based films – when and where to release and in what addition - which still hasn't been figured out; how his ongoing state in making films is to feel alien, how feels like a stranger to himself when he's making them; his film Island, which will begin as a multi-channel art gallery installation before its release in late 2017/early '18 as a feature film, and is about the end of life (literally); all of the complex logistics with legal as well as emotional contracts and the navigation of ethics that allowed him to be a first-hand witness on more than one occasion; how art has always had a relationship with death, but it's been somewhat taboo dealing with it through film; and finally a story about a harrowing night on a Scottish isle that he and former guest Kysa Johnson shared.
Los Angeles and international-based artist Lisa Soto talks about:
Her Global Child tendencies, which make her itchy to be traveling and/or abroad after she's in the States for too long; how she misses the culture that you get abroad, particularly dissemination of information—in the hair salons in London, for example, they're talking about contemporary art, whereas here it's about reality show-style pop culture; her rhythm of traveling/being abroad for about three months at a stretch, which came out of her growing up going to the south of Spain every summer with her family; the strong lineage of intuition in her family, which gave her the ability to read people's energy, something she was really good at as a youth, though as you age your head gets filled with ego and so that skill has dissipate; her particular love of Ghana, where she's spent a lot of time, will be going back to and would even consider moving to when she doesn't have so many local commitments; and the energy (and chakra) forces which are how she moves through and understands the world and universe (which she is not always putting out as conversational material, but believes in, and is happy to explain to people who have prejudices).
San Francisco-based artist and SFAI professor Lindsey White talks about:
Her Mission neighborhood in SF, where she lives and has her studio just several blocks away (and has rent control both places), and that there are still a lot of great people in its intimate art scene that come as well as go; how her interest in combining comedy and art became an entry point to address complex issues with humor; her collaborations with comedian Ron Lynch, from photographing him to working on a comedy book together, and how her conversations with him have shaped her understanding of comedy; the class she teaches at SFAI about humor in art, which deconstructs and takes an intimate look at many forms of comedy and also includes standup performances, which she participates in along with her students (and MCs); how both artists and comedians are "noticers" of the world, among other things they have in common; comedians who have been important to her in thinking about art, particularly Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller.
Kansas City-based artist, educator and Rocket Grants program coordinator Julia Cole talks about all things Kanas City, including: the housing and rental markets, which are still affordable, but gentrification is making its presence felt in certain neighborhoods; her public art projects, which she collaborates on with her husband; how living in such an affordable city allows her to take more risks in her art, since she isn't depending on income from it; how she moved from being a scientist to an artist, as well as her path from England (which she still loves and dreams about) to settling in the States; the perils of working on public art projects, whose pay schedules are how she's come to appreciate her neighborhood and community in KC, amid a thoughtful meditation on acceptance and learning to love the here and now; how living in KC means not living in a sealed bubble (politically), which she appreciates; and she talks about her least favorite art expression of art jargon, 'creative placemaking,' which she wrote an article about: http://www.lumpenmagazine.org/thoughts-on-creative-placetaking/
And here are Julia's shout-outs to long-term, influential Kansas City artists: Mike Sinclair, Roger Shimomura, Jose Faus, Egawa & Zbryk, Peregrine Honig, Glenn North, Cary Esser, Jim Woodfill, Warren Rosser, David Ford, Sonie Joi Ruffin, Miki Baird, Marcie Miller Gross, Albert Bitterman, Gloria Baker Feinstein, Mark Southerland, Erika Nelson, Jorge Garcia Almodovar, Judith G. Levy, Dave Loewenstein, Anne Austin Pearce, Marcus Cain, Archie Scott Gobber, Barry Anderson, Susan White, Laura Berman, Caitlin Horsmon and Charlotte Street Curator in Residence, Lynnette Miranda
Las Vegas-based artist and museum director Alisha Kerlin talks about:
The arc that led her to be in the 2010 Greater New York show at MoMA PS1, and subsequently how that changed her career, including working at Greene Naftali Gallery; the social anxiety of being in the show, while also feeling honored to be included with so many artists she deeply admired; the opportunities she received from being in the show, including the solo show she had concurrently at the gallery Real Fine Arts; dealer Zach Feuer coming into the show at Real Fine Arts and buying all Alisha's paintings, leading to a solo show with him, allowing her to cut down on her day jobs and spend a lot of time working in the studio; how getting an artist-in-residence led her initially to Las Vegas, and within a few days she realized she probably wouldn't want to go back to Brooklyn; how ultimately it was more satisfying to get the residency gig at UNLV, five years ago, than it was getting into Greater New York; what it's like living and working (as interim director of the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art at UNLV) in Vegas for the last five years, including buying a house and having a kid;
And in the follow-up conversation, Alisha talks about how even though Greater New York was huge in giving her opportunities, including leading to the artist-in-residence gig and ultimately moving to Vegas, the show for her is the least interesting thing to talk about, and how she is excited and inspired by discovering unfamiliar, veteran artist's work, which comes with her current role at the Museum; the importance and influence of her former teacher at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Michael Brakke, who started the school's artist-in-residence program and was hugely influential on generations of students, among them Alisa and Wade Guyton.
