A weekly podcast that brings the biggest stories in the art world down to earth. Go inside the newsroom of the art industry's most-read media outlet, artnet News, for an in-depth view of what matters most in museums, the market, and much more.
Keltie Ferris and Peter Halley on the Mysterious Joys of Making a Painting
Artists Peter Halley and Keltie Ferris first met sometime in the mid-2000s, at the height of the abstract painting revival. Halley, a pioneering Neo-Conceptualist renowned for his disciplined grids, was head of painting and printmaking at the Yale School of Art; Ferris, a graduate student with a knack for wielding fluid materials like spray paint.
Nevertheless, their work had a lot in common: a love of color, especially jangly fluorescents; an embrace of digital influences; and a desire to release painting from both its figurative and abstract forebears.
Through the course of the teaching relationship, each found a respect for the other’s practice, and the conversation has continued—even if the two artists don’t actually talk as much as they once did. To pit their paintings against each other today is like seeing estranged cousins reunite: time has changed them, but you can’t deny the shared DNA.
As New York’s first IRL art fair kicked off last week with the Armory Show, both Halley and Ferris presented new works at Independent Art Fair, known in certain circles as the “thinking person’s fair,” which debuted at the Battery Maritime Building in downtown Manhattan. Ahead of the fair, the teacher and his former student reunited to catch up and exchange ideas. Artnet News’s Taylor Dafoe tagged along (virtually) to record the results.
What followed was a rare glimpse at two artists talking shop, in a freewheeling discursive conversation about about color, working methods, and what it means to make non-figurative painting in a time when figuration reigns supreme.
How Facebook and the Helsinki Biennial Share a Vision for the Art World’s Future
Some of the most impactful stories to surface this past year have revolved around three major issues affecting the world as a whole: there’s a worsening climate emergency, a global health crisis and—in the fold—a breakneck acceleration of technology that’s increasingly entangling itself into every aspect of our lives.
When it comes to the art world, we can probably agree it's time to ask some hard questions. Should there be so many art events? How should we gather? Do we need to experience art in person to understand it?
During lockdowns around the world over the last 18 months, we’ve been learning just how fluidly art can transition into the digital realm—and how clumsy a failed attempt can be.
Among the art events that managed to pull off successful ventures this year is the first edition of the Helsinki Biennial, which took on these questions. Taking place on an island off the coast of the capital of Finland, the exhibition, called “The Same Sea,” meets our collective moment, exploring concerns around our interconnectedness, nature, and sustainability. And it’s not just in theme: the Helsinki Biennial is calculating and trimming its climate footprint every step of the way with a goal of becoming the first carbon neutral biennial by 2035.
In the middle of a pandemic and rising temperatures, 41 artists are presenting works that carefully consider the surroundings of Vallisaari Island and an array of plants and creatures that populate it. To reach a wider audience when travel is both restricted and carbon-intensive, the biennale, which is on view until September 26, has partnered with Facebook Open Arts to explore how technology might help connect audiences with artworks peppered on the island.
This week, we're thrilled to welcome Maija Tanninen, director of the forward-thinking Helsinki Biennial and the Helsinki Art Museum, and Tina Vaz, Head of Facebook Open Arts, to discuss the Helsinki Biennial’s unique approaches to greening a biennial, and how technology can be used to bring us closer to nature in meaningful ways.
If you enjoy this conversation, please join our panel conversation, “Helsinki Biennial and Facebook Open Arts – Future Visions / Art & Tech”—which will be available to watch on our Facebook page on September 22.
Artists in Residence at the World Trade Center Reflect on 9/11
This week marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Thousands of people who worked at the trade center or who witnessed the events of 9/11, or who lost loved ones, have stories about that.
Among these are the artists of the World Views Artists Residency. In a terrible irony, the residency had been started by the Port Authority to put unused office space to work following the earlier 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center to try to draw businesses back. Run by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Worldviews gave each cohort all hours access to the building and six months of workspace on the 91st and 92nd floors of the north tower.
As the name suggests Worldviews brought applicants from around the world, drawn to the prestige of New York and the chance to make work in such a unique space with its dramatic views of the city. Naomi Ben Shahar, Monika Bravo, Simon Aldridge, and Jeff Konigsberg were four of the 15 artists participating in the Worldviews Residency in 2001.
