Info

The Conversation Art Podcast

A podcast that goes behind the scenes and between the lines of the contemporary art worlds, through conversations with artists, dealers, curators, and collectors--based in Los Angeles, but reaching nationally and internationally.
RSS Feed
The Conversation Art Podcast
2024
July
June
May
April
February
January


2023
December
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2022
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2021
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2014
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


2013
November
August
July
June
May
April
February
January


2012
December
November
October
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: Page 1
Jul 6, 2024

In Episode 362, artist, curator and recent PhD (from U.C. Santa Barbara) Maiza Hixson co-hosts this episode’s OLD NEWS, featuring updates on: protests, including the case of #metoo being spray-painted onto Gustave Courbet’s painting ‘Origin de monde,’ and how the article had a correction stating that the image was of a vulva, rather than a vagina; the sentencing of a woman who was involved in the vandalism of a Degas sculpture in Washington, D.C.; the vandalism on the façade of the home of Brooklyn Museum director Ann Pasternak, and how these protesters are attempting to draw attention to the various corporate ties in the art world; protests and letters relating to the war in Gaza, and the very powerful people who are influencing university protests and various politics through corporate channels; the Kehinde Wiley controversy related to accusations of sexual assault made against him; the work of the Yes Men, and how it’s not about disruption, it is disruption, as exemplified in a recent intervention at a fundraising event involving a new housing development; how Maurizio Cattelan’s recent bullet-hole sculptures represent the insular culture of the art world; how Leonardo da Vinci was in the vanguard of eating, in that he was one of our early vegetarians; and whether we can qualify artists as being progressives, including taking a closer look at their carbon footprints; and the wide-ranging art and fandom of Miranda July.

Jun 9, 2024

To listen to the complete episode with Adam Henry as well as all past Bonus episodes, please become a Patreon supporter of the podcast here: https://www.patreon.com/theconversationpod

New York-based artist Adam Henry talks about:

His recently ended show at Candice Madey gallery, and how he defines a ‘successful show’ (a mix of sales, critical dialogue generated, and future opportunities); the advantages of having a fellow artist as a partner, but how it’s also necessary to get alone time when you need it, including time for processing after you’ve had a show, which has included the fact that this is the first time he’s shown work whose meaning he doesn’t fully understand, and the first time he’s comfortable saying that; how one of the most powerful experiences you can have with art, is to have your mind changed; how important the process of perception is to him and his work, and how his journey through perception started with color theory and Josef Albers and wound up with Wittgenstein, and eventually he wound up in psychedelics; how his making abstract work during the rise of process-based abstraction (aka zombie formalism) was challenging in that he had far fewer opportunities because of the market shift; how important it is to put the emphasis on the intention of the artwork when viewing work, as opposed to the person who made it or the value; how his partner, who is also a painter – a figurative painter, in fact – has at times been the breadwinner of the two, and vice versa, which has served them both well; the great exchanges he and his wife have about the exhibitions they view together.

May 11, 2024

In the 2nd conversation with author, recovering art worker and academic Valerie Werder, she talks about: the travails of clothes shopping for her job in the blue-chip gallery, not only how fraught it was but how much it brought up class issues as she moved through the sartorial gauntlet, where her appearance as a frosty, inaccessible object was part of her role; the complicated variations of class when it comes to precarity and poverty, including a culture where those who are cultivating an aesthetic of bohemianism or even poverty are existing alongside those who are actually financially poor, the latter of whom sometimes don’t even have culture on their radar; her fictional and, perhaps, real relationship with the enigmatic character ‘Ted’ from her book Thieves, which is complex in its values, dependency, and deceptions, and which coincided with her own attraction to anarchism and anti-capitalism, and how ‘Ted’ in some ways embodied these tendencies; the complex social roles and hierarchies that Valerie is living within, and the experience of downward mobility while simultaneously being connected with an upper echelon of culture; how transitioning to the hierarchies and bureaucracies of Harvard was fairly smooth and easy after being in the blue-chip NY gallery world; and how while she still sporadically writes about art, she’s for all intents and purposes stepped out of the art world proper. NOTE: in the Bonus episode w/Valerie, she talks all about the very real shoplifting she participated in and is a main feature in Thieves.

