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Rank #39 in Visual Arts category

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The Conversation Art Podcast

Updated about 12 hours ago

Rank #39 in Visual Arts category

Arts
Business
Visual Arts
Careers
Read more

A podcast featuring both one-on-one and three-way roundtable conversations with contemporary artists, dealers, curators, and collectors--based in Los Angeles, but reaching nationally and internationally.

Read more

A podcast featuring both one-on-one and three-way roundtable conversations with contemporary artists, dealers, curators, and collectors--based in Los Angeles, but reaching nationally and internationally.

iTunes Ratings

185 Ratings
Average Ratings
146
13
10
7
9

Guests are amazing, host is absolutely unbearable

By aarjh93 - Aug 12 2019
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I love the insight so many artists and people in the industry from all over bring to this show. It's a pity the moments of learning and wisdom are CONSTANTLY interrupted by the host who asks some of the rudest questions I have every heard. Terrible jokes he will even interrupt his guests to receive acknowledgement of... like we get it dude, it just wasn't funny, moving right along. Remove the ego from this show and you have a 5 star deal. With this host, you had me for awhile, but I ultimately had so unsub for the cringe factor. Love the guests tho!

Excellent !

By Mount Davidson - Jul 18 2018
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Always insightful and informative. I highly recommend.

iTunes Ratings

185 Ratings
Average Ratings
146
13
10
7
9

Guests are amazing, host is absolutely unbearable

By aarjh93 - Aug 12 2019
Read more
I love the insight so many artists and people in the industry from all over bring to this show. It's a pity the moments of learning and wisdom are CONSTANTLY interrupted by the host who asks some of the rudest questions I have every heard. Terrible jokes he will even interrupt his guests to receive acknowledgement of... like we get it dude, it just wasn't funny, moving right along. Remove the ego from this show and you have a 5 star deal. With this host, you had me for awhile, but I ultimately had so unsub for the cringe factor. Love the guests tho!

Excellent !

By Mount Davidson - Jul 18 2018
Read more
Always insightful and informative. I highly recommend.
Cover image of The Conversation Art Podcast

The Conversation Art Podcast

Updated about 12 hours ago

Rank #39 in Visual Arts category

Read more

A podcast featuring both one-on-one and three-way roundtable conversations with contemporary artists, dealers, curators, and collectors--based in Los Angeles, but reaching nationally and internationally.

Rank #1: Ep. # 203: MRS. - the rise of a young gallery in Queens, NYC, with Sara Maria Salamone and Tyler Lafreniere

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Co-owners Sara Maria Salamone and Tyler Lafreniere of MRS. Gallery in Queens, New York, talk about:

The origin behind MRS.’s concise and memorable name; what it’s been like running their gallery in the relatively off-the-beaten-path neighborhood of Maspeth,Queens, and how they get consistent traffic despite their location; their rising success at the start of their 2nd season with Genesis Belanger’s show; their slower-paced five shows per season schedule, which is both more manageable and potentially a model that other galleries are considering using as well; sales, and all the things that go into maintaining and growing them as a small, young gallery; why Sara loves art fairs (and Tyler enjoys them as well) and how important they are at this stage for the gallery’s business, since despite being in NYC, their Maspeth location limits turnout, which they make up for at the fairs (they’re doing NADA Miami this Dec.); the importance of social media, specifically Instagram, for their acquiring new collectors, several of whom are buying works virtually, unseen in person; and Sara’s level of connectivity (as the gallery “mama bear”), and to what extent she feels it’s healthy vs. necessary.

Nov 04 2017
1 hour 40 mins
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Rank #2: Ep.# 212: MASS MoCA curator Denise Markonish, on globe-trotting studio visits and producing on a Massive scale

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MASS MoCA curator Denise Markonish talks about:

The immense size of the museum (300,000 sq. ft.), including the football field-sized main exhibition space, and how despite its being three hours from the big cities (NYC, Boston…), it gets tremendous attendance- the parking lot’s full even on weekday mornings; how half of her time is devoted to the road, having conversations w/artists in their studios, and prompting some of them to make work that melds with her exhibition concepts; curating Oh, Canada, a survey of Canadian artists for which she did 400 studio visits across the country over three years, pissing off much of Vancouver in the process (kidding!); working with Nick Cave, whose massive installation was immensely popular with visitors, as well as working with emerging artists at the museum; and she shares the harrowing story of driving to pick up a vintage, cast-iron black-faced lawn jockey for Nick Cave’s sprawling installation.

