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.

If you would like to access Bonus Episodes of the show (releasing once a month, two weeks after this one), 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

                                

                 

                                                               

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. 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 might unfold down the road? 

We re-visit Episode 99, from early 2015.

If you would like to access Bonus Episodes of the show (releasing once a month), 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

                                

                 

                                                               

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.

If you would like to access Bonus Episodes of the show (releasing once a month, two weeks after this one), 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

                                

                 

                                                               

[this episode is available for Patreon subscribers to the podcast. To become a Patreon supporter, please visit: The Conversation Art Podcast | creating a podcast that goes behind the scenes of the art worlds | Patreon

In this inaugural guest Bonus/subscriber-only episode, museum professional and long-time Conversation listener Stefanie Kogler-Heimburger talks about:

Her pronounced accent in English which sounds not at all like her native German; her podcast consumption, including a German podcast about gin, in addition to art podcasts; her fellow German, and 2-time past guest Lee Wagstaff, from whom she bought a print early in the pandemic; what Stuttgart, where she lives, is like as far as its art spaces and community, including its central museum; her job at the Kunstmuseum Reutlingen as the assistant to the curator, which is part-time and very accommodating as a career in terms of being able to work from home and being paid for maternity leave (she had a year off); but also, the challenges of the museum curating hierarchy, in terms of advancement, and existing in the job as a ‘nice to have’ rather than a necessity in a world that is chronically underfunded, and how one gets treated with that ‘nice to have’ status; the work she does as assistant to the curator, including a lot of PR & marketing work; working on one of her favorite shows at the museum, with Italian artist Gianni Caravaggio; and we share our own thoughts and feelings about the whole ‘separating the artist from the art’ phenomenon, vis-à-vis Tom Sachs et al; and the douchy-ness of the art world, from the hierarchies to the artists and curators who behave like douches, and whether we’re turning a corner as far as there being too much tolerance on the part of workers, and too much douchery on the part of those in positions of power.

If you would like to access this, and other Bonus episode of The Conversation, please become a supporter of the podcast on Patreon:

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

                                

                 

                                                               

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.

If you would like to access Bonus Episodes of the show (releasing once a month, two weeks after this one), 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

                                

                 

                                                               

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

                                

                 

                                                               

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.

If you would like to access Episode 339A, which features three great stories from Art Can Kill (with more special episodes to come), 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

                                

                 

                                                               

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

                                

                 

                                                               

Arts writer and former professional surfer Jamie Brisick talks about:

What 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.

                                

                 

                                                               

In 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.

                                

                 

                                                               

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.

                                

                 

                                                               

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 Smits’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.