Apr 6, 2024

Bianca Bosker, journalist and author of Get the Picture, talks about:

The genesis of her deep dive into the art world - working with gallerists and artists, doing art fairs and galleries with collectors, and doing a stint as a security guard at the Guggenheim Museum – which largely came out of her need to learn whether she could learn to ‘see’ like an artist, as opposed to a ‘normie Philistine,’ as she was called by many (she was also, as a journalist, called “the enemy”); the elitism, opacity and various exclusionary art world rules she discovered from dealers and artists she encountered through her immersion process, and how “dishearteningly little” artists themselves often knew about how the art world works; how parts of the art world use secrecy as part of their survival, to build mystique, among other reasons; how she worked for five different artists in the course of researching the book, but ultimately only wrote explicitly about two – Julie Curtiss and Amana Alfieri – in the book; how Context – everything about the artist (social cache, etc.) EXCEPT the art itself is often overly valued, and something she pushed back against; how she was drawn to working with emerging artists, and wound up working with the painter Julie Curtiss at a turning point moment in her career, in which she was both starting to make a living from her work but also getting bullied on social media for her work’s huge price escalation on the secondary market; how brave it was for Julie to let Bianca so thoroughly into her studio and make herself so vulnerable; and why she got so pumped after making sales while on the floor of the Untitled Art Fair with Denny Dimin gallery, without actually getting any payment for those sales (due to journalistic integrity).

Feb 24, 2024

This episode features the 1st half of the full episode. To get the full version, please visit: Patreon.com/theconversationpod    The Conversation Art Podcast | creating a podcast that goes behind the scenes of the art worlds | Patreon

Recovering art worker and author of the novel Thieves, Valerie Werder talks about:

Her entrance into the art world via her demanding position at a fancy gallery in her attempt, as a newbie, to get access and proximity to the art world;  her ability to conform and comply under pressure (in the gallery environment), and the what the flip side of that looks like; what the coercion, that came thru various forms of care and the engendering of a ‘family’ dynamic at the gallery, looked like and how it played out, including through fancy paid meals and credit for fancy clothes so she could look and act the part; how working at a gallery gave her a completely different relationship to language, including the quick turnaround she had to produce, becoming a ‘language producing machine’ in the process; the craft of writing a gallery press release, and how she ultimately became, upon writing her novel, the ‘commodity’ herself that she in turn needed to sell.

In the 2nd half of the episode, Valerie talks about: her creative workarounds to promote her book, including using two very different kinds of publicists, and how throughout her professional career she’s been aware of and pushed against the given economic constraints, and how she believes it’s important to be explicit and unashamed about everything from her day jobs to the creation of her (writing) brand; the difference between the mythologizing/branding of artists back in the days of a much smaller (yet cut-throat) New York art world (of Donald Judd, Robert Smithson and Walter De Maria et al.) and the more diffuse, digital world of today, and how in her book she wanted to explore the legacy and imprint of the peripheral art world figure ‘Valerie’ the character who herself was invisible but whose writing, through catalogues and press releases, was/is all over the art world, and in the process the real Valerie the writer becomes a visible figure, a brand herself; the strange relationship she had with her former gallerist boss, whom she became the voice for in press releases and personal emails and even interviews, and how she studied her and had the writings of her voice vetted by the gallerist herself, for which she was valued highly for absolutely being ‘her voice;’ how she wrote her book on an ‘unpaid sabbatical’ from her job at the gallery, in a friend’s cabin in Tennessee, and the complicated circumstances in which she quick her job upon returning from that ‘sabbatical,’ which she told the gallery was an artist residency; her doubts about whether her gallerist employer read her book (Thieves); the actual front desk worker (aka gallerina) protocol employed at the gallery where she worked, as far as how to treat different people who came into the gallery, whether they were VIPs who should be greeted by name (through the gallerina memorizing the faces of those collectors) or lowly artists/nobodies who could be ignored; her experience getting a once-over from a wealthy collector at the gallery, and giving that once-over right back to him; Frank Stella and his provocative artwork titling, and how it somehow wasn’t Valerie’s job to really do research about his work, despite the gallery selling it.

