Brooklyn-based artist and email scam vigilante Jim Gaylord talks about:

The gentrification in his home and studio neighborhoods (Clinton Hill and Fort Greene in Brooklyn), and the homelessness there compared with the homelessness in his former home of San Francisco, where it’s more visible, and how homeless populations, at least in SF, are not the last buffer of complete gentrification; how Ft. Greene is a historic district, meaning no high rises, and yet all around the perimeter of Ft. Greene high rises are visible, as if his neighborhood were a fortress against development; his earlier studio situation, in DUMBO, when he was with a roommate and painting in his bedroom-cum-studio; his various side projects, including Art Crit Zingers, a collection of harsh criticisms received by artists in studio visits, planned as a book, as well as his extended email exchanges with would-be email scammers; Jim and I perform an actual email exchange he had which he calls ‘Dancing Asparagus,’ which lasted over a month (me as the scammer, he as himself); how one of his ‘non-scams’ that he thought might be a scam was joining the collection of the young autistic adolescent Anthony in London (subject of a This American Life story); how he had a show while still in grad school before he was really ready to show based on some colleagues’ assessment, but managed to come through it unscathed; how he’s seeing more of a focus on figuration than abstraction, a backlash against the zombie formalism trend; how the way people are digesting/consuming art, and even creating it, is through its Instagram-ability; and how he personally uses Instagram.

Brooklyn-based painter Kadar Brock talks about:

His non-association with the cohort of process-based abstractionists, and how though you could compare what he does on the surface as similar, he points out that he doesn’t have time to participate in the market-based machine element of it; the studio building he has a studio in and subleases (at a very low $2/sq. foot avg.) to fellow artist tenants in East Williamsburg, and how, in combination with an affordable apartment nearby – part of the fortune one needs to maintain traction as an artist in NYC – has been vital in facilitating his full-time artist career; how artist Bryan Savitz has been in invaluable friend and connection in jobs throughout the art world; how his career turning point came through participating in a group show that was curated into Ross Bleckner’s studio in Chelsea; how he became a full-time artist, by gradually transitioning out of art handling/preparing and in combination with managing the sublease of his studio building made it financially viable; fond memories from his art trucking days; how he was courted by, and eventually came to do business with, his primary dealer, Vigo Gallery in London, which has been a dream gallery relationship for him; his latest fetish: the effects of social media on people and relationships, and how the market reinforces and regurgitates popularity; his passion for fantasy online games, including Dark Souls, where he met a wild punk dude in Detroit whom he now follows on Twitter; his thoughts on the explosion of abstract painting, which he argues comes down to marketing by the powers that by, whether they’re trying to sell abstraction or figuration as the dominant trend, and is ultimately about people trying to make a profit, and yet Brock admits that his being able to paint full-time is indeed connected to that market rise in abstraction; how his type of artmaking involves a process where the decisions are not always conscious but rather evolve slowly out of the process, as opposed to formulaic processes; and how he manages his studio time, which he keeps on a regular daily schedule, by balancing it out with external activities (openings, dog walking, basketball, etc.); and what he’ll be doing while listening to this (his) episode of the show.

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.