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Explain Me

Updated 7 days ago

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Visual Arts
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Politics, art, and a general disappointment with how things are going.

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Politics, art, and a general disappointment with how things are going.

iTunes Ratings

42 Ratings
Average Ratings
35
2
1
2
2

Excellent

By Laarubh - Aug 26 2018
Read more
Currently listening to the mid-career artist show and felt compelled to write a review because I realized how much I missed this show. So refreshing to hear an honest discussion of the business and politics of art today. Thank you! Keep going

The Best Contemporary Art Podcast in Existence

By Grin Gogh - May 16 2018
Read more
There ain’t much competition, but these two really bring it. Opinionated and well-informed, Paddy and Bill are your point of access to the New York “art world” regardless of where you are in the world. Listen, learn, laugh, and do other things that begin with “L.”

iTunes Ratings

42 Ratings
Average Ratings
35
2
1
2
2

Excellent

By Laarubh - Aug 26 2018
Read more
Currently listening to the mid-career artist show and felt compelled to write a review because I realized how much I missed this show. So refreshing to hear an honest discussion of the business and politics of art today. Thank you! Keep going

The Best Contemporary Art Podcast in Existence

By Grin Gogh - May 16 2018
Read more
There ain’t much competition, but these two really bring it. Opinionated and well-informed, Paddy and Bill are your point of access to the New York “art world” regardless of where you are in the world. Listen, learn, laugh, and do other things that begin with “L.”
Cover image of Explain Me

Explain Me

Latest release on Mar 29, 2020

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Politics, art, and a general disappointment with how things are going.

Rank #1: What Curators Really Think: A Cringe Worthy Report

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On this episode of Explain Me we discuss a disastrous curator conference at SVA titled "Curatorial Activism and the Politics of Shock", the Miami art fairs, and three shows— "Talon Rouge: Six Mexican Artists Revisit José Juan Tablada and His New York Circle" at PROXYCO, "Johnny Abrahams: Threnody" at The Hole and "Molly Zuckerman-Hartung: Learning Artist" and "Maryam Hoseini Of Strangers and Parrots" at Rachel Uffner. 

Dec 29 2017

1hr 7mins

Play

Rank #2: Gentrification, Income Inequality and Donald Trump Baby Turds

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In this episode of Explain Me William Powhida and Paddy Johnson talk about the 450 million dollar Leonardo Da Vinci of disputed authenticity and the Boyle Heights activists who follow artist Laura Owen's from L.A. to New York to protest her non-profit 365 Mission while she visited The Whitney. Activists believe the presence of her gallery will lead to displacement. Additionally, we discuss the following exhibitions: 

Tiger Strikes Asteroid: Didier William, "We Will Win"

The Museum of Human Achievement (in Austin TX)

Five Miles: Nicholas Cueva, "The People Games Play"

Trestle Projects: Tracing Trajectories/Selections from the Hoggard/Wagner Collection 

Microscope Gallery: Anita Thacher, “Anteroom”

Signal Gallery: Rachel Rossin, "Peak Performance"

Present Company: Myeongsoo Kim and Jessie Rose Vala, "Dusk to Dust" 

Denny Gallery: Future Retrieval, Permenant Spectacle

Derek Eller Gallery: Whiting Tennis

Nov 24 2017

1hr 27mins

Play

Rank #3: Making Monstrosity Visible in Three Parts: Paglen, Ga, and Fast

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Three shows. Three reviews. The Trevor Paglen exhibition at Metro Pictures is creepy as fuck. We take issue with New York Magazine critic Jerry Saltz's review on the subject. Ellie Ga  at Bureau sensitively touches on the horror of the Syrian refugee crisis. Omer Fast at James Cohen produces some powerful videos about the role of the artist in times of crisis, but they are overshadowed by protestors. They believe his decision to transform the front of the gallery into a waiting room in a Chinese bus station amounts to yellowface. Our thoughts on this and just about everything else. 