Jan 27, 2024

 Seattle-based artist and restorer Debra Broz talks about:

Living in Seattle, where she moved to from Los Angeles a year and a half prior to our call; how Seattle is full of rule-followers who are also anarchists/anti-capitalists; how she found her Seattle studio, where it was important to have decent heat, especially for her sculptures; her reasons for leaving L.A. for Seattle, and some of the lifestyle differences between the two cities, and how welcoming Seattle has been to her as a new artist; how various sites, specifically Colossal and the Jealous Curator, have been huge in growing her art & design-focused Instagram followers; her pacing and general approach towards her IG feed, where she’s made peace with the fact that she can only go as fast as she can go, nor does she want to try and gamify the system, and how, ultimately, IG is a “feel bad machine;” how Instagram has been punishing people who use it to have sales; the “enshitification” of apps (including IG and Tik Tok) and how it’s made our experiences on them so much worse; her sculptures, made from ceramic figurines, which were originally made for American middle-class homes; how the best places to find her sculptural elements are “out in the wild,” i.e. thrift stores, as well as friends giving her objects, which is her favorite way to acquire her materials; the “if we look for what we need, we’ll find it” serendipity that’s a driving force in Debra’s making process; and how the meme, “I didn’t realize being an artist was making the same thing 1000 times until you die,” is a sentiment very familiar to most artists.

Dec 2, 2023

Chris Wiley- Artist, New Yorker photography critic, and contributing editor at Frieze - talks about:

His fleeing upstate to the Catskills during the pandemic, and what his relative disconnect from the art world and the city has been like since the move (though he still keeps a small apt. in the city); the differences between English and American artists in terms of academia vs. the market; his epic two-part articles on Zombie Formalism, which covered not just the movement as a market phenomenon but also what it’s led to, including economic precarity and eventually what Wiley has dubbed ‘debt aesthetics;’ the term from the Crypto phenomenon that Wiley applies to many artists of Zombie Formalism, ‘Walk Away Like a Boss,’ to describe those who were able to earn a very solid chunk of money over their brief careers, often parking it in real estate for long-term security; how Zombie Formalist paintings were, as he put it, “’fast, fungible and friendly,’ just like what currency is;” artists who have the ‘it’ factor, an authenticity demonstrating they would be making their art no matter what; the great promise of a Universal Basic Income for artists, particularly in the context of a debt aesthetics that virtually forces artists to compromise their visions instead of getting to be weirdos; his current thoughts on the implications of AI, which he’s been interested in for a long time, having a father who was interested in computers and science fiction when he was growing up; how and whether artists will be safe in terms of jobs and sustainability in an A.I.-dominant landscape, and how the art world isn’t ready for the kind of speed with which A.I. advances will affect art; the AI-generated photography of Charlie Engman, who has been making a bizarre and prolific body of work using the platform Midjourney, despite being a ‘technophobe,’ in his own words; the challenged viability of a career as an editorial photographer with the rise of A.I.; and how his article on A.I. and Charlie’s work, in The New Yorker, pissed a LOT of people off, and why.

Oct 14, 2023

Michael Finkel discusses the remarkable story of Stéphane Breitwieser, the subject of his recent book, The Art Thief, including:

The genesis of the book project, starting with a three-paragraph article, and eventually turning into a 10+ year-project; the style and methods of theft that Breitwieser and his partner, Anne-Catherine Kleinklaus, put to work; Michael’s favorite Breitwieser crimes; his widely oscillating perception of Breitwieser, from a selfish brat to ‘the best art professor I’ve ever had;’  how Breitwieser protected both Anne-Catherine and his mother by lying on their behalf, but ultimately told the truth to authorities when it came to his own role in the crime sprees; Breitwieser’s Icarus-like trajectory playing out over several years as a result of his increasing addiction to art theft; a teaser of an ongoing plot point related to one of the Art Thief’s main characters, one which may very well be revealed in the soft cover release of the book; and how what Breitwieser and Christopher Knight, the protagonist of Finkel’s earlier book, The Stranger in the Woods, have in common is that they’re extreme outliers who make their own rules.

