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.

Brooklyn-based painter Stephen Westfall talks about:

Living in Brooklyn (Red Hook), where the rent on his loft will soon be going up 18%, and how he’s considering living elsewhere in the city, or possibly New Jersey (since he teaches at Rutgers); the crazy real estate market, via shell properties and so on, yet how their might be a tiny glimmer of hope; how his best year of sales, in 2011/12, allowed him the opportunity to purchase a cottage upstate, but since his income has dropped since then his margins are on the tight side (which is noteworthy considering something as basic as getting rid of a dying tree on that property could be a serious expense); his coming of age in San Francisco as an anxiety filled youth, and his subsequent emergence as an artist via UC Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies, where he began as a literary major; and we launch into a spirited debate about abstraction, including Stephen riffing on the ambiguity between figuration and abstraction; the ‘Big Bang’ of painting, starting with representation and eventually leading to, after five centuries, being about painting itself, and abstraction as the next ‘Big Bang’; that there’s “abstract painting because there are more things to paint abstractly,” also known as ‘shark’s teeth,’ in which “the more things you have, the more spaces you have between things”; the willingness to have a suspension of belief, and how, unique to painting, it is both an imagined space and a thing at the same time; and how he didn’t go to openings for 10 years after a painful breakup with a fellow artist, and how, in turn, he learned that legends in the art world can be created just by not going out to openings for a while.