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William Powhida

Explain Me: The New Museum Triennial—Two Critics Perform Their Own Acts of Sabotage

by Paddy Johnson on April 18, 2018
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In this episode of Explain Me, Paddy Johnson and William Powhida discuss the New Museum Triennial. Both Johnson and Powhida agree this show has more of its fair share of bad art but only Powhida sees this as a dealbreaker. Debate ensues. The ad in which Pepsi and model Kendall Jenner create world peace gets a mention.

Thanks to Explain Me sponsor, Superfine

Laura Ouramonde

Lydia Ourahmane, “Finitude, 2018, Courtesy of the Artist

Chemu Ng’ok Image via: Hyperallergic

Chemu Ng’ok Image via: Hyperallergic

 

Anupam Roy installation view

Anupam Roy installation view

Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, The New Zimbabwe (2018) at "2018 Triennial: Songs

Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, The New Zimbabwe (2018) at “2018 Triennial: Songs

 

Manolis D. Lemos, dusk and dawn look just the same (riot tourism), 2017 (still). Courtesy of the artist and CAN Christina Androulidaki Gallery, Athens

Manolis D. Lemos, dusk and dawn look just the same (riot tourism), 2017 (still). Courtesy of the artist and CAN Christina Androulidaki Gallery, Athens

Haroon Gunn-Salie “Senzenina” (2018), an installation by the South African artist Haroon Gunn- Salie, memorializes the 2012 police massacre of striking miners in his homeland.

Haroon Gunn-Salie “Senzenina” (2018), an installation by the South African artist Haroon Gunn- Salie, memorializes the 2012 police massacre of striking miners in his homeland.

 

Hardeep Pandhal, Pool Party Pilot Episode, 2018, 4K animation, color, sound; 8:10 min. Hardeep Pandhal.

Hardeep Pandhal, Pool Party Pilot Episode, 2018, 4K animation, color, sound; 8:10 min. Hardeep Pandhal.

 

Tomm El-Saieh

Tomm El-Saieh

 

Tiril Hasselknippe

Tiril Hasselknippe, installation view

PRONOUNCIATION GUIDE

Gary Carrion-Murayari

** Carry-on Mur-uh-yar-ee

Tomm El-Saieh

** El-say

Lydia Ourahmane

** Oura-ha-mane

Chemu Ng’ok

** Chem-oo Nuh-gok

Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude

** Tap-ee-wa Naw-u-deh

Manolis D. Lemos

** Man-o-lis Lem-os

Tiril Hasselknippe

** Tir-ill Has-ul-nip

Hardeep Pandhal

** Pand-al

Haroon Gunn-Salie ** Sal-ley

Anupam Roy

** A-new-pam

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Explain Me: The Spring Break Art Show Part One and Two With Pictures!

by Paddy Johnson on March 17, 2018
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Last week William Powhida and I spent an enormous amount of time at the Spring Break Art Show. We had so much to say about the show we produced two podcasts and discussed many booths at length. In the first podcast, we give the lay of the land in art fair world (we discuss the character of other fairs, and SPRING/BREAK), identify themes, and get the bad art out of the way. We also collect a few pitches from those in booths, so those who couldn’t attend the fair could get a sense of what it was like. In the second podcast we go deep on a few booths and try to give a more thorough analysis of what we saw.

There are however some limitations to what we can do with a podcast, and one of them is visuals. Handily, Art F City manages those just fine, so in this post I assemble images of a lot of the work we discuss so that listeners have a few cues. That said, a disclaimer needs to be made: some of these photographs suck. I’ve tried whenever possible to use press images, but in some cases, I wasn’t able to make that happen. You’ll know the difference, and I’m sorry.

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The AFC Paddle8 Auction Launches!

by Paddy Johnson on November 8, 2017
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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!)

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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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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: A Hot (In A Good Way) New Fair

by Michael Anthony Farley on July 11, 2017
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While the big galleries are still at the beach, the city’s museums and artist-run initiatives continue to keep us on our toes. Case and point: the Whitney’s opening the first US retrospective of Brazilian art/activism pioneer Hélio Oiticica on Friday. Speaking of art/activism, there are plenty of opportunities to get engaged this week, including talks at SVA on Wednesday and SOHO20 gallery on Sunday. The weekend’s real highlight, though, is Crushed, the inaugural Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair. Organized by former AFC teammate Matthew Leifheit, we’re expecting that to be great. Artist-made porn? Weird performances involving cake? A pop-up exhibition of vintage queer zines? Check, check, and check! We’ll see you there!

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UNTITLED: Bright Lights, Dim Content

by Paddy Johnson on November 30, 2016
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Evidence that the election results have had any impact on the art fairs were scant at best yesterday. Artist Jason Lazarus told me he kept hearing that this was the year artists would skip, but as I walked around UNTITLED., I didn’t notice any fewer artists then usual. I witnessed plenty of sales, though, and the dealers mostly seemed pleased. Collectors are aware of their upcoming tax windfall.

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The Tears That Donald Trump Brought

by Paddy Johnson on November 9, 2016
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When I did sleep last night, I dreamed I was stuck in a small hovel trying to hide from an evil demon. I told my friend there was a demon outside, but he let him in anyway and then left me to defend myself. Somehow, I knew I’d be doing it for a long time—this wasn’t the first time I had the nightmare.

The symbolism in my dreams—when it exists at all—has never been anything but obvious. I woke up to the light of my phone. It was 3 am, but there was so much activity in response to the election, that the battery was drained and the screen was on.  Donald Trump’s win of the election was already taking a toll. No one I knew slept for more than three hours.

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