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Brooklyn and Berlin-based artist Nina Katchadourian talks about:

Her Boerum Hill, Brooklyn neighborhood, which though uber-gentrified is adjacent to an area that is far less so, and includes significant gunshot events; moving her studio from the basement of her house to a dedicated studio space which she and her co-tenants are owners/occupiers of, and what it’s like being a shared owner of the building; her now-second home of Berlin, where she and her husband lived over the summer and will live for a longer stint this winter into spring—what it’s like living there as an American and the various benefits of cross-cultural habitation and relocation; the sense of American-ness which has become heightened with her time in Berlin, and the sense of subjectivity that she in turn is educating her N.Y.U. students about, so they have a sense of how their own backgrounds inform their artistic consumption; her early project ‘Wanted,’ an ad for a tiny fictional apartment which was placed in the Village Voice and received over 100 answering messages, which became part of the installation; and her series ‘Animal Cross Dressing,’ in which she used pet snakes and pet rats; her On Hold Music Dance Party, a series of ongoing performance/parties; and, as a frequent flyer, coming to terms with her carbon footprint.

Co-owners Sara Maria Salamone and Tyler Lafreniere of MRS. Gallery in Queens, New York, talk about:

The origin behind MRS.’s concise and memorable name; what it’s been like running their gallery in the relatively off-the-beaten-path neighborhood of Maspeth,Queens, and how they get consistent traffic despite their location; their rising success at the start of their 2nd season with Genesis Belanger’s show; their slower-paced five shows per season schedule, which is both more manageable and potentially a model that other galleries are considering using as well; sales, and all the things that go into maintaining and growing them as a small, young gallery; why Sara loves art fairs (and Tyler enjoys them as well) and how important they are at this stage for the gallery’s business, since despite being in NYC, their Maspeth location limits turnout, which they make up for at the fairs (they’re doing NADA Miami this Dec.); the importance of social media, specifically Instagram, for their acquiring new collectors, several of whom are buying works virtually, unseen in person; and Sara’s level of connectivity (as the gallery “mama bear”), and to what extent she feels it’s healthy vs. necessary.

Brooklyn-based artist Ellen Harvey talks about:

Her long tenure in the western part of Williamsburg, her experience of the slow but steady gentrification, and how she’s become permanently attached to her live/work loft through the Loft Law, which allows her affordable rent indefinitely; her British roots, which account for the fact that she “can’t pronounce her ‘R’s,” and the accent that has stayed with her even though she moved to Wisconsin at 14, and the pros and cons of having  a British accent in the U.S.; her start in public art doing micro murals (5”x7” paintings over graffiti in Highbridge Park), eventually evolving into larger and larger public projects, including her mural ‘Atlantis,’ a 1000 sq. foot mirrored glass piece slated for the Miami Beach Convention Center, the venue of Miami Basel; Ellen’s highly unusual prior career field as a Wall St. lawyer; and how her parents, despite her tremendous success, still wouldn’t mind if she returned to her law career.

Marin County-based photographer David Maisel talks about:

Moving out to Marin County from New York in the early ‘90s, where he and his wife have remained ever since; how transformative the experience of being in Marin County has been, and changed his life for the better, and meanwhile, how much the area has changed, having become obscenely expensive; his 10-year period going back and forth between architecture and photography before committing to the latter; how he first got into photographing from the sky (via plane and helicopter) via his mentor Emmet Gowin, whom he assisted on a shoot above Mount St. Helens, and how he got hooked from those first Cesna flights, particularly by the “threatening” (stomach-in-your-throat) aspects of the experience; how he grappled with and came to reconcile with the environmental consequences of making his work – from the fuel used for flight shoots all the way through the ink the prints are printed on – as a necessary complicity to being a picture-maker, and how he came to recognize that ultimately, we can’t remain completely pure.

Los Angeles-based artist and writer Maya Gurantz talks about:

Getting out of the staid confines of where she grew up, and what it was (and is) like being an angry feminist from an early age; her ‘accountability group,’ a group of women artists (from various art forms) she organized to hold each other accountable to work-related goals; her teaching and mentoring of students, at U.C. Santa Barbra; making work that is “messy,” as in tending to be potentially less likable than other work;  and three of her epic essays: one on James Turrell related to his retrospective at LACMA, one on Carl Andre and Ana Mendieta (the piece that led us to Maya initially; and here is an Art Practical piece on them that Maya highly recommends), and one as yet unpublished piece on Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead.