Oct 18 2017

58mins

Play

Rank #4: Related Utopias: Bitcoin Economies and the Art World

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This week on Explain Me, William Powhida and Paddy Johnson talk with artist Kevin McCoy about Blockchain, Bitcoin and the Monegraph. This episode is your ultimate bitcoin/blockchain/monegraph explainer. 

Links: 

Monegraph

Seven on Seven, 2014

Public Key/Private Key

Reading List: 

China, Crypto-Currency, and the World OrderTribute and Tribulations - http://wdwreview.org/desks/china-crypto-currency-and-the-world-order/Digital Denominations - http://wdwreview.org/desks/china-crypto-currency-and-the-world-order-part-2/Clone Wars - http://wdwreview.org/desks/china-crypto-currency-and-the-world-order-part-3/

A modern classic

Hito Steyerl - If you don’t have bread, eat Art!
http://www.e-flux.com/journal/76/69732/if-you-don-t-have-bread-eat-art-contemporary-art-and-derivative-fascisms/
 
Does Digital Culture Want to be Free?
How blockchains are transforming the economy of cultural goods
http://www.academia.edu/33838249/Does_digital_culture_want_to_be_free_How_blockchains_are_transforming_the_economy_of_cultural_goodsThanks to Explain Me sponsor, Superfine

May 01 2018

1hr 33mins

Play

Rank #5: Explain Me: The New Museum Triennial—Two Critics Perform Their Own Acts of Sabotage

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In this episode of Explain Me, Paddy Johnson and William Powhida discuss the New Museum Triennial "Songs for Sabotage". Both Johnson and Powhida agree this show has more of its fair share of bad art but only Powhida sees this as a dealbreaker. Debate ensues. The ad in which Pepsi and model Kendall Jenner create world peace gets a mention. 

All images discussed can be viewed on Art F City.  

Thanks to Explain Me sponsor, Superfine

Apr 17 2018

54mins

Play

Rank #6: Explain Me, Part II: Doug Aitken New Era, Worst Show of 2018

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In Part II of Explain Me, William Powhida and Paddy Johnson discuss the difference between relational aesthetics and social practice, the whims of the auction market and the perilous affect it can have on artist careers, and Doug Aitken's train wreck of a show at 303 Gallery along with a handful of truly remarkable shows. Those shows listed below.  

Doug Aitken at 303

Painted in Mexico 1700-1790 at The Met

Huma Bhabha at the Met

A Luta Continua The Sylvio Perlstein Collection

Mel Chin at the Queens Museum

#OE2018

Jacolby Satterwhite at Gavin Brown

On Human Limits at Present Company

Ander Mikalson

*Plus we throw Dan Colen under the bus. 

Jun 07 2018

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #7: The Spring Break Art Show: A Good Time Show Disrupted by the Specter of Trump (Part One)

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In this episode of Spring Break we discuss the fairs in general and where Spring Break fits in, themes, trends, the over all quality of the art, and a few pieces that stuck out for their overall failure. We also asked four participants to give us their elevator pitches for the show. Those guests included: Lynn Sullivan and Dominic Nurre's exhibition "Ours", (artists anonymous), Kyle Hittmeier and Amanda Nedham curated "The Last Equestrian Portrait" (a group show), Kumasi J Barnett "Stop it Whiteman: You're Wrecking the World"  curated by Jac Lahav, and Mark Joshua Epstein and Will Hutnick present "The Songs Make a Space" by the late composer Michael Friedman. 

All images and credits will appear on Art F City.  

Correction: In this episode we incorrectly identified a series of protest signs titled "You'll Never Know We Were Here" 

as the work of Sarah Walko. The piece was done by Fernando Orellana. 

Mar 09 2018

52mins

Play

Rank #8: Explain Me: Bags of Cash Help New Galleries

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In this episode we discuss how the Frieze Art Fair's failing air conditioning units won't help global warming, sales strategies for emerging artists, and galleries that have come and gone. 