Amid the commemorations and reflections on the meaning of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we asked them to share their memories of the space, the day and how the experience has affected them going forwards.
Genesis Tramaine on How Faith Inspires Her Art
For centuries, Western art-making centered around religious imagery during the middle ages and Renaissance icons. Altar pieces and stained glass windows were regarded as meditative objects through which the faithful might reach a more profound religious transcendence.
Needless to say the art world of 2021 is far more secular and openly religious artists are few and far between. So, what does it mean to be a devotional artist today? Our guests on The Art Angle is Genesis Tramaine, a Brooklyn born artist whose expressive portraits have conjured up comparisons to Jean-Michel Basquiat and even Pablo Picasso. As a child Tremaine first started drawing during church. Today, Tramaine, who is queer, still considers herself a devout Christian. In fact, she credits her works to the divine inspiration of the holy spirit. On this episode, Artnet News’s Katie White speaks with Genesis about her art and how it relates to her faith.
The Bitter Battle Over Bob Ross's Empire of Joy
Love him or laugh at him, Bob Ross is absolutely one of America’s best known painters. A quarter century after he died in 1995, a Bob Ross Experience debuted in Indiana last October as a site of pilgrimage for fans. Meanwhile, Bob Ross Inc. continues to mint money authorizing new products, even licensing a canibus company to make Bob ross eyeshadows in his signature colors. People around the world continue to train to become official Bob Ross Certified painting instructors. Most of all, the internet has let more people than ever discover old episodes of Bob Ross’s PBS show, The Joy of Painting, which ran from 1983 to 1994. In an age of memes, social media, and anxiety, Bob Ross’s big hair, easy on-camera demeanor, and welcoming demeanor have made him an icon with real, and maybe even growing, power.
But there’s another side to the story, one told in the just released Netflix documentary ‘Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal, and Greed,’ produced by the actress Melissa McCarthy’s production company. It describes Ross’s ascent and connection with fans, but also tells the story of the battle behind the scenes for the control of the Bob Ross Empire. On one side are Annette and Walt Kowalski, Bob Ross’s long-time business partners, They met him in 1982, lived together with Bob and his wife, and helped manage his rise from popular painting instructor to unlikely PBS sensation. Today, they retain control of Bob Ross Inc. and all thing Bob Ross—and remain a shadowy presence in the documentary, having refused access. On the other side is Steve Ross, Bob’s son, a painter himself, and a sometimes guest on ‘The Joy of Painting,’ where his father sometimes spoke of Steve as his heir apparent. Today, Steve remains shut out of his father’s empire, and he accuses the Kowalskis of having maneuvered to seize control of his father’s empire of painterly positivity even as his father suffered from the lymphoma that ultimately took his life.
Joshua Rofe, the director of the documentary, is here to talk to Artnet News’s Senior Art Critic, Ben Davis, about trying to crack the riddle of Bob Ross’s life and understand the bitter fight to control his legacy, both in terms of money and meaning.
How Monaco and Accra Are Spinning the Art World in Opposite Directions
It’s late August, and for the first time in two years, it looks like the fall art season could be jam-packed with major in-person art-market events––even if some of them don’t normally happen at the same time as Starbucks is trying to coat the globe in pumpkin spice.
But this summer, art-world trends and circumstances way beyond the industry’s control have led to some of the most noteworthy market activity happening in two destinations we’re not so used to seeing make headlines: Monaco and Accra, the capital of Ghana. What’s so interesting about these two places is that, together, they form a kind of art-market yin-yang symbol: the areas where one of them is strong are the areas where the other is weak, and vice versa. So by pairing them up, we can see something close to the full spectrum of forces shaping the global art market today.
To help us on this expedition, Artnet News’s Art Business Editor, Tim Schneider, is joined on the show by two great guests who recently reported on these destinations firsthand for Artnet News Pro. First up, Kate Brown, European editor at Artnet News, discusses her summer sojourn to Monaco. Then, Rebecca Anne Proctor, the seasoned, globe-trotting art journalist, talks about the art scene bubbling up in Accra.
Your analysis is childish at best there is literally 0 substance and all fluff. One learns nothing from your podcasts. You should listen to "talk art", “in other words”, “art party” or “the art newspaper" . No one cares about random journalists’ opinions bring on art insiders instead of mindless reporters talking about how bad art fairs are.