Sep 2, 2023

This special episode features return-guest-but-more-co-host Deb Klowden Mann to discuss the recent New Yorker profile of mega-dealer Larry Gagosian. Deb starts us off by updating us on her closing of her eponymous gallery due to multiple health issues, which made the work unsustainable. We follow that update with our discussion of the article, including:

Our respective histories with Gagosian and/or his collectors mentioned in the article; how Gagosian’s decision to allow the profile may be because it humanizes him to the audience, but also, as Deb proposes, to make him and the gallery more appealing to younger artists they could possibly take on; Deb sites a book from the early ‘80s, “The Art Dealers: The Powers Behind the Scene Tell How the Art World Really Works,” which illustrates how when it comes to collectors treating art as investments, it’s been happening for nearly 200 years; how the funding that goes to high-priced artworks sometimes comes from the same people who fund grants/grant foundations, Deb suggests, and she advocates for a more transparent, as well as more evenly distributed financial model for the art world(s); Gagosian’s gallery courtship of the English artist Issy Wood, and what that scenario points to as far as his courtship process, the future of the gallery and his legacy plans, and the vulnerability apparent in that dynamic; Deb’s desire for more really well researched and written pieces (like this one by Patrick Radden Keefe) about how everything works in the art world; and finally, Deb brings up the book The Art of Death as a counterpoint to one’s amassing of power and wealth to stave off mortality, because in many cultures up until the 1800’s, one of the main functions of art was in fact to help people understand death as part of life and prepare them for it.

Aug 5, 2023

Long Beach-based artist and former produce field worker Narsiso Martinez talks about:

Growing up in a small town in Oaxaca, Mexico (Santa Cruz Papalutla), with several brothers and sisters, and a mom and dad who were often on the road for work; his resistance and questioning of working in the fields, something his family did when he was growing up as a way to have food on hand in tighter times; a very condensed version of his travails in crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S., which took him 4 tries to do; his initial settling in Los Angeles with one of his brothers, who is in the car upholstery business; going to an adult high school to learn English as well as other classes, on his way to going to Cal State Long Beach for an undergraduate, and eventually an MFA degree; how he made his adult high school studies a higher priority than his day jobs, so if a job conflicted with school, he would leave the job; his ups and downs at LA City College, where he got his associate degree and may have gone into biology if it wasn’t for his lack of resident papers; what it was like working in the fields – physically as well as mentally – up in Washington state, where he picked produce including asparagus, cherries and apples, both for one full year, as well as over the summers between Cal State Long Beach school years; his gradual discovery of produce boxes that became the surfaces/objects for his paintings, starting with collecting a few boxes from a Costco; his complex thoughts and feelings about class differences, including thinking of himself as something of a role model for who people can become, as well as the importance of education, and family support, in making his long journey, which he describes as many different lives.

Jul 1, 2023

Connecticut- and New York City-based artist Alexis Rockman talks about:

His semi-exodus from Manhattan, where he’s lived his whole life, to a fairly rural part of Connecticut called Warren; leaving his Tribeca studio of 33 years and building a new one on the property of their house in Warren; his early love and interest in animals through his anthropologist mom’s encouragement which led to everything from keeping fish, turtles and iguanas in his childhood room to going scuba diving and spending a lot of time in Australia, where his stepfather was from, encountering wombats, Komodo dragons, and large flightless birds; his appreciation of science fiction movies of the late 60s and early 70s, and how the ideas in those movies were an influence on his apocalyptic paintings; the origins of his painting ‘Manifest Destiny,’ which is in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum; his recent work, which is in conversation with historic painters – Courbet, Clyfford Still, Peder Balke – and the joy of painting in addition to addressing climate change; how he jumped for joy for ‘owning’ natural history, as a painter, when he first established his artistic vision at the start of his career in the mid-1980s; working as a vision artist for films, including Life of Pi and the remake of the Little Mermaid; and how he feels about his relative ‘fame,’ and the ebbs and flows of success.