Jun 06 2018

46mins

Play

Rank #9: Spring Break Part Two: The City and the City (Part Two)

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In part two of Explain Me William Powhida and Paddy Johnson discuss at the following exhibitions: 

“Secret Identities” The Amazing Blackman and other comics by Kumasi J Barnett. Curated by Jac Lahav

"Freedom School" by Elektra KB

"A Pressing Conference" by Macon Reed. Curated by Helen Toomer

"Bobby’s World" by Bobby Anspach

"Psychic Pharmacy" by Howard Hurst curated by Helen Toomer

"Hard or Soft Option" by Fall on Your Sword. Curated by Amber Kelly and Andrew Gori

“Ours” co-curated by Dominic Nurre and Lynn Sullivan

"Goodbye Columbus" a group show curated by Isaac Aden and Joseph Ayers 

"The Last Equestrian Portrait" a group show curated by Amanda Nedham and Kyle Hittmeier

Images will appear on Art F City. 

Correction: In this episode we incorrectly identified a series of protest signs titled "You'll Never Know We Were Here" 

as the work of Sarah Walko. The piece was done by Fernando Orellana. 

Mar 10 2018

1hr 2mins

Play

Rank #10: The Stink of Met Admission Hikes Endures

Podcast cover
Read more

Back in January, William Powhida and I recorded an episode of Explain Me on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new admission policy. Earlier that month, the museum known for housing some of the world's greatest treasures announced its admission price would no longer remain "pay-as-you-wish". As of March 1st, their suggested admission, $25 will become mandatory for anyone living outside of New York State. Children under 12 get in for free.

Given that there's less than two weeks until this policy change goes into affect, we thought it might be a good time to release our discussion and revisit the debate. Because what came out of the debate, was not a picture of an institution starving for more funds, but wealthy museum with a board and President ideologically opposed to the free admission policy. Learning this changed my position, which was one initially in support of a change the museum described as an absolute necessity, to boycotting the museum for the month of March. While the admission increase doesn't affect my cost of admission, it affects that of my family and friends from out of town. It is also entirely out of step with generosity of creative spirit that brought me to this city in the first place.

Over the course of the podcast, William and I discuss a large number of articles and the conclusions drawn by the authors. We go through the points rather quickly, so for those who want them at your finger tips, I've included them below.

Data People

These are thoughts by people we describe as "data driven".

Grey Matter's Tim Schneider. Cites studies that claim cost is a secondary factor to why people visit museums. People cite lack of time and lack of transportation as major factors. Adds the caveat that structural discrimination may account for some of these factors.

Colleen Dilen Schneider. The original blogger who sourced studies that claim cost is a secondary factor to why people visit museums. Expect a treasure trove of studies, over use of bolding and zero caveating. Read at your own risk.

Blogs

Hrag Vartanian interviews Met president Daniel Weiss for Hyperallergic. There's a lot in here, but we discuss the following points:

  • Vartanian notes the museum's well-known $40 million deficit in the intro.
  • Weiss says asking David Koch to pay for the Met's admissions would be inappropriate morally because the wealthy already support 75% of their budget and their current admissions is "failing".
  • Claims a dramatic increase in visitors.
  • Says there has been 71 percent decline in what visitors pay.
  • Says the museum has close to a billion in endowments reserved for operations.

Felix Salmon at Cause and Effect. Looks at the Met's annual reports and finds that Weiss overstates the Met's visitor numbers (which increased by 11.5 % thanks to the Met Breuer opening), and misleads the public about admissions revenue, which has actually increased by 13 %. Concludes that admissions isn't the reason the museum has the deficit. Also, notes that the Met's endowment has risen $170 million a year through investments, of which, over $100 million a year can be used for anything they want. Concludes that the Met won't suffer by making $10 million a year less because they are maintaining their "pay-as-you-wish" policy.

Petitions

The Met Should Remain Free For All. 

Main Stream Media

Jillian Steinhauer for CNN The Met Needs to Live Up To Its History and Its Public

Robin Pogrebin for The New York Times reports that Weiss cites the city's plans to reduce the Met's funding as one rationale for the change.

