New York artist Will Cotton talks about:

His neighborhood of Tribeca, where he and his girlfriend bought a place, and how he’s seeing Chelsea galleries starting to move there; his studio schedule, and how he still allows time to be social and finds the need to be out – including providing face-time for collectors, et al. – even though he’s had gallery representation with Mary Boone since ’99; how he consciously keeps it down to just himself making his work (he does have an assistant, Emily, who handles the desk/administrative duties), because he’s seen artist friends turn into managers more than artists; how he builds his ‘tabletop maquettes,’ and one of his anecdotes in which he got in trouble for the overuse of a root beer waterfall for one his scenes; another anecdote involving discovering something inside one of the cakes from his maquettes, after its long-since dried shell cracked; the genesis of his using live models in his candy scenes, and how that’s both been fruitful and also gotten him into a little bit of trouble for accusations of exploitation; the ‘hedonistic and druggy’ (specifically vodka and cocaine) phase of his life, just prior to starting the candy land-fantasy work that’s become his oeuvre; and his gratefulness for his life in the studio.

Artist and Hyperallergic writer and editor Thomas Micchelli talks about:

His working class roots in New Jersey; how his busy life (full-time job, making his art, seeing shows, writing and editing for Hyperallergic Weekend) keeps him from time-consuming ‘social’ conversations; how the most gratifying feedback he gets on his writing is when an artist says that he’s “got” their work; how he doesn’t see himself as someone who makes judgments in his reviews but rather as someone who explores his personal reaction; how Jeff Koons’ retrospective at the Whitney showed a total concession to the market, and why; other topics include the artist Judith Bernstein and her late-in-life re-emergence as an artist of consequence in NY after decades in the wilderness treated like a pariah; the late, legendary Italian filmmaker, artist and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini – a gay communist atheist at a time when being gay in Italy was illegal – who made one of the darkest films ever: Salo, or 120 Days of Sodom; the most memorable review he’s written (also his hardest to write); the fact that he’s most drawn to abstraction as a viewer (because it comes down to his interest in formal issues, and abstraction lays them out in very stark terms), despite being a figurative painter himself; and how growing up working class led him to making figurative art as opposed to abstraction.