23 episodes

“Explain Me”, an art podcast that talks about the latest art news and exhibitions through the lens of politics, money and the moral of responsibility of artists. To do this, we bring together the point of view of an artist and a critic, a perspective you won’t get anywhere else. Expect honesty. Expect opinions. And expect freewheeling conversation fueled by camaraderie and a general disappointment with the ways are turning out for us all.

Explain Me Paddy Johnson and William Powhida

    • Visual Arts
    • 4.6, 43 Ratings

“Explain Me”, an art podcast that talks about the latest art news and exhibitions through the lens of politics, money and the moral of responsibility of artists. To do this, we bring together the point of view of an artist and a critic, a perspective you won’t get anywhere else. Expect honesty. Expect opinions. And expect freewheeling conversation fueled by camaraderie and a general disappointment with the ways are turning out for us all.

    Institutional failure, Trump's Agenda, and Meme-Driven Conservative Movements: A Talk with Nayland Blake

    Institutional failure, Trump's Agenda, and Meme-Driven Conservative Movements: A Talk with Nayland Blake

    Artist Nayland Blake joins the podcast to discuss the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, mass protests, and the resurgence of COVID as the backdrop for public art and how museums are addressing diversity.  Spearheaded in large part by Blake, we discuss all of these issues  through the lens of what people need and how art makers, art workers and arts institutions answer that need. 
    We started the conversation with Blake's recent twitter thread on art criticism. 
    "Art criticism is the activity of thinking with and through art objects," they wrote. "If you constantly reach for the same few objects to think with, you stagnate as a critic and simply reinforce your own bias." 
    Other relevant links mentioned in the show: 
    Nayland Blake's website
    Julie Mehretu's Goldman Saks mural
    Mark Bradford
    Social Abstraction
    What is the Boogaloo movement? 
    Dread Scott's Rebel Reenactment
    Marblecake Also the Game
    Gamergate Explainer
     
    Support Explain Me by becoming a member on Patreon. 

    • 1 hr 47 min
    Revolution for the Family: Heather Bhandari and Nikki Columbus on Pandemic Parenting, art, and Activism

    Revolution for the Family: Heather Bhandari and Nikki Columbus on Pandemic Parenting, art, and Activism

    This week on Explain Me, co-hosts William Powhida and Paddy Johnson talk to arts organizers and activists Heather Bhandari and Nikki Columbus about the challenges for mothers during the pandemic, and the challenges for arts workers seeking to make changes to a system that no longer works for them. 
    Of the family-focused topics discussed we take on pandemic screen time for kids (Bhandari describes DinoTrux as terrible for kids, but a necessary evil), what to do if your toddler licks a bodega door, and disrupted schedules that make it impossible to find or look for work and require long and often unusual hours. 
    On the subject of organizing we discuss several projects spearheaded by Bhandari and Columbus respectively designed to pave actionable paths for artists. 
    Finally we discuss Frieze New York, and contrast their dubious charity efforts during the fair to the more collective NADA art fair model that works towards a sustainable model for everyone. Show links below. 
    The Art World Conference 
    Forward Union 
    Art/Work, Heather Bhandari and Jonathan Melber 
    N+1, Free Your Mind, by Claire Bishop and Nikki Columbus
    Art+Work+Place, Emergency Session I, Veralist Center
    Art+Work+Place, Emergency Session II, Veralist Center
    Museum transparency Newsletter (Read about all the layoffs and other bad news that’s happening in the museum world right now—of which there is a ton.)
    The Model Model: Ethical Actions by Arts Organizations in the time of COVID-19 (Read about the good news and exemplary work by arts organizations.) 
    Obama Commencement Speech
    #graduatetogether2020 (twitter hashtag) 
    Frieze Art Fair (May 8-15th) 
    NADA Fair (May 20-June 21)

    • 1 hr 52 min
    From L.A. With Love: Thoughts on Online Viewing Rooms, Museum Layoffs, and More with Carolina Miranda and Michael Shaw

    From L.A. With Love: Thoughts on Online Viewing Rooms, Museum Layoffs, and More with Carolina Miranda and Michael Shaw

    • 1 hr 47 min
    Explain Me with Jonathan Schwartz of Atelier4 and Magda Sawon of Postmasters

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

    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.

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Explain Me: We're Baaaaaack!

    Explain Me: We're Baaaaaack!

     
     
    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

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Standing in Quicksand

    Standing in Quicksand

    We cover a lot of ground in this episode of Explain Me. That ground looks something like this: 
    The Velvet Buzzsaw is a bad movie.
    Mary Boone is still awaiting sentencing for falsifying tax documents—a whistleblower could get as much as $300,000 in reward for the tip.
    Dawn Clements is remembered at Pierogi.
    Dana Schutz's first show since the controversy over her painting of Emmitt Till at the Whitney Biennial.
    Chelsea is more woke.
    W.A.G.E. is asking artists to withhold their art from the Whitney Biennial until the museum adequately address the issue of their board chair selling tear gas used on children at the border.
    Amazon is reaching out to artists in attempts to buy their support. Listeners who want to organize against this kind of practice should attend the next Artist Studio Affordability Project meeting. Contact the organization for details. 

    • 1 hr 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

Laarubh ,

Excellent

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

Grin Gogh ,

The Best Contemporary Art Podcast in Existence

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.”

Gamelan and on ,

Great stuff

I have been listening to many of the fine interview art podcasts out there, but this is serving another slot that has been missing. Great back and forth between the hosts and covers many topics from an angle I might not always agree with, but makes a good case for other viewpoints, and that aint easy to get right. A strong start, and I look forward to it evolving

Top Podcasts In Visual Arts

Listeners Also Subscribed To