Holland Cotter at New York Times. New York residents would have to prove their residency by "carding" procedures, which he doesn't like because "it potentially discriminates against  a population of residents who either don’t have legal identification or are reluctant to show the identification they have."

Roberta Smith at The New York Times. Rebukes the position that because other museums charge they should too, saying  "Actually it should be just the opposite. Pay as you wish is a principle that should be upheld and defended, a point of great pride. The city should be equally proud of it. No one else has this, although they should. It indicates a kind of attitude, like having the Statue of Liberty in our harbor. It is, symbolically speaking, a beacon."

Feb 21 2018

48mins

Play

Explain Me with Jonathan Schwartz of Atelier4 and Magda Sawon of Postmasters

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Serkan Özkaya's Proletarier Aller Länder (Workers of the World) 1999, Image via Postmaster's Gallery.

In this episode of Explain Me, hosts Paddy Johnson and William Powhida talk to Magda Sawon of Postmasters Gallery in New York, and Jonathan Schwartz, the CEO and founder of Atelier4, an arts logistics company based out of New York. The discussion includes stories and conversations you won’t find anywhere else. 

Schwartz reports that at least one logistics company is currently breaking the law to ship art, and that Fedex trucks are in short supply because they’re being used to transport the dead. 

Magda describes the challenges for galleries which range from financial burdens to the need to better consider the online art environment. 

William and Paddy discuss the financial precarity of artists, writers, and educators. 

As a group we talk about what needs to be done to respond to the crisis and what is being done. We also make the mini announcement that we will be launching a Patreon for Explain Me in the next week or two. More details on that soon!

We’re looking at a radical shift in opportunity, so this conversation includes a fair amount of debate. We’re also doing it over zoom, with William on the phone due to an internet connectivity issue. This isn’t the best recording quality we’ve ever produced, but it might be the most important episode. Please tune in.  

COMING UP: Resources for freelancers and art organizations. What relief is available and how long it will take to get to the people who need it.

Mar 29 2020

1hr 27mins

Play

Explain Me: We're Baaaaaack!

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Welcome back to Explain Me! In an effort to produce content a little more regularly we're trying something new: no editing. This means a little more baseless speculation, and off the cuff commentary, in return for actual podcasts! Yes! In this episode we discuss news, art, and trends seen at The Armory, Spring Break and The Independent. Highlights include: The Armory

  • News! They're moving to the Javits Center! Speculation about what that means.
  • Adrian Wong with animal spiritual guide Lynn Schuster at Carrie Secrist Gallery
  • Austin Lee at Jeffrey Dietch
  • Kumasi J. Barnett at Ryan Lowell Projects
  • Dominic Chambers at Anna Zorina Gallery
  • Matt Bolinger at Zurcher 
  • Hannah Wilke and Cassils at Feldman Gallery

Spring Break

  • Gallery Cubed's Nathan Sinai Rayman
  • Emily McElreath and Evan Pepper's show of work by Jeila Gueramian
  • Chambliss Giobbi’s A Room with a View
  • Carlos Rosales-Silva

The Independent

  • Galerie Jocelyn Wolff's Miriam Cahn
  • Various Small Fires's Jessie Homer French
  • Andrew Edlin Gallery
  • Colored pencil and pastels

Mar 10 2020

1hr 25mins

Play

Standing in Quicksand

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We cover a lot of ground in this episode of Explain Me. That ground looks something like this: 

Feb 12 2019

1hr 34mins

Play

Museum Board Members Fail Moral Challenges, Museum Exhibitions Exceed Expectations

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Donna DeSalvo assembles some of Andy Warhol's greatest work for his retrospective at the Whitney Museum, while revelations that Whitney Vice Chair Warren B. Kanders owns a company that sells tear gas used at the border shake museum staff. Soul of a Nation at the Brooklyn Museum looks at the history of political activism, while Jack Waters offers a mix of bag of awe inspiring abject art paired with groan inspiring sculptures and paintings. Jack Whitten at the Metropolitan Museum dazzles, Art and Conspiracy flops, and Amazon is going to drive us all out of our homes. Relevant links below. 

