In the first of many installments in which we parse and riff on the OLD NEWS, Deb Klowden Mann and I discuss:

1) the procedure of Indian/Indigenous land acknowledgement in making introductions

2) the widespread loss of value for NFTs, including their incredibly high energy requirements and climate impact, and how we feel about that;

3) the sexism and double standards involved in the trial of Robert Newland (who was involved in the Inigo Philbrick art Ponzi scheme)

4)  why museum workers are quitting, and the heavy burdens running art non-profits, which range from curating all the way to cleaning the toilets, including one non-profit director’s firsthand experience; Deb shares her inside knowledge of having worked in a non-profit arts org herself…particularly the thoughtlessness of the philanthropists/donors who support these organizations, but don’t actually support them by supporting a budget that affords staff a living wage.

5) A suit on behalf of the workers at the restaurant Kappo Masa, part-owned by dealer Larry Gagosian, for wage theft. From an Eater article: “The class action is alleging ‘that the restaurant violated New York law by withholding tips that should have been paid to the waitstaff, and also that it retaliated against the named plaintiff for telling the company about the tip theft.’”

6) the close of several downtown New York galleries right after Postmasters gallery left the neighborhood, among them JTT, Queer Thoughts and Foxy Productions…

7) finally, we sample a selection from the NY art critic Sean Tatol, who had previously been completely unfamiliar to us both, and discuss how his honest criticality is increasingly rare in art criticism these day, and we talk about our own respective art criticism consumption habits, and in turn Deb talks about her current IG consumption, and how specifically it affects her mental as well as physical health…a topic we’ll continue to discuss in future conversations.

If you would like to access Bonus Episodes of the show, like this one, which release once a month, please consider supporting The Conversation on Patreon via the link below:

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




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.

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