Drawing Restrainment 2011

Videos of Matt Starr as Amazon Boy: Amazon Boy 1 and Amazon Boy 2

Amazon Boy 1

Jimi Dams’ letter to his list about the changing status of Envoy Enterprises, and why “It’s Not Fun Anymore”:

New York gallerist Jimi Dams of Envoy Enterprises talks about:

His dissolution with the art world (and particularly the market and fairs); his one-a-day exhibition series, when he observed poor behavior in a curator, an early indicator of unraveling in a way that would continue to unfold through the art world; his story of switching from being an artist – which he had to quit due to health issues – to opening a gallery, despite being a socialist, with the financial support from the late Hudson, former owner of Feature Gallery; how he ran/has run his gallery as a former artist, including having pizza nights where all his artists get together and hash things out openly; his frustration with the priorities of graduate schools today, with an over emphasis on ‘professionalism’ and the like; his (rather firm) advice to younger artists on what they should do, advice that art students he’s spoken to have struggled to hear let alone accept; and how during his gallery’s openings, you won’t find him out in the gallery but in his office.

With the release of episode #197, guest Kate McQuillen is generously donating several signed editions of her poster, Night House. For $25 plus shipping*, you can own one, support The Conversation and receive bonus episodes of the podcast.

*To receive a poster, you can donate via PayPal for $35 – to factor in shipping plus paypal fee – (just click on Donate button to the right), or via Venmo or check for $32– please email theconversationartpodcast(at)gmail(dot)com for Venmo user name or address for check.

Night House project and poster info:
Set within the peaceful neighborhood setting of Oak Park, Illinois, Kate McQuillen’s large-scale, August 2015 installation, titled “Night House,” covered the front of a two-story suburban home with a printed image of a glittering, star-filled night sky. The installation sparked considerations of cosmic themes, dreams, and the outsized aspirations held by those who live behind ordinary suburban homes. The fundraiser poster was produced by hand using five screens; six inks (glow-in-the-dark, silver, varnish, yellow, white and a split fountain); dimensions are 16″ x 20″; and is printed on Neenah Eclipse Black paper. It is an open edition, signed by the artist.


Brooklyn-based artist Kate McQuillen talks about:

Moving to Greenpoint, Brooklyn from Chicago, a move she made rather abruptly though cushioned the transition with brief stints in Connecticut and then Boston; the turning points that led her to her move, including both art career opportunity and the breakdown of her marriage; how the intensity of her marriage falling apart led her to seek out talk therapy for the first time mostly on her own with just a little bit of reinforcement of the idea from a friend, and what she learned about herself once she found a great therapist (on her 2nd try); the sales of a significant amount of her work to Saks 5th Avenue through their acquisitions director, who came back around to buy even more work after that first major purchase, thus becoming something like a fairy godmother for Kate; baby steps in starting to date again after leaving her marriage; and how it hit her, in the middle of this past winter, that this (New York…Brooklyn) is her new life.

Along with co-host (and gallerist) Deb Klowden Mann, Los Angeles-based Matthew Gardocki, former gallery manager at Patrick Painter and Mark Moore galleries, talks about:

His decade-plus time working for two long-running L.A. galleries, the different management style of each, how he transitioned from one gallery to the other (they were across the parking lot from each other at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica), and how he became a good fireman (by getting really good at putting out fires); his experiences going to art fairs, both to sell and to sneak in a little travel; we talk about the viability of mid-sized and/or family galleries as business models, vis-à-vis the recent closing of Matthew’s last employer Mark Moore; various art world comparisons, particularly mid-sized galleries vs. the big galleries, the big galleries vs. museums, secondary market sales as a way for a gallery to survive (and how the 2ndary market has dried up according to Matthew), and the challenge of mid-tier galleries; how he’s looking for gallery work, and what’s come up in his interviews, including his availability as a father of a 2-year-old; the reliability (or lack thereof) of collectors making studio or gallery visits; gender bias in the workplace, and finally, Matthew shares a very unusual birth story (of his daughter) that you likely haven’t heard before.


Brooklyn-based artist Jean Shin talks about:

Gradually turning her Hudson Valley barn originally bought for art storage into a summer/weekend retreat; her extensive experiences with Brooklyn real estate including living and working in spaces all over Brooklyn, and leveraging various mortgages – starting with a “tiny” apartment in Carroll Gardens, before eventually buying a 1000 sq. foot storefront studio in Red Hook and a slightly larger apartment in Cobble Hill with her husband, leaving her settled (as long as there isn’t another hurricane); her massive public art project for the 63rd Street stop of the new 2nd Avenue Subway line in New York, including the $1 million dollar budget (which was comprehensive for fabrication, design, materials, etc.- she didn’t even earn 1% of that herself after all was said and done), and what it was like interacting with the public as the murals etc. were being installed…it was a project she worked on from 2010 thru the end of 2016; her working in labor intensive projects (with discarded ephemera), and the process of collaborating with museum curators as well as various assistants, including learning to trust the process of working with collaborators, and even trusting them enough to give them keys to the studio; and what it’s like serving on the board of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, addressing inequity where possible along the way.