Andy Warhol at The Whitney Museum

Whitney Museum Vice Chairman Owns a Manufacturer Supplying Tear Gas at the Border, Hyperallergic

Whitney Museum Staffers Demand Answers, Hyperallergic 

Soul of a Nation, Art in the Age of Black Power at the Brooklyn Museum 

John Waters: Indecent Exposure at the Baltimore Museum of Art 

Jack Whitten at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Closed Dec 2)

Everything is Connected: Art and Conspiracy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Amazon Headquarters Will Come to Long Island City: Curbed Explainer

ASAP Pledge Not to Take Crumbs from Amazon

Dec 04 2018

1hr 8mins

Play

Live From Forward Union: Four Women Who Are Using Art to Change the World

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It's been a rough news week. Between Thursday's testimonies of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Kavanaugh's near appointment to the Supreme Court Friday, many of us are exhausted. We would like a win for women.  

Sometimes the quickest way to achieve that is to do it yourself. As such, this episode of Explain Me celebrates women who have made waves in the world of art and activism, through a series of interviews with four major figures—Mia Pearlman, Jenny Dubnau, Nancy Kleaver, and Mira Schor. 

In the first half of the show, Mia Pearlman and Jenny Dubnau talk about their work pushing for changes at the city and state level and how being an artist makes that job easier. In the second half, Paddy Johnson and Nancy Kleaver talk about their new public art organization, PARADE, and Mira Schor talks about the history of feminism in art from the 1970's through to today, and her contributions. Stream it. Download it. Listen to it. This one's important.  

Sep 29 2018

1hr 39mins

Play

What it Really Means to be A Mid-Career Artist: A Talk with LoVID's Tali Hinkis

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In this episode we talk with LoVID's Tali Hinkis about the challenges of being a mid-career artist outside of New York. We discuss how to engage a general audience to getting grants and networking. A refreshingly frank talk about what mid-career actually looks like for artists and what it takes to even get there. 

Aug 21 2018

1hr 22mins

Play

Explain Me: The Case for Taxing the Hell Out of Peter Brant

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In this episode of Explain Me William Powhida and Paddy Johnson discuss the horrific business practices of Peter Brant and Interview Magazine, a fundraising campaign at University of North Carolina so misguided that firing is in order, and the latest headscratching Creative Time project. To help us discuss all of this, and how the new tax code will affect artists accountant and painter Hannah Cole joins us.  

Jul 17 2018

1hr 11mins

Play

Explain Me, Part II: Doug Aitken New Era, Worst Show of 2018

Podcast cover
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In Part II of Explain Me, William Powhida and Paddy Johnson discuss the difference between relational aesthetics and social practice, the whims of the auction market and the perilous affect it can have on artist careers, and Doug Aitken's train wreck of a show at 303 Gallery along with a handful of truly remarkable shows. Those shows listed below.  

Doug Aitken at 303

Painted in Mexico 1700-1790 at The Met

Huma Bhabha at the Met

A Luta Continua The Sylvio Perlstein Collection

Mel Chin at the Queens Museum

#OE2018

Jacolby Satterwhite at Gavin Brown

On Human Limits at Present Company

Ander Mikalson

*Plus we throw Dan Colen under the bus. 

Jun 07 2018

1hr 1min

Play

Explain Me: Bags of Cash Help New Galleries

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode we discuss how the Frieze Art Fair's failing air conditioning units won't help global warming, sales strategies for emerging artists, and galleries that have come and gone. 

Jun 06 2018

46mins

Play

Related Utopias: Bitcoin Economies and the Art World

Podcast cover
Read more

This week on Explain Me, William Powhida and Paddy Johnson talk with artist Kevin McCoy about Blockchain, Bitcoin and the Monegraph. This episode is your ultimate bitcoin/blockchain/monegraph explainer. 