In part 2 of 2, Kysa Johnson talks about:
Why she and her family left NYC for Los Angeles, and how she's come to like L.A. after some initial concerns of leaving New York, including hating to drive; how she doesn't drive in L.A., but takes the bus and Lyft (not Uber); the finer points of Lyft surge charging; what she hates about American culture, including its classism and judgement of the poor and worship of the rich (after having lived for several years in Glasgow, which she loved and didn't want to leave but had to because her visa ran out); artists' day jobs, and the perception around them from others in the art world; her own day job working as a designer for Fashion Week shows, which she had to leave behind as a gig when she left New York, and isn't sure what she'll do should she need to her well dry up in L.A.; some reflections, as a former Mormon, that she had on the conversation with ambivalent Mormon Casey Smith; taking the bus, which she insists people are taking, is a great equalizer and finds bus-goers to be very respectful; her time in Glasgow, with its vibrant art and music scene, affording her 2nd hand connections with members of both Franz Ferdinand and Belle & Sebastian; the self-deprecating humor of the Scots (which leads to a brief final (perhaps) analysis of the "P"-word ('practice')), and how she considers she might move back there after her youngest child is in middle school; and she points out that artists are well-suited to be activists, because of their perseverance, stamina and playing the long game.
In Part 1 of 2, Los Angeles artist and activist Kysa Johnson talks about:
Her roots in Mormonism, and how its very patriarchal structure led her to rebel, fighting with teachers and eventually, along with her mom and brother, leaving the church; the various platforms and outlets for her activism, and how donating money, signing petitions and watching protest-based movies gave way to attending the initial protest in L.A., the Women's March in Washington, a protest at LAX airport, artist political group meetings, phone calls to congress, and more; how her "being active" was a necessary reaction to the extreme change in the political landscape, and how protests – boots on the ground -- matter because the visibility and solidarity of resistance is a key arm of resistance that lets those in power know that you're angry, and then that you're still angry ; the phone calls she makes as a constituent, which she scripts beforehand since she gets stage fright (and her stage fright in general, which causes her some lost sleep before artist talks, etc.; how after the election (presidential), for a few weeks in the studio everything felt 'ridiculous, pointless and inconsequential,' and so she pivoted to 'what can I do today' to address the new climate…and the research that she uses for her art translated to her research for political action; her top picks for movies about protest, most notably Selma, Gandhi, and Trumbo, the latter of which is especially appropriate because it's about artists/cultural figures being resisters; her series of 'Terrible Roman Emperors' paintings, echoing the fact that there are certain characteristics of a terrible leader that repeat throughout history; how she feels that visual artists have a niche and a platform to visually communicate information that is digestible in such a way (to the opposition) in order to create a shift; Kysa defines the difference between art that is beautiful (dark, sublime, etc.) and pretty (only for the eyes), and how one of her favorite movies, Amadeus, represents that dichotomy; how one is best served in their activism/actions by picking the thing that they're most interested in addressing, because everyone is wanting to do something different.
Freelance NYC museum educator Hollie Ecker talks about:
Her neighborhood in Harlem, which she loves and is close to the 5th Avenue museums where she works; her admission of being a gentrifier, yet also feeling much more connected to her neighborhood and her neighbors than she ever did in prior neighborhood in New York, and how she feels like a guest there; her schedule broken down, including half the week with seniors with some form of dementia and healthy seniors (including art-educated individuals)…2 or 3 days a week with students in various stages of Alzheimer's…and the rest of private and public school kids; her early works days as a communications assistant/social worker assisting deaf immigrants by using American Sign Language, and the challenge of communicating with them; how she's followed the advice of her mentor, to simultaneously teach people of her own kind and background along with those with disabilities (hearing impaired, dementia, Alzheimer's) to maintain her range and to keep from talking down to the disabled group of students; the public NYC school kids (of about 12, 13) who are thoroughly comfortable with their sexuality (they're at the 'Queer table'), in contrast to even very recent generations; her museum walk-throughs featuring an inquiry-based method, including an anecdote with a senior with dementia who displays profound insight about Rembrandt's Aristotle with a Bust of Homer; plus a great anecdote with a fancy private school kid (and Agnes Martin) who had his perspective changed through Hollie's museum class; and she closes with anecdote involving Guggenheim Museum director Richard Armstrong and a group of Hollie's students in the museum's elevator.
