103 episodes

News, developments, and stirrings in the art world with host Hrag Vartanian, cofounder and editor-in-chief of Hyperallergic.

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    • 4.4 • 140 Ratings

News, developments, and stirrings in the art world with host Hrag Vartanian, cofounder and editor-in-chief of Hyperallergic.

    Shelley Niro's 500 Year Itch

    Shelley Niro's 500 Year Itch

    Shelley Niro (Kanien’kehaka) grew up watching her father craft faux tomahawks to sell to tourists who flocked to her birthplace, Niagara Falls. In this episode of the Hyperallergic podcast, she reflects on how witnessing him create these objects planted the seeds for her brilliant multidisciplinary art practice spanning film, sculpture, beading, and photography. 

    She joined us in our Brooklyn studio for an interview, where she reflected on growing up in the Six Nations of the Grand River, the Native artists she discovered on her dentist’s wall but rarely encountered in a museum before the mid-’90s, and her latest obsession with 500 million-year-old fossils.

    An expansive review of her work is currently featured in a traveling retrospective, Shelley Niro: 500 Year Itch, which was organized by Canada’s Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH), with support from the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and the National Gallery of Canada (NGC). The exhibition was co-curated by Melissa Bennett, senior curator of Contemporary Art at AGH; Greg Hill, an independent curator who is a former senior curator of Indigenous Art at the NGC; and David Penney, associate director of Museum Scholarship, Exhibitions, and Public Engagement at the NMAI).

    When this interview was recorded, the show was on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York. It was on display from February 10 to May 26 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and will be exhibited next from June 21 to August 25 at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario. 

    The music and sound effects in this episode are from the films “Honey Moccasin” and “Tree” by Shelley Niro, courtesy of the artist. 

    Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.


    (00:00) - Intro

    (03:02) - Beginnings of “500 Year Itch” Retrospective

    (04:18) - About “Honey Moccasin”

    (06:47) - Early Life

    (08:42) - The Six Nations of the Grand River

    (12:12) - Going to Art School and Native Representation in Museums

    (19:12) - Work in Painting

    (22:32) - Work in Photography

    (24:53) - On Niagara Falls

    (26:29) - History Behind Grand River Reserve

    (27:58) - The 1990s and Institutional Perspectives on Native American Art

    (31:12) - “Mohawks and Beehives” Series

    (34:51) - Why “500 Year Itch”?

    (39:47) - Art Schools Today

    (42:54) - Humor

    (47:27) - “In Her Lifetime” Series

    (49:57) - The Grand River

    (53:52) - Newest Works and Ancient Fossils

    (57:05) - Outro


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    • 1 hr
    Lee Quiñones: Graffiti and the Gallery

    Lee Quiñones: Graffiti and the Gallery

    Anyone who remembers New York City’s “golden age” of graffiti in the late ’70s and early ’80s knows about the lion spray-painted on the handball court at Corlears Junior High School, roaring next to metallic blue letters spelling the word “Lee.” In this episode of the Hyperallergic podcast, we speak with its creator, Lee Quiñones, whose paintings of dragons, lions, and Howard the Duck on over 120 MTA train cars were part of the movement that brought light and color to the otherwise dingy, dark, and drastically underfunded subway system. 
    Quiñones’s paintings caught the attention of art collectors and gallerists. By the time he was 19, he was showing his work at Galleria La Medusa in Rome, alongside fellow graffiti writer Fred Brathwaite, also known as “Fab 5 Freddy.” Among other writers, the following years would bring his graffiti art to more shows, both at home in New York City and in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, and even Documenta 7 in 1982 in Kassel, Germany. 
    Quiñones is the rare graffiti writer from this era who maintained a successful career in the gallery space. Today, he continues to experiment through paintings, drawings, and collages in an ever-changing range of styles. His art is in the collections of several major museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art. 
    In this episode, Quiñones reflects on the monster movies that inspired him as a kid, running the tracks as a graffiti-writing teen, making art alongside Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Jenny Holzer in the 1980s East Village scene, and much more. He also discusses the new book documenting his life and work, Lee Quiñones: Fifty Years of New York Graffiti Art and Beyond, which was published by Damiani on April 30. A solo show of his recent work, titled Quinquagenary, will be on display at Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles until May 25, 2024. 

    The music in this episode is courtesy of Soundstripe.
    Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

    (00:00) - Intro

    (03:04) - Early life and work

    (08:06) - Cinema

    (19:43) - “Howard the Duck”

    (27:17) - Lee is “WANTED” by the police

    (28:58) - “Lion’s Den”

    (38:57) - The East Village scene

    (47:29) - “The buff” in the 80s

    (53:03) - The 21st century

    (57:00) - Outro
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    • 57 min
    From Blog to Book

    From Blog to Book

    Since 2009, Hyperallergic has published tens of thousands of articles about art. But who are the writers behind these posts? And what drives them to write about art of all things?