Links: 

Monegraph

Seven on Seven, 2014

Public Key/Private Key

Reading List: 

China, Crypto-Currency, and the World OrderTribute and Tribulations - http://wdwreview.org/desks/china-crypto-currency-and-the-world-order/Digital Denominations - http://wdwreview.org/desks/china-crypto-currency-and-the-world-order-part-2/Clone Wars - http://wdwreview.org/desks/china-crypto-currency-and-the-world-order-part-3/

A modern classic

Hito Steyerl - If you don’t have bread, eat Art!
http://www.e-flux.com/journal/76/69732/if-you-don-t-have-bread-eat-art-contemporary-art-and-derivative-fascisms/
 
Does Digital Culture Want to be Free?
How blockchains are transforming the economy of cultural goods
http://www.academia.edu/33838249/Does_digital_culture_want_to_be_free_How_blockchains_are_transforming_the_economy_of_cultural_goodsThanks to Explain Me sponsor, Superfine

May 01 2018

1hr 33mins

Play

Explain Me: The New Museum Triennial—Two Critics Perform Their Own Acts of Sabotage

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In this episode of Explain Me, Paddy Johnson and William Powhida discuss the New Museum Triennial "Songs for Sabotage". Both Johnson and Powhida agree this show has more of its fair share of bad art but only Powhida sees this as a dealbreaker. Debate ensues. The ad in which Pepsi and model Kendall Jenner create world peace gets a mention. 

All images discussed can be viewed on Art F City.  

Thanks to Explain Me sponsor, Superfine

Apr 17 2018

54mins

Play

Spring Break Part Two: The City and the City (Part Two)

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In part two of Explain Me William Powhida and Paddy Johnson discuss at the following exhibitions: 

“Secret Identities” The Amazing Blackman and other comics by Kumasi J Barnett. Curated by Jac Lahav

"Freedom School" by Elektra KB

"A Pressing Conference" by Macon Reed. Curated by Helen Toomer

"Bobby’s World" by Bobby Anspach

"Psychic Pharmacy" by Howard Hurst curated by Helen Toomer

"Hard or Soft Option" by Fall on Your Sword. Curated by Amber Kelly and Andrew Gori

“Ours” co-curated by Dominic Nurre and Lynn Sullivan

"Goodbye Columbus" a group show curated by Isaac Aden and Joseph Ayers 

"The Last Equestrian Portrait" a group show curated by Amanda Nedham and Kyle Hittmeier

Images will appear on Art F City. 

Correction: In this episode we incorrectly identified a series of protest signs titled "You'll Never Know We Were Here" 

as the work of Sarah Walko. The piece was done by Fernando Orellana. 

Mar 10 2018

1hr 2mins

Play

The Spring Break Art Show: A Good Time Show Disrupted by the Specter of Trump (Part One)

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode of Spring Break we discuss the fairs in general and where Spring Break fits in, themes, trends, the over all quality of the art, and a few pieces that stuck out for their overall failure. We also asked four participants to give us their elevator pitches for the show. Those guests included: Lynn Sullivan and Dominic Nurre's exhibition "Ours", (artists anonymous), Kyle Hittmeier and Amanda Nedham curated "The Last Equestrian Portrait" (a group show), Kumasi J Barnett "Stop it Whiteman: You're Wrecking the World"  curated by Jac Lahav, and Mark Joshua Epstein and Will Hutnick present "The Songs Make a Space" by the late composer Michael Friedman. 

All images and credits will appear on Art F City.  

Correction: In this episode we incorrectly identified a series of protest signs titled "You'll Never Know We Were Here" 

as the work of Sarah Walko. The piece was done by Fernando Orellana. 

Mar 09 2018

52mins

Play

The Stink of Met Admission Hikes Endures

Podcast cover
Read more

Back in January, William Powhida and I recorded an episode of Explain Me on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new admission policy. Earlier that month, the museum known for housing some of the world's greatest treasures announced its admission price would no longer remain "pay-as-you-wish". As of March 1st, their suggested admission, $25 will become mandatory for anyone living outside of New York State. Children under 12 get in for free.