Mar 09 2018
1 hour 27 mins
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Rank #3: Hilde Lynn Helphenstein of HILDE Gallery

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Hilde Helphenstein of Los Angeles gallery HILDE talks about: combating the male dominated art world and art history, her path from being a 26-year-old-intern to opening her own gallery, having an intellectual life outside of Donald Trump, the mission of her gallery, being the three-legged chihuahua in the dog fight, why she supports dropping out of grad school, resilience, what she learned working for Gagosian, and the importance of informal education.

May 05 2018
1 hour 20 mins
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Rank #4: Ep. #223: NYC-based artist Joshua Cittarella

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In the part 1 of 2 episodes, NYC artist Joshua Citarella talks about:

Why he grew disillusioned with the art world vis-à-vis the art market, including his having early success but also being part of the ‘pump-and-dump’ market rise and fall between 2012 and 2015; his collaborations with artist Brad Troemmel - who was profiled in a New Yorker article by Adrien Chen, and in which Citarella was also featured – particularly their online marketplace project UV Production House; his thoughts on social media, particularly his wisdom about Instagram, and how artists should aim to be tastemakers rather than following trends that the algorithms like; his hope in using social media (via Meme culture and more) to take down established structures of the art world, and the subsequent hard dose of reality that followed; untangling the concept, or the presumption even, that an artist is a progressive; and navigating the roles of artist and activist, and where an artist can be most productive.

Aug 11 2018
1 hour 7 mins
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Rank #5: Ep. #221: Social media consultant and influencer Robin Cembalest

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Social media influencer and consultant Robin Cembalest (with 45K IG followers) talks about:

How she went from art magazine writing and editing to working more and more prominently in social media, first with Tumblr and then Twitter and Instagram; her strategies for using Twitter, including using Twitter ‘lists,’ as well as the same for Instagram, including: whom you might follow, the three-second rule for whom to follow, how WHO you follow and follows you is ultimately more important than your Like and Follower numbers, and the importance of your message - what are you trying to tell people - above all else, even ‘felicitous’ images; how Instagram is a form of ‘micro-networking’ that can be used for connecting to people in real life; and how people are talking with each other these days through images, and how in her consulting business she teaches clients how to communicate the points you want people to know about you.

Jul 14 2018
54 mins
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Rank #6: Ep. # 198: New York gallerist Jimi Dams, of Envoy Enterprises, eviscerates the state of the art world, but also sets an example of how to make it better

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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.

Aug 26 2017
1 hour 57 mins
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Rank #7: Ep.#162: Ryan Wallace, Brooklyn-based artist and gallerist (co-owner of Halsey McKay Gallery in East Hampton)

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Brooklyn-based artist and gallerist Ryan Wallace talks about:

Living and working in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and how it's changed over the 17 years he's been there, and the precarious rental situation he's in with his apartment building's future, and a rapidly rising studio rent; how is exhibition is doing (open for another several days at the time we spoke) at Susan Inglett Gallery- about half sold; art that rises quickly in popularity with certain movements, and the many casualties that result amid just a few artists that stick around; the 'art fund' collectors who are looking for the quick score, and how their stock-based buying affects the good collectors, and how collecting is not a get-rich-quick scheme;  the gallery in East Hampton that he co-owns with Hilary Schaffner- their program, their schedule (full-time during June-July-August, tapered to appointment only in the winter), his role in the gallery (he goes into a different mode at art fairs), how much that he had to put up to get the gallery up and running initially (about 17k), etc.;  how he wound up in the Hamptons in the first place, and decided to set up shop there; the difference for Ryan being a dealer at the gallery in East Hampton, where it's low pressure, very educational about the work, and so on, whereas at the fairs it's all about commerce, which has taught him that you can't tailor work to fit the market, because 'commerce and work cross on their own agenda;' how some local collectors who have come to 50% of their shows in East Hampton haven't bought a piece until they were in their booth at a fair; the one time representing at a fair was soul-crushing, when he had to do it alone (which was only at one fair so far); and we have a spirited debate about potential conflicts of interest, as an artist and/or a gallerist, including how Ryan, being an outsider for so long, is now pro-nepotism because he wants to support the artist friends in the scene he's built around his gallery, and how it's a case-by-case basis in which, as a business, you ultimately make decisions; and yet how as an artist and a gallerist, he tries to stay away from cross-pollinating directly; and we talk about the Hamptons vs. Montauk, the latter of which has had problems with entitlement mixed with 'vacation behavior' which has led to a level of revelry that has had the locals up in arms.