Jun 4, 2023

Hungarian billionaire Gabriela and artist and architect Andi Schmied talk about:

Andi’s residencies, across Asia and Europe, as well as the Triangle Arts residency in DUMBO, Brooklyn, where she first connected with her fellow Hungarian, the billionaire Gabriela; some of the developments around the world that led her to the realization that there’s a glut of useless, ultra-wealthy housing that’s not actually being used, particularly a complex of villas about 100 miles outside of Beijing, where the groundskeepers wound up squatting in the empty units; doing a residency in New York in 2016, when she encountered Gabriela for the first time, who would become her key collaborator for what would her project ‘Private Views;’ the world of ultra-high end real estate, including the dynamics of a real estate agent showing a penthouse apartment of a very tall building to a client, and how Gabriela navigated these experiences; the questions the real estate agents showing these penthouses and other very expensive apartments asked, and what that revealed about the world of the ultra-wealthy; the various ways super-tall buildings in Manhattan are impacting everything from income inequality to changing the flora and fauna in Central Park from the long shadows they cast.

May 26, 2023

Art Advisor Lisa Schiff has been in the news over the last two weeks, because of lawsuits being filed against her by clients who weren't given the artworks they paid for, and Schiff has subsequently filed for bankruptcy.

How did this happen? Was there any indication, from the warm and thoughtful conversation I had with her in late 2014, that anything like this would happen down the road? 

We re-visit Episode 99, from early 2015.

May 20, 2023

In Bonus Episode 344, San Francisco and northern Virginia-based artist Alex Nowik talks about:

The art communities he’s been part of in the Bay Area, which have been fruitful for him as a self-taught artist, and how he feels that there are little ‘bubbling’ art scenes that are continuing to thrive around the Bay, whether in Oakland or San Francisco, with young artists; his complicated family background, including a half-Japanese, half-Polish mother who grew up in California, often passing as white (she sometimes called herself ‘Eurasian’) and his father, who was from Poland and escaped the Holocaust through a harrowing series of hidings and passing as a gentile with fake names until he was able to emigrate to Montreal; his ability to distance himself from his parents’ respective traumas; his various day jobs over the years, which he describes positively, particularly working as a gardener; his car-free lifestyle both in SF and in Virginia, just outside of D.C.; and his thoughts on the Philip Guston exhibition at the National Gallery (which he’s seen twice), and how he thinks about the controversy around Guston’s hooded figures in terms of the Jew in America and assimilation.

To access this Bonus Episode of the show, please consider supporting The Conversation on Patreon here:

The Conversation Art Podcast | creating a podcast that goes behind the scenes of the art worlds | Patreon

May 6, 2023

Brooklyn-based artist Nancy Blum talks about:

Her relationship with Judaism, both growing up and as an adult, where her exploration of healing and self-soothing from generational trauma, which ultimately connects with her art; her alternative interpretation of the word ‘therapeutic,’ in relation to art-making, how it can be something deeply personal that artists are trying to share; the use of flowers in her work, which was radical when she started using them 20 years ago, and how their use has risen since the pandemic; her experience making it work as an artist in New York City, where she’s settled after many years living and working as a nomad; how artists can now have successful, legitimate careers anywhere in the U.S., and why she’s chosen to live in NY because it meets her needs and she loves it, even if it doesn’t love her; bringing a Buddhist approach to the way she thinks about her work can career, and how important it is for artists to have the tools to deal with discouragement so that they keep going; questioning what defines success for an artist, and how the distorted perceived norms of success and what we should be or have become vehicles of defeat and low self-esteem for artists; how meaningful it’s been for her to make the public art mosaic for the 28th Street Subway station, and how she wants her public works to do the work- healing, bringing joy to people, etc. – for her; her earliest public projects, which got her into making public art; and why university art teaching was unsustainable as part of her career path.

Apr 22, 2023

In this in-between (342 and 343) episode, I talk about the new Bonus Episode with Stefanie Kogler-Heimburger (for subscribers only), and recent OLD NEWS including a photo contest winner who used AI to generate his image and subsequently withdrew his win; a successful Union strike at RISD; and art vs. advertising in the form of a muffin mural for a bakery in Conway, New Hampshire.