Given that there's less than two weeks until this policy change goes into affect, we thought it might be a good time to release our discussion and revisit the debate. Because what came out of the debate, was not a picture of an institution starving for more funds, but wealthy museum with a board and President ideologically opposed to the free admission policy. Learning this changed my position, which was one initially in support of a change the museum described as an absolute necessity, to boycotting the museum for the month of March. While the admission increase doesn't affect my cost of admission, it affects that of my family and friends from out of town. It is also entirely out of step with generosity of creative spirit that brought me to this city in the first place.

Over the course of the podcast, William and I discuss a large number of articles and the conclusions drawn by the authors. We go through the points rather quickly, so for those who want them at your finger tips, I've included them below.

Data People

These are thoughts by people we describe as "data driven".

Grey Matter's Tim Schneider. Cites studies that claim cost is a secondary factor to why people visit museums. People cite lack of time and lack of transportation as major factors. Adds the caveat that structural discrimination may account for some of these factors.

Colleen Dilen Schneider. The original blogger who sourced studies that claim cost is a secondary factor to why people visit museums. Expect a treasure trove of studies, over use of bolding and zero caveating. Read at your own risk.

Blogs

Hrag Vartanian interviews Met president Daniel Weiss for Hyperallergic. There's a lot in here, but we discuss the following points:

  • Vartanian notes the museum's well-known $40 million deficit in the intro.
  • Weiss says asking David Koch to pay for the Met's admissions would be inappropriate morally because the wealthy already support 75% of their budget and their current admissions is "failing".
  • Claims a dramatic increase in visitors.
  • Says there has been 71 percent decline in what visitors pay.
  • Says the museum has close to a billion in endowments reserved for operations.

Felix Salmon at Cause and Effect. Looks at the Met's annual reports and finds that Weiss overstates the Met's visitor numbers (which increased by 11.5 % thanks to the Met Breuer opening), and misleads the public about admissions revenue, which has actually increased by 13 %. Concludes that admissions isn't the reason the museum has the deficit. Also, notes that the Met's endowment has risen $170 million a year through investments, of which, over $100 million a year can be used for anything they want. Concludes that the Met won't suffer by making $10 million a year less because they are maintaining their "pay-as-you-wish" policy.

Petitions

The Met Should Remain Free For All. 

Main Stream Media

Jillian Steinhauer for CNN The Met Needs to Live Up To Its History and Its Public

Robin Pogrebin for The New York Times reports that Weiss cites the city's plans to reduce the Met's funding as one rationale for the change.

Holland Cotter at New York Times. New York residents would have to prove their residency by "carding" procedures, which he doesn't like because "it potentially discriminates against  a population of residents who either don’t have legal identification or are reluctant to show the identification they have."

Roberta Smith at The New York Times. Rebukes the position that because other museums charge they should too, saying  "Actually it should be just the opposite. Pay as you wish is a principle that should be upheld and defended, a point of great pride. The city should be equally proud of it. No one else has this, although they should. It indicates a kind of attitude, like having the Statue of Liberty in our harbor. It is, symbolically speaking, a beacon."

Feb 21 2018

48mins

Play

What Curators Really Think: A Cringe Worthy Report

Podcast cover
Read more

On this episode of Explain Me we discuss a disastrous curator conference at SVA titled "Curatorial Activism and the Politics of Shock", the Miami art fairs, and three shows— "Talon Rouge: Six Mexican Artists Revisit José Juan Tablada and His New York Circle" at PROXYCO, "Johnny Abrahams: Threnody" at The Hole and "Molly Zuckerman-Hartung: Learning Artist" and "Maryam Hoseini Of Strangers and Parrots" at Rachel Uffner. 