Oct 21 2016
1 hour 18 mins
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Rank #8: Epis. # 240: "Art After Money, Money After Art"

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Lakehead University professor and Art after Money, Money After Art author Max Haiven talks about: the ‘Dark Matter’ of the art world (coined by Gregory Sholette); the myth of meritocracy in the art world, as well as in his own academia, and the myth that money follows a logic that it always lands in the right places; how he uses art and the art world as a hieroglyph to understand a broader societal set of trends; how he, both as a critic and activist and a private citizen finds artworks with a political, often radical bent, most compelling (and which inform the curation of the work in the book); how some art as we know it is bleeding into forms of activism or agitation that has potential to resist oligarchical politics and economics that are destroying our world and most people’s lives; how art and money (especially finance) have always been connected; how the corrosive results of ‘finacialization’ includes the sense of competition individuals have towards their fellow citizens, leading to a sense of alienation and loathing the Max things we’re only beginning to understand; the way that critics legitimate works as ‘art,’ for better or worse, and his contention that art has the ability to get under the skin of the economy in ways that almost no other approach does; and how artists can make their most important contributions to social movements and social change not as artists, but as citizens.

Apr 06 2019
1 hour 40 mins
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Rank #9: Ep. #179: Lisi Raskin, Providence-based artist and head of sculpture at R.I.S.D., on hierarchies, gentrification and privilege

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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.

Feb 25 2017
1 hour 11 mins
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Rank #10: # 196: Matthew Gardocki, formerly of Patrick Painter and Mark Moore galleries, on managing a gallery, navigating the market(s), and interviewing for jobs as a father of a 2-year-old

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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.

Jul 30 2017
1 hour 25 mins
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Rank #11: Ep.# 208, Stef Halmos: a Brooklyn-based artist breaks ground on launching a new art community upstate

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Brooklyn-based artist and commercial-studio-building developer Stef Halmos talks about:

How she feels about Greenpoint’s gentrification arc, as a 12-year resident there herself; her commercial development in Catskill, New York, two hours north of the city, where she’s helming the renovation and rentals of a 50,000 sq. foot building called Foreland Catskill for studios, galleries and production facilities; the genesis for starting the project/buying the building, which came out of wanting to join a communal studio situation instead of working from home; what she’s been learning as a developer/project manager in terms of obtaining permits (much easier than it would have been in the city), working with the contractor (Rich, who she speaks about glowingly), and what they need to do to keep the building sustainable for another 150 years; her father, who co-owns the building with Stef and also acts as her mentor and “consigliere,” providing endless advice on the project; her early years as a video artist and photographer, including interning for Annie Leibowitz; losing all the work she had ever made (which had been kept in UHaul storage) during Superstorm Sandy, and how that changed her art-making and career trajectory; and the two-and-a-half years when she wasn’t making any work at all, and how she managed to turn that unproductive period around.

Jan 13 2018
1 hour 37 mins
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Rank #12: Ep.#160: East Village-based art writer Emily Colucci on James Franco's art, Nightclubbing as activism, and her culture blog Filthy Dreams, for "minorities who don't even fit into our own minorities"

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Manhattan-based art writer and budding curator Emily Colucci talks about:

Her place on Avenue C in the East Village, and how she's managed to live in a Manhattan that's now cheaper in many cases than Brooklyn; the C Squat next door to her place, which has existed since the '70s and the city allowed them to permanently inhabit if they brought it up to code (which they did), and which also runs the Museum of Unclaimed Urban Space, which does walking tours of former squats and community gardens and non-profit art spaces in the neighborhood; the heydays of St. Marks Place and the East Village, and how each generation looks down on newer generations' scenes as not having the same level of artistic relevance; her cultural blog Filthy Dreams, which she founded as a place for "minorities who don't even fit into our own minorities," inspired by John Waters' quote, and for the queer and LGBT communities; writing about (and taking down) James Franco's show at Pace gallery, which was his attempted version of re-creating Cindy Sherman's iconic Untitled Film Stills series…why Pace had the show in the first place, what Cindy Sherman's reaction to it was, plus Emily brings Filthy Dreams' take on Franco's history of appropriating Queer culture while simultaneously publicly declaring that he's not gay; her curatorial projects, including a past show Nightlife as Activism (which was about nightclubs, activism and AIDS), and an upcoming show on Disco's legacy, and the two years of work that goes into each show, including relying on oral histories from eras where many of its notable participants have passed away; how exhibitions, unlike articles on art, can actually make a tiny difference in exposing people to things and even changing minds; how it's terrifying at times being a freelance writer, but because she's allergic to office work, she wouldn't trade it for anything, and she always has Filthy Dreams to write for when the other gigs aren't happening, and how even though she knows there are more readers, she always assumes there are two people reading her blog: her mom and her best friend (though she did get to experience what it's like for your article to get some serious attention, after her piece on James Franco was picked up by Live Journal).

Oct 08 2016
1 hour 16 mins
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Rank #13: Epis.# 235: Art in the 21st Century with Nick Ravich of Art21

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Nick Ravich, director of production for Art21 in New York, talks about:

 His approach as both a producer and a director of Art21 artist docs, which are produced in both shorter form as well as longer form on their most well-known platform, Art in the 21st Century, which is broadcast on PBS; the variation in artists’ approaches and responses to being subjects of Art21, and how inevitably they’re often made to be vulnerable, at the least by having a camera on them in their studio for an entire day (if not more); how Art21 survives as an institution, particularly with all of the other video-about-contemporary-art platforms that have sprung up since they launched; the affirmative dynamic Art21 has towards its artists, and how the process of choosing artists works (the artists almost always say yes); a bizarre experience he had with the photographer Kay Grannan when they were on a shoot and staying at a Las Vegas motel off the strip; and Nick launches into an insightful analysis of the differences between podcasts and video in terms of to what extent someone (artists in particular) will open up.

Jan 19 2019
1 hour 17 mins
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Rank #14: Ep. #226: Brigitte Mulholland, assoc.director at Anton Kern in New York

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Brigitte Mulholland, associate director at Anton Kern gallery, talks about:

Her early turning points that led her away from traditional art history (and early marriage) and into contemporary art and working at galleries; what she loves about working in galleries in general and Anton Kern in particular, including getting to work with and be at the service of artists, especially Chris Martin, whom she adores; how she’s know at the gallery for handling the toughest calls from clients, including being the one who gets yelled at; the troubled realities of the way some collectors behave, from flirting all the way to virtually demanding sexual favors for them to make a purchase, and how Brigitte decided not to wear a wedding ring because, as her married colleagues told her, ‘it would only encourage them;’ how #MeToo has thus far only affected curators and publishers in the art world, and her skepticism that it will take down collectors anytime soon; how she’s somehow both extraordinarily sensitive AND has a thick skin at the same time, and she thinks you need a thick skin to work in the gallery world; and how for her, it’s ultimately about the art and the artists first and foremost…the sales tend to fall into place.

Sep 15 2018
1 hour 3 mins
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Rank #15: Ep.#165: Mat Gleason, Part 1: art world provocateur behind Coagula and Coagula Curatorial

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Mat Gleason, Los Angeles-based creator of the infamous zine Coagula, and owner of Chinatown gallery Coagula Curatorial, speaks in quintessentially outspoken fashion about:

How people in the art world are so committed to being neutral, and unwilling to speak their mind frankly out of a fear of going on the record and being tied to that position; his position not to be jaded manifesting as, "if I'm going to trash something, I'm going to trash it…"; how Coagula started as a "punk zine for the art world," in 1992, and which became his entry into the art world; how as he became more enmeshed in the art world over time, he found himself having to be more careful about whom he trashed in print (or otherwise); how he and his friends decided to try and loot MOCA during the L.A. riots; one of his most illustrious and hated writers for Coagula, Charlie Finch, based in New York, who was(is) the ultimate character; the lawsuit for libel against Coagula, one year into its run, that he had to face and endure, from a former employee of Threadwaxing Space who Coagula had written about regarding alleged embezzlement (though 'alleged' was missing from the article), taking eight years to go to trial…though it cost him 30K in legal fees, he got a lot of media attention for Coagula out of it; why he decided to fight the lawsuit, which helped him decide that Coagula was his most important and successful endeavor after numerous failures, and that he needed to fight for it; how and why he started his gallery Coagula Curatorial (print was dead, information was free…); how there really isn't any purity in the art world, and every relationship worth its mettle is a conflict of interest to some degree; how to sign artists to your program who aren't flakes (and what the definition of "flake" is in L.A. vs. New York); and how if his interns were in his place of running a gallery, "they would never hire me…"

Nov 12 2016
1 hour 20 mins
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Rank #16: Ep.#171: L.A.-based artist Claire Colette, on abstraction, activism and existentialism, and bartending in San Francisco vs. L.A.

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Los Angeles-based artist Claire Colette talks about:

Leaving San Francisco (the Mission neighborhood) after 10 years by essentially being priced out; her various perceptions about SF, including the fact that she still has friends who live there and goes back to visit and insists that not everything is over--that it will take a lot to beat the arts community there--it's not just going to go away; how she has supported herself, including thru grad school, bartending as well as working at art galleries and non-profits, and the pros and cons to each job; her grad school education (Mills College in Oakland), which she chose with intent, and her undergrad, the for-profit Art Institute of Los Angeles, which she chose on her own naively because she didn't know enough about the school/quality art institutions generally, until she got there, and wound up making the most of it despite its critical limitations (including  rounding out her education by taking more classes before going to grad school); the benefits of what more "sophisticated" schooling has been for her, having also taken classes at the SF Art Institute; her bartending, both in SF and L.A., how she prefers to work at bars that are more connected to artists/the art scene so she can be herself, the difference between bars during the week vs. over the weekend (which applies to 'every bar ever'), and the pros and cons of it (pays well, but it's a service job), and how ultimately neither bartending nor gallery work appears to be sustainable long-term (of course, a classic dilemma for most artists); how she believes that every artist should work in a gallery for at least six months, to see how it's run on the other side; how she's managed to sell her work both through shows and directly to collectors out of her studio, esp. out of grad school, even more recently--having been in L.A. for just two years; her arrival at abstraction, which is sourced from thought experiments and is rooted in everything from the existentialist philosophy and religion of her Catholic French early-upbringing, to science fiction, specifically Ursula Le Guin; and how she's come to realize that, even having worked in activism, that her artwork in poetics and thought experiments through abstraction is still very important to her--she recognizes the futility in each, and yet that there needs to be room for each as well (we both acknowledge that it – activism, abstraction and the market, anti-capitalism, art as object – is, as a whole, problematic), and that the solution is not to stop painting/making art.

Dec 24 2016
1 hour 9 mins
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Rank #17: Ep.#169: Hilary Pecis, Los Angeles-based artist- on leaving a transformed S.F., + her day job as a registrar at a major L.A. gallery

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Los Angeles-based artist Hilary Pecis talks about:

Her exodus from San Francisco to L.A. in 2013, when many other artists and creative types left SF because of its skyrocketing, prohibitive cost of living; the 'perfect storm' (even though she doesn't like that term) that led to the massive change the city has gone thru that led to so much exodus,; her gradual welcoming of the more home-bound lifestyle of L.A. as compared with her and her husband's life in SF, when they ate out and went to bars often, a lifestyle that had them out of their apt. much of the time; Mt. Shasta, where her dad and stepmom live and she visits regularly, which is also home to Lemuria, an occult-associated 'lost continent' whose legend is kept alive in the area and prompts visits from spiritual questers; her role as a registrar at a major Los Angeles gallery: what it entails (logistics of shipping, storage, condition reports and client communique re: artworks) and its biggest challenges, including when works arrive damaged; one complicated scenario that had to do with assessing blame -- for a painting with a puncture through the canvas -- among the person sending the work, the shipping company, and Hilary's gallery…a scenario that's still unresolved since around the time she started at the gallery three years ago; how 80% of her job is arranging artworks' shipping to clients, and the irony that no matter how expensive the artwork they've purchased, they don't want to pay for shipping at all, so wind up going cheap as possible (FedExing a $100,000 painting, for example); her stress-relievers for work (audiobooks and running); the complex sentiment of an artist's 'entitlement' when working in an environment that is so supportive of its artists; the conversations she has with her husband (a full-time artist) and how they inform her perspective as an artist in relation to having what she refers to as a "real grown-up job;" the dramatic change she experienced at Art Basel Miami between 2007, her first time, to 2009, post-crash; her current, work-related dynamic with Art Basel, and the significant sums her gallery has at stake in the fair since it's such an immense financial commitment to participate on that level; and her studio time, including the pros and cons of having an in-home studio, and how her son Apollo may not have become her perfect studio assistant yet, but occasionally his own (Lego) projects can allow her a couple extra hours of studio time.

