Huffinton Post Arts writer Priscilla Frank talks about:

Writing about art and culture for the Huffington Post, including how her writing and their audience differs from other visual arts hubs like Hyperallergic, and the difference between paid staff writing for the site and blog writing for the site, as well as the realities of click bait; outsider art, including the Outsider Art Fair, and why she’s a fan of the niche and its artists; her piece “F**k Your Idols: What Celebrity Worship Reveals About Female Sexuality,” which deconstructs women’s ambiguous desires to both be and/or f**k a given celebrity hero, in this case Rihanna…she argues her point by contrasting females tendencies with males through the avant garde-ish Is Tropical video “Dancing Anymore” (seen below), as well as John Berger’s Ways on Seeing, and how a woman puts more into how she presents herself is part of that; how, in contrast to what art writer Ben Davis suggested, Frank believes that art does for sure trickle into the popular culture (Beyonce, etc.); how cats have always been associated with femininity and feminine power, but it’s the artist Carolee Schneeman who has really tapped into that connection in her photo and video work; her discovery of the Oakland-based artist Stephanie Sarley, and her crazy-great fruit-sex Instagram videos and anthropomorphized vagina drawings; and how both she and Sarley’s goals are to get more women artists recognized, and how proud Frank is of her record of such a smorgasbord of coverage she does for the Post.


Megaforce Is tropical Dancing Anymore from website on Vimeo.

Milwaukee-based artist and multi-hyphenate (curator, professor, art reviewer, artist-run gallerist) Michelle Grabner talks about:

Being essentially a life-long Midwesterner, and how for her Chicago was her big-city experience, and she appreciates that city much more now that she no longer lives there, and yet she recommends that all young artists get out of the cities, and certainly towns, that they’re from to experience different cultural environs; the scripts that young artists (including her students) are given for when they move to X new city out of grad school (and I offer to doctor the script she gives to her students heading to L.A., suggesting that they head to Milwaukee or Cleveland or NY instead); the way that, post-9/11, the ‘Hot Mess’ sensibility has been playing out in art, and what that says about the state of the art world and its surroundings; how her survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, combined with her curating the 2014 Whitney Biennial, led to a bit of a gold rush on her work, particularly in being picked up by the James Cohan Gallery in NYC; her co-curating of the 2014 Whitney Biennial, from soup to nuts: how institutions, including the Whitney in particular, don’t like to be declarative, as in saying that Michelle was ‘the first artist-curator of a major museum exhibition,’ though in fact she essentially was; the steps leading up to her getting the job; the process of selecting artists, including doing 130 studio visits in preparation (from which 53 artists were included), and how weird and freaked out artists got, compared to prior visits, because it was a ‘Biennial studio visit’; how transparent she was with artists about the studio visits, in saying that she was ‘doing research’ for the Whitney Biennial; the richness of that one-hour studio visit as an exchange of ideas rather than just a ‘you’re in or you’re out’; the controversy around her inclusion of Donelle Wooldford, the fictional African-American artist – invented by artist Joe Scanlon and played/acted by Jennifer Kidwell – and how that played out, particularly with the departure of the artist collective HowDoYouSayYamInAfrican? that Michelle had curated into the video portion of the show; how the importance of representation in the art world, through that piece, is a conversation that both stirred up a lot of heat but remains a difficult conversation to have and especially to maintain having; on the back end of the show, how frustrating it was that there were hardly any critical reviews that addressed the work in the show, but instead were about the biennial as a whole, the politics around it, etc.; her current preparation for curating the Portland Biennial, opening this July 9th; and finally, she attempts to answer the admittedly charged question: does she have it all?