Dec 29 2017

1hr 7mins

Play

Gentrification, Income Inequality and Donald Trump Baby Turds

Podcast cover
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In this episode of Explain Me William Powhida and Paddy Johnson talk about the 450 million dollar Leonardo Da Vinci of disputed authenticity and the Boyle Heights activists who follow artist Laura Owen's from L.A. to New York to protest her non-profit 365 Mission while she visited The Whitney. Activists believe the presence of her gallery will lead to displacement. Additionally, we discuss the following exhibitions: 

Tiger Strikes Asteroid: Didier William, "We Will Win"

The Museum of Human Achievement (in Austin TX)

Five Miles: Nicholas Cueva, "The People Games Play"

Trestle Projects: Tracing Trajectories/Selections from the Hoggard/Wagner Collection 

Microscope Gallery: Anita Thacher, “Anteroom”

Signal Gallery: Rachel Rossin, "Peak Performance"

Present Company: Myeongsoo Kim and Jessie Rose Vala, "Dusk to Dust" 

Denny Gallery: Future Retrieval, Permenant Spectacle

Derek Eller Gallery: Whiting Tennis

Nov 24 2017

1hr 27mins

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An Interview with Kenny Schacter: There's No Bubble in the Art Market and No Solution for Struggling Artists

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Hosts Paddy Johnson and William Powhida talk to art advisor Kenny Schacter about the art market at the upper levels and the art market in the middle and emerging tiers. Our central question: How Trumpian is the Art World. We learn about that, plus Schacter's great love for art and dealers. A word of warning though: some of Schacter's conclusions for struggling artists are bleak at best. 

Nov 07 2017

1hr 10mins

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Making Monstrosity Visible in Three Parts: Paglen, Ga, and Fast

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Three shows. Three reviews. The Trevor Paglen exhibition at Metro Pictures is creepy as fuck. We take issue with New York Magazine critic Jerry Saltz's review on the subject. Ellie Ga  at Bureau sensitively touches on the horror of the Syrian refugee crisis. Omer Fast at James Cohen produces some powerful videos about the role of the artist in times of crisis, but they are overshadowed by protestors. They believe his decision to transform the front of the gallery into a waiting room in a Chinese bus station amounts to yellowface. Our thoughts on this and just about everything else. 

Oct 18 2017

58mins

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The Turd of Gentrification Floating in the Pond of Urbanism

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This week on Explain Me William Powhida and Paddy Johnson chat with Los Angeles Times staff writer Carolina Miranda about David Geffen's $150 million donation to LACMA and the questions surrounding the gift. Will he bequeath his collection to the museum? Later, we discuss the recent gentrification wars in Boyle Heights, a rather strange description of the non-profit 365 Mission and solicit Miranda's advice on must-see LA shows!

Oct 16 2017

1hr 1min

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The Broken Toilet

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The inaugural episode of Explain Me, an art podcast with critic Paddy Johnson and artist William Powhida! A round of woos and hoos please! Explain Me looks at politics, money and the moral of responsibility of artists working in the art world.

In this episode, we discuss Documenta's massive overspending and near bankrupcy, the closure of Bruce High Quality Foundation University, and a new development along the 7 line describing itself as New York's best installation. We also talk about a few shows we've seen recently in Chelsea, Kara Walker at Sikkema Jenkins, Christian Marclay at Paula Cooper, Tom Friedman at Lurhing Augustine, Franklin Evans at Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe,  Maya Lin at Pace, Robert Motherwell at Paul Kasmin, and Celeste Dupuy Spencer at Marlborough Gallery. Expect opinions. 

Oct 02 2017

1hr 5mins

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iTunes Ratings

42 Ratings
Average Ratings
35
2
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2

Excellent

By Laarubh - Aug 26 2018
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Currently listening to the mid-career artist show and felt compelled to write a review because I realized how much I missed this show. So refreshing to hear an honest discussion of the business and politics of art today. Thank you! Keep going

The Best Contemporary Art Podcast in Existence

By Grin Gogh - May 16 2018
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There ain’t much competition, but these two really bring it. Opinionated and well-informed, Paddy and Bill are your point of access to the New York “art world” regardless of where you are in the world. Listen, learn, laugh, and do other things that begin with “L.”