Dec 10 2016
1 hour 26 mins
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Rank #18: Ep. #181: Kysa Johnson, Los Angeles artist and activist, on resistance and being incited to action since Nov. 2016

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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.

Mar 11 2017
1 hour 24 mins
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Rank #19: Ep.#159: Ann Lewis, Brooklyn-based artist, performer and activist on social activist art, gentrification and the future of artist's migrations

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Brooklyn-based artist and activist Ann Lewis talks about:

Her recent move to Greenpoint from Bushwick, where she was kicked out of her live/work loft when the building was bought by two hedge-fund entities; the realities of living in an ever-increasingly expensive New York City, gentrification, and Ann's experience with it both as a tenant – including negotiating with the owners for a modest settlement that helped with her move out – and as an activist (she was actually protesting at an anti-gentrification rally at the time she received a 30-day-notice warning under her loft door); her concern that New York, Brooklyn in particular, will just continue developing into a mass of suburban sprawl, with nothing that can be done from the ground to stop it, leaving only the hope of the bubble bursting; a deconstruction of New York City government's complicity in maintaining a corrupt system that fosters unbridled development, to a large extent a system put in place during Bloomberg's administration; how, with artists being the canaries in the coal mine, we can learn from the past problems of neighborhoods being unstably gentrified by moving into homeowner-dense neighborhoods and collectively investing in them for the very long-term, in hopes of diverting the gentrification train; how she feels we're seeing change coming out of social activism very quickly now, through social media and greater attention being paid to issues, and how there's been a big increase in the # of artistically minded people being more regularly engaged in social and political issues via FB and beyond; how her activist work started with street art (stencils) because she felt so strongly about certain issues (Abu Gharib, mass incarceration, etc.) that she needed to start having conversations with anyone who would listen; one of her performance pieces, a protest piece from 2014, in which she spent a month wearing a prison-issue orange jump suit in public, engaging with both strangers and people she knew in conversations about mass incarceration; how when she pushes herself out of her comfort zone, which she does in her performances, learning new things and providing ever more meaningful experiences for those experiencing her pieces; her maze wall paintings, which include subliminal messages contained within them; and she entertains the potential of Detroit as a future home and artist community, should living and working in New York become untenable, though we hope it won't.

Oct 01 2016
1 hour 10 mins
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Rank #20: Epis.# 231: "The Price of Everything" producers Jennifer Blei Stockman and Debi Wisch

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Debi Wisch and Jennifer Blei Stockman, two of the three main producers of the documentary The Price of Everything, about art and money, talk about:

The breakdown of the sales system in terms of democratization; auctioneer Simon de Pury’s line: “you should buy with your eyes, not your ears,” and ignore the background noise, as Debi puts it; buying trends among collectors, and the pros and cons of those purchases; the complications of gifting collections to museums; resources available to artists on the film’s website; the producers’ goals in terms of pulling back the curtain on the art world and getting people thinking and asking questions, and how one personal motivation was not being able to collect a lot of contemporary art they’d been interested in because it was too expensive; how artists (including Jeff Koons) don’t make any money from their work when it sells at auction; the draw of contemporary art around the world that’s been made apparent to the filmmakers through the many countries that have shown interest in the film; the possible reasons why a German refugee, just prior to the Holocaust, owns a Maurizio Cattelan sculpture of an adolescent-sized Adolph Hitler on his knees; and the challenges and thrills of navigating the learning curve of filmmaking over a seven-year span for this ambitious documentary.

Nov 24 2018
1 hour 18 mins
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