From the category archives:

Explain Me

Explain Me: What Curators Really Think—A Cringe Worthy Report

by Paddy Johnson on December 29, 2017
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On this episode of Explain Me we discuss a disastrous curator conference at SVA titled “Curatorial Activism and the Politics of Shock”, the Miami art fairs, and three shows— “Talon Rouge: Six Mexican Artists Revisit José Juan Tablada and His New York Circle” at PROXYCO, “Johnny Abrahams: Threnody” at The Hole and “Molly Zuckerman-Hartung: Learning Artist” and “Maryam Hoseini Of Strangers and Parrots” at Rachel Uffner.

Links and show images mentioned in the discussion below:

CAFKA
TJ Clark – Farewell to an idea
PROXYCO
“Johnny Abrahams: Threnody” at The Hole
“Molly Zuckerman-Hartung: Learning Artist” and “Maryam Hoseini Of Strangers and Parrots” at Rachel Uffner

Installation view, Johnny Abrahams “Threnody"

Installation view, Johnny Abrahams “Threnody”

Installation view, Maryam Hoseini, Of Strangers and Parrots, Rachel Uffner Gallery

Installation view, Maryam Hoseini, Of Strangers and Parrots, Rachel Uffner Gallery

 Installation view, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Learning Artist, Rachel Uffner Gallery


Installation view, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Learning Artist, Rachel Uffner Gallery

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Gentrification, Income Inequality and Donald Trump Baby Turds

by Paddy Johnson on November 24, 2017
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In this episode of Explain Me William Powhida and Paddy Johnson talk about the 450 million dollar Leonardo Da Vinci of disputed authenticity and the Boyle Heights activists who follow artist Laura Owen’s from L.A. to New York to protest her non-profit 365 Mission while she visited The Whitney. Activists believe the presence of her gallery will lead to displacement. Additionally, we discuss the exhibitions listed below.

Listen to us on iTunes and Stitcher

Didier Williams

Didier Williams

Tiger Strikes Asteroid: Didier William, “We Will Win“. Review: A Haitian Artist’s Mesmerizing Eyes

Paddy Johnson failing to hula hoop and draw at the same time.

Paddy Johnson failing to hula hoop and draw at the same time.

The Museum of Human Achievement (in Austin TX)

Nicholas Cueva at Five Miles

Nicholas Cueva at Five Miles

Five Miles: Nicholas Cueva, “The People Games Play

Tracing Trajectories at Trestle Gallery - Installation view.

Tracing Trajectories at Trestle Gallery – Installation view.

Trestle Projects: Tracing Trajectories/Selections from the Hoggard/Wagner Collection 

From “Anteroom”, by Anita Thacher, 1982, 35mm color slide projection, brass doorknob and plate, sound, 108 x 144 x 3 inches – Image courtesy of the artist and Microscope Gallery

From “Anteroom”, by Anita Thacher, 1982, 35mm color slide projection, brass doorknob and plate, sound, 108 x 144 x 3 inches – Image courtesy of the artist and Microscope Gallery

Microscope Gallery: Anita Thacher, “Anteroom”

Rachel Rossin, Installation view at Signal Gallery

Rachel Rossin, Installation view at Signal Gallery

Rachel Rossin Aquarium detail

Rachel Rossin Aquarium detail

Signal Gallery: Rachel Rossin, “Peak Performance”

Installation view at Present Company

Installation view at Present Company

Myeongsoo Kim at Present Company

Myeongsoo Kim at Present Company

Present Company: Myeongsoo Kim and Jessie Rose Vala, “Dusk to Dust” 

Future Retrieval at Denny Gallery, Installation view

Future Retrieval at Denny Gallery, Installation view

Denny Gallery: Future Retrieval, Permanent Spectacle

Derek Eller Gallery: Whiting Tennis

Whiting Tennis, The Vegetarian

Whiting Tennis, The Vegetarian, at Derek Eller

Whiting Tennis at Derek Eller, Installation view

Whiting Tennis at Derek Eller, Installation view

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

by Paddy Johnson on November 7, 2017
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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.

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The New “Explain Me”s: Monsters and Monstahs in the House

by Paddy Johnson on October 18, 2017
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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.

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

by Paddy Johnson on October 2, 2017
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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.

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