To access the newest Bonus Episode 342 plus all other past Subscriber-only episodes, become a Patreon donor for as little as $1 a month by subscribing here:

The Conversation Art Podcast | creating a podcast that goes behind the scenes of the art worlds | Patreon

Apr 8, 2023

Berlin-based artist and co-curator of the exhibition ‘Class Issues: Art Production in and out of Precarity,’ Norbert Witzgall talks about:

The term/phenomenon of “Hope Labor,” which drives the economy of fine art and is based on the presumption that your hard work will pay off when you ‘make it;’ how Berlin has become prohibitively expensive for artists, which among other things has led to artists creating platforms such as the Ministry for Empathy to help artists in need; mental health in connection with artists’ labor conditions; the challenge for migrants in getting German grants, largely because of accessibility and knowledge; the intersectionality of exclusion, which is essentially how access includes less frequently acknowledged statuses such as class background and housing in addition to race and gender; art’s struggle to represent the society at large, using the example that there are no Germans of Turkish descent who are recognized in the art world; homeless artists, in particular a German collective, ‘Anonymous,’ included in ‘Class Issues;’ the poverty of some artists in old age; the transparency they used in ‘Class Issues,’ including production costs for the artworks, the family background of the artist, and what an artist’s pension is/will be; his at one time 11 simultaneous freelance jobs, which meant a big ‘class journey,’ or class switching, between gigs; his decision to re-train as a fine arts school teacher, which he started but then left at 19, coming back this time because he has the life experience to bring with him; and the hope that we can decrease the amount of ‘hope labor’ being put out by many, many artists.

Mar 26, 2023

In this Conversation MIDWAY - between epis. 340 and 341 - I talk about the bonus episode for Patreons, featuring Blum-Weinberg-Keinholz-Rottweiler, as well as talk about the art services industry via the Worst Job Posting Ever Created, the Nan Goldin documentary, and Tom Sachs, among other related topics.

If you would like to access Episode 340A, which features four great stories from Art Can Kill, you can support The Conversation on Patreon here:

The Conversation Art Podcast | creating a podcast that goes behind the scenes of the art worlds | Patreon

Mar 9, 2023

Episode 340- Veteran art handler and preparator Bryan Cooke talks about:

Cooke’s Crating, the business he started back in 1975, and how it’s essentially a service business, one that has grown with the art market, particularly in the last 10 years; why they don’t use the word ‘art’ in the company title, and how they discreetly move art around, especially high-priced works; how and why he self-published his book, Art Can Kill; some of his near-death experiences in art handling, including two involving elevators (one of my least favorite places); why he put himself in the line of risk, shielding his employees from danger; and he tells a condensed version of an epic story from the book in which a client for all intents and purposes kidnaps Bryan and his colleague during a moving job, on a large estate outside Chicago.

Feb 26, 2023

In this Teaser for Episode 339A, which is only available to Patreon supporters of the show, we talk about becoming a supporter of the show, read from a bit of the intro to the book Art Can Kill, and talk about the comments from an article on the collector Adam Lindeman's upcoming March 9th auction at Christie's.

If you would like to access Episode 339A, which features three great stories from Art Can Kill, by Bryan Cooke (an upcoming guest on the podcast), you can support The Conversation on Patreon here:

The Conversation Art Podcast | creating a podcast that goes behind the scenes of the art worlds | Patreon

Feb 11, 2023

Arts writer and former professional surfer Jamie Brisick talks about: w hat it was like being on the pro surfing tour back in his late teens and early 20s, and how he developed his Plan B career initially as a surfing writer before moving into arts & culture writing; how he comes to art/the art world with a relatively fresh perspective, and has experienced some unsavoriness in the upper spheres in its being too much like high school in terms of popularity, etc.; what it means when, to quote the artist Paul Chan in this case, ‘Success is its own form of failure;’ the varied and fascinating work of Francis Alÿs, whom Brisick tried to get an interview with but was essentially blown off, but whom he still highly respects and reveres as an artist; the artworks, storytelling, and other idiosyncrasies of quintessential surfing-art artist, Raymond Pettibon, whom Brisick has profiled extensively and become friends with; the surf-skate pioneer Craig Stecyk (also a mentor of Brisick’s) and his crazy performance art stunts; and his relationship with the journalist and writer William Finnegan, whose struggle with his memoir may be a source of inspiration for listeners.

