Post image for The AFC Paddle8 Auction Launches!

Charity auctions are a great way to acquire art while supporting the arts organizations you love. So, if you’ve listened to our new podcast, “Explain Me” hosted by yours truly (Paddy Johnson) and artist William Powhida, or would like to see “We’re So Not Getting the Security Deposit Back: A Guide to Defunct Artist Spaces” come to your town, consider bidding in our paddle8 auction. William Powhida has donated a letterpress print (shown above) that will directly benefit the production of our podcast, Richard Kern has offered a butt, Zoe Crosher‘s photograph from her Manifest Destiny Billboard Project is damn near canonical (and missing a bid), and there are plenty of other artists to chose from. The auction ends November 14th at 5 pm, so get your bids in now!

Meanwhile, if you have chance, I spent a bit of time chatting with Paddle8 over text message and the conversation turned out really well. (I was asked who my dream “Explain Me” guest was and decided it was economist Paul Krugman. If any readers have an in, let me know!) The texts are worth checking out, if for no other reason, than for the amazing AILADI stickers I had a chance to use!)

Post image for Explain Me with Kenny Schachter: How Trumpian is the Art World?

This week on Explain Me, William Powhida and I talk to Kenny Schachter about the art world and it’s problem with truth. In addition to a bunch of talk about the upper tier—Schachter’s speciality—we grill him on the troubles of the middle tier, which he mostly describes as cyclical and thus not as bad as they seem. Tune in for the back and forth on this—we disagreed. We also discuss the market for Yayoi Kusama, Joe Bradley, Israel Lund, and a slew of unnamed middle tier artists trying to make a go of it in an unfriendly market environment.

You can always find the podcast on Art F City, but remember we’re also on iTunes and Stitcher. Also, we have another bonus episode slated to run at the end of the week filled with reviews and news, so look forward to that.

Post image for Opera Virtuoso Hasn’t Yet Recovered from Schroom Trip
The only thing online opera star (and AFC benefit host) Joseph Keckler needs to complete his persona is a massive following of rabid internet followers he can manipulate for his own evil ends. Today, he came one step closer to achieving AFC’s goal for the performer by releasing a sequel to “Shroom Aria” called “Strangers from the Internet“. In it, he regals his earlier reckless behavior on schrooms, where he invited online strangers into his home but no one came. Several years later, still reeling from the trip, he imagines a scenario in which these same strangers try to break into his house.


Keckler casts himself as an out-of-touch lord living in an opulent Victorian mansion who refuses to accept the presence of the rabble—youtube commenters, twitter trolls, etc—to his own great peril. Eventually, reality breaks down the doors. Performer Sheila Plummer (who bears a striking resemblance to Louise Fletcher), and a rag tag group of internet misfits find their way into the mansion and threaten attack.
Post image for The New “Explain Me”s: Monsters and Monstahs in the House

The new Explain Me podcasts have dropped! This week William Powhida and I did more than we anticipated, so there are two podcasts. The first is a discussion with L.A.Times Staff Writer Carolina A. Miranda (also known as @cmonstah on Twitter) about what David Geffen’s $150 million donation to The Los Angeles County Museum of Art means to the institution. We get into the politics of architecture and discuss speculation over where Geffen’s own collection will land. Later we discuss the recent anti-gentrification protests  in Boyle Heights, and how their take-no-prisoners approach has forced one gallery, PSSST to close. Long story short, when it comes to the LA art scene, Miranda is pretty much the most informed human being on the planet. So, we had her on the show. Listen to the podcast below, on Stitcher, and on iTunes.

In part two, “Making Monstrosity Visible in Three Parts”, Powhida and I get to discussing some art. We talk about the Trevor Paglen exhibition at Metro Pictures, which is creepy as fuck. (We also take issue with New York Magazine critic Jerry Saltz’s review on the subject.) We look at Ellie Ga at Bureau, who sensitively touches on the horror of the Syrian refugee crisis. And finally, we take a look Omer Fast show at James Cohen gallery, which is currently at the center of controversy. Numerous protestors have taken issue with Fast’s decision to transform the gallery into a Chinese bus station, and have accused the artist of yellowface. We take a look at the protestors message, Fast’s installation and videos and try to identify where things went wrong. It’s a great discussion and one I hope you’ll tune into. Listen to this podcast below, on Stitcher and on iTunes.

Post image for A Guide to Defunct Artist-Run Spaces (DC Edition) Launches This Thursday!

Thursday, October 5th 6-8 PM
Washington Project for the Arts
2124 8th St NW

Which 30-year-old DC art space got its start by petitioning Mayor Walter Washington to take over a room filled with broken parking meters

Which nonprofit gallery dedicated to women in the arts opened its doors in a former doctor’s office located inside a leaky English basement apartment?

To find out, join us for the release of We Are SO Not Getting the Security Deposit Back; a Guide to Defunct Artist-Run Spaces (DC Edition). This zine is is the first of a series conceived by the NYC-based art blog Art F City, and co-published by the DC-based artist initiative Beltway Public Works with curator Blair Murphy. It documents spaces from the 1970s to the near present, and includes long-running entities like Market 5 Gallery and the Washington Women’s Art Center, and short-term projects such as FLEX, which ran for two days in an unrented ground-floor retail space. Publishing these stories makes visible the role of artist-run spaces in the cultural fabric of the city. As Paddy Johnson writes, projects like these, “made with love and tears” are “the ones least likely to be archived — and most precious to us.”

Post image for Introducing “Explain Me”, a Podcast with Paddy Johnson and William Powhida

Good evening! Hello! I started a podcast with artist William Powhida! You read that right. This right here is the inaugural episode of “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.

We release a new episode on Mondays of the first and third week each month. We’ll always update the blog with a link, but you can also find us on iTunes and Stitcher.

In this first pod, we discuss Documenta’s massive overspending and near bankruptcy, the closure of Bruce High Quality Foundation University, and a new development along the 7 line describing itself as New York’s best installation. We also talk about a few shows we’ve seen recently in Chelsea: Kara Walker at Sikkema Jenkins, Christian Marclay at Paula Cooper, Tom Friedman at Luhring Augustine, Franklin Evans at Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, Maya Lin at Pace, Robert Motherwell at Paul Kasmin, and Celeste Dupuy Spencer at Marlborough Gallery. Expect honesty. Expect opinions. And expect freewheeling conversation fueled by camaraderie and a general disappointment with the ways are turning out for us all.

Post image for Catbox Contemporary: It Looks Different in Person

The idea for Catbox Contemporary had been percolating for years. Founder and artist Philip Hinge hatched the idea of starting a miniature gallery just after he finished grad school at VCU in 2014. The plan was to launch exhibitions inside one of two kitty apartments in his cat tree. It wasn’t until January 2017 that he opened the gallery in his Ridgewood apartment but now it’s taking off.

Post image for The Backyard Biennial: A Biennial Run on Zero Dollars

With the news that Documenta14 director Adam Szymczyk has led the massive 50-million dollar budget quinquennial into more than 8 million dollars of debt, it may be heartening to hear that there are other similarly named events that have managed to stay well under budget. Take The Backyard Biennial, which launches tonight (amongst the chaos that is Bushwick Open Studios) and runs through next weekend. According to Patrice Helmar, the organizer of the event, and proprietor of the backyard venue in Ridgewood Queens, the entire show was put on with a budget of zero dollars. The biennial includes the work of over 60 artists and takes place in queens.

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We’re taking a short break for the month of August so we can plan for the new season. We’ve got a lot up our sleeves and we can’t wait to tell you about it. Look for us in September for some big announcements. See you then!