The Conversation Art Podcast
The Conversation Art Podcast
Michael Shaw
Reviews
via Podcasts
Uncomfortable questions
I like that Michael asks uncomfortable questions, from an earnestly curious position - questions about money, connections, debt, access, etc. These at times awkward or indelicate questions are useful for transparency in the art worlds. No, or few, other art podcasts do this. Too often we pretend success in the art worlds is all about good work rising to the top, but this false pure meritocracy narrative is as wrong in the art world, as it is in the rest of the world. Some good work is rewarded, other good work is marketed using private backing. Some people are born with connections, family or spousal money, legacy admission to private colleges, and so on. These class and financial advantages remain a taboo. The art worlds can talk openly about white privilege, but not about financial or social privilege because of intrinsic the financialization and class structure of the art world. I think that also, people who run podcasts are often from privilege, and they are afraid or unwilling, or uninterested in asking questions about privilege (outside of the obvious identity, race, or gender ones). Perhaps because it questions the validity of their own success. Michael isn’t perfect as an interviewer, he sometimes misses opportunities, but his honest, odd, or occasionally awkward questions sometimes provoke an honest response from his guests - which is refreshing. For these reasons, it’s good that this kind of voice exists - in the broader spectrum of artist podcast voices.
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Bushwickbeergarden
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AshcanSchool
Expand & Learn as an artist
I’ve been listening to Michael for years. I chuckled at some of the negative reviews thinking the authors haven’t had much experience with relationships. The Podcast has a lot of variety with its interviews including curators, authors, artists, magazine editors, educators, a residency evaluator and certainly some more that I have forgotten. All of which help me expand as a visual artist. At the end of the podcast there is an abbreviated current art events listing from a cross section art publications called Weislinks ( sp?) compiled weekly by a gentleman, Mr. Weis no doubt , who was a guest of the show.
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CocoPuff1968
Amazing podcast for people engaged in the Art World.
I’m an artist based in the Midwest. This podcast has been an invaluable asset in helping me navigate the “art-worlds.” Michael is an excellent interviewer (conversationalist) often caught playing devil’s advocate -and- always extracting worthwhile information from his guests. I absolutely recommend listening to his incredible conversational practice.
t6million
Great interviewer
I very much enjoy listening to Michael Shaw interviewing artists and art world professionals on relevant contemporary topics about the art world. He does a nice job digging deeper into topics and he always requests clarification whenever a guest tries to gloss over some piece of information. I’d like to see him do more interviews with people that have written books about art and the art world and more interviews with dealers to get their take on how to make a living selling art, and interviews with collectors about how one can go about developing a meaningful art collection. An occasional interview with an artist is fine too, but artists often disappoint (not always) when they talk about their own art and its relevance in the ongoing history of contemporary art. Sometimes their comments about other people’s art can be insightful. Critics — and others in the art world that don’t actually make art but are obsessed with thinking about it — most often provide engaging ideas for contemplation.
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camartlet
Condescending little halfling
You have problems buddy. I had to actually look you up because I was not sure if you were only 15 years old or not. (didn’t want to scar a kid for being a goof) But you should CLEARLY know better! All the “look-at-me” undertones rippling through the podcast with Laura Krifka…wow. If this all sounds bizarre to you, like you don’t know what I am talking about you need to go to the nearest sociopath test and take it…you are a good candidate…get help soon.
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Yorté Rolik
Happy this exists but deeply condescending to female guests
Please stop interrupting mansplaining already. Dear god.
Heart-Heart-Heart-1-2-3
Guests are amazing, host is absolutely unbearable
I love the insight so many artists and people in the industry from all over bring to this show. It's a pity the moments of learning and wisdom are CONSTANTLY interrupted by the host who asks some of the rudest questions I have every heard. Terrible jokes he will even interrupt his guests to receive acknowledgement of... like we get it dude, it just wasn't funny, moving right along. Remove the ego from this show and you have a 5 star deal. With this host, you had me for awhile, but I ultimately had so unsub for the cringe factor. Love the guests tho!
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aarjh93
Nourishing, great stuff
The most recent conversation with Cassie Thornton, and the one with Samuel Harvey, and the 4 with Max Haiven, prompted me to donate. I appreciate the long format, the in-depth questions, candid responses and world views. Lots more to go back and listen to (and listen to again). Thank you.
urlyturtle
The Lives of Artists
I enjoy this podcast immensely. Definitely gives the real perspective on the artist’s life and I like how the interviewer pushes for answers. I don’t live in an art capital and I’m way past 20 so I like hearing about what those crazy kids are up to.
caryre
Perpetuate the myths around the contemporary art community.