Jan 28, 2023

n the 14th installment of the podcast’s Virtual Café, we take as our prompt a Dec. review by NYTimes art critic Holland Cotter about politics in art:

About 10 artists in the Virtual Café (including past guests Ianna Frisby of Art Advice and William Powhida) talk about art and politics, including successful examples of political art; the nimbleness of capitalism to absorb all things protest; the challenges and failures of artists to organize, particularly artist unions; the question of whether artwork being in a gallery is neutered, in terms of its political/social power; virtue signaling in art, particularly political art; Theaster Gates as a strong example of an artist changing a community, and of socially engaged art; the importance of the rhetoric around so-called political art (including the good side of the word ‘didactic'); the lack of transparency in galleries reporting where their donations to (political) causes are allocated; and how to take political art to the people, as opposed to through the gallery system.

Jan 7, 2023

Writer and cultural critic William Deresiewicz, author of The Death of the Artist, talks about:

His motivations in writing the book, largely motivated by dispelling the myth that this (our current internet/social media era) was the greatest time ever to be an artist, as well as trying to understand how artists (not just visual, artists across all fields- writing, music, film & television) were adapting to making art and surviving in an this world; why he strongly believes that not everyone can be an artist; how and why the monopoly on taste has been broken through a more middle-brow level of connoisseurship; how we can’t dispense with the gatekeeper, whether it’s the curator of artists or our listening playlists; artists’ relative comfort (or discomfort) with using social media, which isn’t as tied to age as you would think; the wide variety of day jobs that artists do (including a list of 50 jobs/gigs that Deresiewicz compiled), and the degrees of poverty artists live with; the delicate and complex dynamic of artists walking away from being artists (which is of course very hard to document); the artist Paul Rucker (perhaps the only artist profiled in the book whom I should have heard of) who’s had a wide-ranging and remarkable career; the challenge of finding and working with the ‘typical’ working artist- artists whose careers were coming up but not yet well known; and what a solid work-lifestyle balance looks like for one of the artists in the book, as well as for Deresiewicz himself.

Dec 25, 2022

For this latest roundup of OLD NEWS stories, we’re joined by a very special guest, to talk about:

The MASS MoCA union; the new monument to the Central Park 5; the debate about bringing attention to the climate crisis by throwing food and attaching body parts to famous artworks in museum, as analyzed by Jerry Saltz in his piece ‘MASHED POTATOES MEET MONET,’ as well as through our own lenses on the phenomenon; how a stolen painting was turned into a popular throw pillow (which you can purchase online for $18.40 plus shipping); the struggles of Pace Gallery’s Superblue, and the history of Pace through the Glimcher family, including a botched diversity hiring of Marc Glimcher’s daughter; Guy Richards Smit’s cartoon, “WHAT DO YOU SAY TO SOMEONE AFTER A VERY BAD STUDIO VISIT?”;  a consideration of big tech’s plundering of art and illustration for its generative AI projects, as poetically analyzed through Molly Crabapple’s LA Times Op-Ed, “BEWARE A WORLD WHERE ARTISTS ARE REPLACED BY ROBOTS;” why the director of Florence’s Uffizi Gallery is demanding employees follow strict guidelines for email etiquette; and what our respective OLD NEWS favorites for the week were.

Dec 10, 2022

Oakland-based curator and arts administrator Zoë Taleporos talks about:

Her straddling independent curating and government-supported public art curating/administrating in her role working for the City of Berkeley; how her curating is more about bringing artists in, as artist outreach, but not cultural gatekeeping; why public art looks the way it does, and why the language of public art has remained unchanged for so long, as well as the problems professionals are faced with in trying to change the face of public art; how one sculpture in San Francisco, while avoiding the problem of becoming a target for skateboarding, but instead became an ad-hoc BMX bike ramp; the alternative and more interesting version of public art: temporary public art, which allows a lot more flexibility and freedom; how panelists judge all public art candidates (Zoë has presented) by a list of criteria, and how she’s always in the room, but never voting as a panelist; the tension in the room when panelists with a wide range of experience with contemporary art weigh in on the candidates who are submitted; the strong mural history and presence in the Bay Area, which are not necessarily a deterrent to graffiti; and how it’s exciting for her to take a given artist’s work and translate it into public art.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next » 14