    Many of the authors who have passed through our virtual hallways have gone on to do incredible things, including publishing books on topics that they first wrote about or more fully developed through articles in Hyperallergic. In 2022, we held an event called “From Blog to Book” at Brooklyn’s pinkFrog cafe, where our Editor-in-Chief Hrag Vartanian asked three of our writers to tell us about the journeys that took them from 140-character tweets to 1,200-word posts to full manuscripts. 
    Erin L. Thompson, who holds the title of America’s only art crime professor, is the author of dozens of articles that brought looted artifacts from around the world to light. Her adventures have brought her from the Confederate monument etched into the side of Stone Mountain, Georgia, which she wrote about in Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments (2022), to a rededication ceremony of a repatriated object in Nepal.

    AX Mina, who wrote Memes to Movements: How the World's Most Viral Media Is Changing Social Protest and Power (2019), describes how they first explored the topic of memes in Hyperallergic — which they termed “the street art of the social web” before “meme” became the mainstream — and their function as a tool to circumvent internet censorship in China. 

    And Michelle Young, author of Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide (2023), tells us about her trajectory from working in fashion to playing in the band Kittens Ablaze to discovering so many hidden gems while aimlessly wandering the city she calls home that she founded the brilliant website Untapped New York. It was only in her time off reading World War 2 nonfiction that she found a new trail, which led her to uncover the stories of stolen Nazi loot. 
    They’ll reflect on finding focus by retreating to a mountaintop in China, unearthing the legacy of forgotten World War II heroes, and even seamlessly forging Picassos — which, as you’ll hear in the show, is not nearly as hard as you’d think. 
    The music in this episode is by Famous Cats and Cast Of Characters, courtesy of Soundstripe.

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    • 1 hr 7 min
    Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt: The Story of One of the Few Artists at the Stonewall Uprising

    Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt: The Story of One of the Few Artists at the Stonewall Uprising

    We are thrilled to be back with a new episode of the Hyperallergic podcast. 

    For our one hundredth episode, we spoke with legendary collage and mixed media artist Tommy Lannigan-Schmidt. His works, made from crinkly saran wrap and tin foil, emulate the gleam of precious metals and jewels in Catholic iconography. They reference his upbringing as a working class kid and altar boy in a Catholic community in Linden, New Jersey, where tin foil was an expensive luxury they could rarely afford. But they also hold memories of where he found himself as a teenager: the LBGTQ+ street life and art community of New York City, which led to his participation in the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. 

    Lanigan-Schmidt is as much a visual artist as he is a storyteller. We climbed up to his fourth floor walk-up in Hell's Kitchen, where, surrounded by teetering piles of books and artwork, he regaled us with tales about artists like Jack Smith and Andy Warhol, his decision to leave his hometown as a penniless teenager, his steadfast identity as a working class artist, his conversion to Russian Orthodox Christianity, what changed for gay artists in New York between the 1960s and today, and of course, his recollection of that historic night at the Stonewall.

    We know you’ll enjoy this artist’s sparkling humor and singular vision as he shares reflections on his life and this critical moment in history.

    We also talked with Ann Bausum, author of Stonewall, Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights, about the significance of the uprising. She also shared some of her own first-hand recollections of segregation in 1960s America. 

    The music in this episode was written by Garen Gueyikian, with the exception of one track by Dr. Delight, courtesy of Soundstripe. 

    A selection of Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt’s work will be on display at a show titled Open Hands: Crafting the Spiritual at Saint Louis University’s Museum of Contemporary Religious Art until May 19, 2024. 

    (00:00) - Intro

    (02:31) - Ann / Hrag

    (13:58) - Intro to Tommy

    (15:49) - Tommy / Hrag

    (01:30:05) - Outro
    Related Links:Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt's 2012-2013 solo show at MoMA PS1, Tender Love Among the JunkLanigan-Schmidt's work at Pavel Zoubok Fine ArtGay and Proud, the 1970 film which documented a demonstration on Christopher Street on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, excerpted in this episode starting at 14:39Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann BausumWatch Flaming Creatures by Jack SmithDr. Wendy Schaller on Feast of St. Nicholas by Jan SteenAndy Warhol's portrait of Holly SolomonMario Banana, an Andy Warhol film with Mario Montez—
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    • 1 hr 30 min
    The Cartoonist the US Right-Wing Political Establishment Loves to Hate

    The Cartoonist the US Right-Wing Political Establishment Loves to Hate

    Eli Valley is one of the best American cartoonists and the political elite can’t stand his viral comics that pack a punch.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Artists Tali Hinkis and Daniel Temkin Discuss Digital Combines

    Artists Tali Hinkis and Daniel Temkin Discuss Digital Combines

    Two new media-based artists have a conversation about the new energy in the contemporary art field and the limitations of categories for artists.

    • 1 hr 19 min

Customer Reviews

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140 Ratings

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