Providence, R.I.-based artist and RISD head of sculpture Lisi Raskin talks about:
Her former residence in Brooklyn Heights, which was made possible by her aunt and uncle, who ultimately were her biggest patrons – through contract negotiations and more - and made it possible for her to live a long stint in New York; the staying power it takes to exist in the art world, which she acknowledges in her coming from a privileged background (and later in the conversation emphasizes the question: 'what do you do with your privilege?'); a basic description of her getting her job as head of sculpture at RISD, and her roots in teaching at Columbia University in grad school and then getting hired right out of grad school; the serendipitous success she had at Columbia, including the intellectual and political alignment, the boom time it was in and the great people she got to work with as well as be mentored by, including Jon Kessler, Heather Roe, Coco Fusco, Mark Handelman and Kara Walker; her way of artmaking, which involves setting up challenges and rules to be broken, allowing her to be in a state of not knowing, and in this light we have a rather extended debate about the use of the word 'practice' (my biggest pet peeve word on the show); her non-hierarchical approach to both artmaking, as exemplified in her rock band as well as in a show she collaborated with a team on at Bunkier Sztuki in Krawkow Poland; and we finish where we started, with commentary on gentrification generally, and specifically in Philadelphia and Providence, her former and current homes, on responsibility gentrifying and being a good steward, not a colonialist.
L.A.-based artist and recent S.F. resident Maysha Mohamedi talks about:
What she likes to listen to in the studio (over and over) while she's working on a body of paintings; her time in SF, where she started her art career, met her husband and had two kids before leaving for L.A. (where she's been since August '16); her switch from a PhD in neuroscience at UC Davis to art; her aversion to critical conversations about her work, which started in grad school and didn't end until after she was showing; we have a long exchange about abstraction (mostly thanks to my taking so long to ask the question I wanted to ask), and she clearly articulates her objective- of getting her viewers to feel emotions, to be moved,when they see her work—and she uses the analogy of music, specifically Nina Simone, that she aspires to move her viewers the way Nina Simone's music moves her; how her parents have been supportive of her as an artist in their own ways, such as her dad making a custom studio-sitting bench for her; her origin story of when she decided to become a mother, something she's 'always' wanted to do, and why; she weighs in as a parent on those who aren't parents, and (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) how she'd like to lord her superiority of being a parents over non-parents, for the time-being at least; and she explains how when she's in the studio, the only thing she's thinking about his her work—no exceptions.
San Francisco-based artist, Chief Attorney of San Francisco's Public Defender office and former Green Party politician Matt Gonzalez talks about:
His beginnings as an artist, after having been a lawyer and in politics for many years, which originated when he was an undergrad at Columbia and was exposed to NYC's museums; transitioning from collecting art to making art, mainly through the conversations he had in artist's studios; the painters he's had collage sessions with, which occasionally included the consumption of Scotch and oysters; how his brain keeps working while collaging, enabling him to resolve problems in his court cases while he's working; what led him to run for District Attorney of San Francisco, and then later Mayor, and how, even as recently as 1999 in S.F., if you supported gay marriage and were against the death penalty you wouldn't be taken seriously as a candidate; how he was heartened by how well he did in his run for Mayor as a Green Party candidate- that even though he lost in a close race, it still meant that they raised awareness of the Green Party's politics and values; how he came to run as Ralph Nader's running mate in the 2008 presidential campaign; while he hasn't had any personal issues with the newer (tech) tenants of San Francisco per se, he has noticed a general lack of consideration for longtime residents, and is aware of that lacking particularly in regards to displacing existing residents; and his representation of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the murder suspect who has been a punching bag/case study for the right on the major problems with immigration/immigrants from Mexico…but as Matt notes, Lopez-Sanchez has no history of violence or weapons, and has no motive; that trial is still to come, when the case, and possibly Matt, will move into the spotlight.
San Francisco-based artist and filmmaker Jonn Herschend talks about:
The Thing Quarterly, a 10-year-old, subscription-based project of customized book-inspired artworks/objects he co-runs with Will Rogan; it was launched with Miranda July's pull-down window shade, which read, "If the shade is down, I'm not who you think I am;" The Thing has been so successful that there are two full-time and one part-time staff; Herschend describes it as an alternative route for art to be disseminated into the world, that it comes directly to your house (or office), which was perhaps the main ingredient that has brought so much attention to the project over the years; Dave Eggers' project, a custom essay he wrote for a shower curtain; how he self-identifies (if he has to), and the dynamics of having a good conversation with a stranger; the lack of art education in describing the wide gap between contemporary art (& the arts in general) to the mainstream; his time living in S.F. (since '93), from the Bohemian days of The Mission, through two tech booms and the rise of the 'tech bro,' entitlement, and how he resolves to remind himself that he was part of an earlier phase of gentrification of The Mission, and now he's just experiencing another, later phase…and how he's sympathetic because it's the only way to not become pissed all the time; how his biggest problem now is Uber drivers (he's been hit twice), who are actually people who live out of the city but come in to pick up rides; how he grew up with a front-of-house/back-of-house perspective in terms of entertainment and attractions, which led him to a documentary on the move/renovation of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – Stories from the Evacuation – which features a surprise twist; where he is with his filmmaking: he's self-taught, and used a real casting director for the first time (instead of Craigslist) for the SFMoMA film, and he may or may not make a feature-length film at some point in the future, since there are obvious benefits to making films for an art audience as opposed to making more marketable films for a much wider audience, and how for now he's happy to be in the in-between space of the art and film worlds.