This podcast continues to perpetuate the myths around the dysfunctional contemporary art community. Hard work/skill/ideas and you will succeed in the contemporary art field - NOT TRUE. It's really about who you know in the art world and what circles you run in. You show your work at small galleries for emerging artists because a friend recommends you, talent has nothing to do with it. The small gallery calls you back because they see a market for your paintings. If you’re a couple of your paintings sell they’ll give you your own show but ask you to create “new” but similar paintings. They don't want new ideas, because what if these new ideas don't sell! You have a show and nothing sells - they don't call you again (I get it it’s a business). Or maybe they do call you but put you in a group show so there is a higher chance of selling artwork. If nothing sells you move on and call another friend that's showing at another small gallery and ask them to get you in. You continue this small gallery cycle for 5-10 years making it may be up to a mid-level gallery and then start the cycle over again for another 10 - 20 years. If you run in wealthier circles you can start at a mid-level gallery or if you’re lucky you get your start at one of the "big money" galleries. If you sell a painting their you can live off of the money for a couple of months or even years. But it’s the same cycle all over again. Myth Two, you need a studio space. Most artists have a second job and cannot make a living off their art. There are thousands of artists who are waiters/waitress and struggle month to month with a family. And yet they need to rent a studio? Why? Just because that is what an artist has to do to be taken seriously! I have older friends who are now in their late 50's divorced and are still in this NYC contemporary art world cycle and have to work crappy jobs to keep going. There is no silver lining here, there is no being discovered and then selling your art for millions. You show work, you sell a painting here & there and then some time you give up and guess what no one notices. Myth Three, you need to go to art school to understand art history and be able to talk about your thought process/ practice of your art. That is total BS most artists come up with a simple idea, then try to backfill the thought process behind it. Or the galleries/curators who think your artwork can sell, will take your idea and expand upon it with or without you. They will expand upon it and put it into the lexicon of fine art for you. The artist then regurgitates that to other patrons, collectors, galleries and other artists - to appear more conceptual and elite. But sometimes (this is where it gets interesting) an artist creates a new different never-before seen piece of art. Sometimes he’s sick of his old work and want to try something new. He has a show with a deadline and he/she didn't really think through their artwork and process. He/she didn't get a chance to sync up their thoughts with the curator, gallery or museum. The museum decides to have a Q&A with the artist and then you hear the artists real thoughts on their work and sometimes it goes horribly wrong. Myth Four, LowBrow art or "Juxtapoz" art is not real art and should not be considered in the same lexicon as current contemporary art. Artist in the contemporary art world love to talk down about it, disrespect and ignore the artists that work in this “Juxtapoz” style. They hate it, won't discuss it and they even look down at anyone who states, how much they like it. But to their chagrin, this market in the last couple of years has exploded. These artists involved make a very good living and they’re more collectors/new galleries popping up all over this art world catering to them. To me it just sounds like jealousy and close- minded thinking.
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Loquat73
Yoga class for your artist mind
I really enjoy The Conversation podcast because it talks about issues I care about, it is fun to visualize who and what are being talked about (and then look it up later-it’s like a game for me), and I always feel mentally stretched and refreshed afterwards. I get hungry for these types of in depth conversations about contemporary art because they aren’t always available where I live (or I don’t always have time to put myself in the right company to have them). I’m always hoping public radio will figure out that art can and should be talked about on the radio (for crying out loud we have/had shows about cooking and car repair). This show would be a good model for those NPR folks to see/hear what could be done. Just hire Michael already. Until they figure it out, I’ll get my fix here.
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Erwo the Elder
Content great Audio not so
Super difficult to hear and understand. Muffled and sentences trail off a bit. May need to adjust equipment or speak up a bit? Frustrating if in my car for example.
braezen1
Best Art Podcast
Michael Shaw has informative and lively conversations with smart and diverse people in the art work. I always look forward to hearing each episode.
JennyPhiillips
Insightful
Great podcast about artists and artworld participants real lives. These are indepth interviews which among other things delve into the specifics of how the interviewees support themselves which is a huge part of surviving as an artist/curator/critic et al. I usually listen to the podcasts while working on more repetitive aspects of my art. Highly recommended. 🙂
Maria - Los Angeles Artist
One of my favorite art podcasts
I'm a working artist and this is one of my favorite art podcasts! What separates it from others are the practical issues discussed. These are very real conversations about how to navigate life as an artist/art cultivator. It's inspiring because it shows how similar we are, and it works to rid us of the myths of a hierarchical art world. Thank you!
Art wrestler
Excellent !
Always insightful and informative. I highly recommend.
Mount Davidson
One of the most compelling podcasts
I searched around for art podcasts to look for one that was interesting and compelling. The Conversation fulfills it and then some. It has really great interviews and ones that provide depth if conversation. Also, I find myself looking at the references that are discussed in the shows.
I always draw
Exceptional.
I've been binge-listening this podcast in the studio ever since I came across it. The breadth of guests provides you with a 360 degree perspective of the art world, and Michael's interview style is probing but respectful. It's a refreshing, thought-provoking, occassionally funny and always interesting listen.
caryn&jerry
Awesome Podcast!!
Michael, host of the The Conversation: an artist podcast, highlights all aspects of artistry, creativity and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!
Brooke Craven
I enjoy your practice :)
This is great hidden gem. It's hard to find good or interesting art world content. I find myself coming back to this podcast again and again
ryguy48568
My favorite
The Conversation is my favorite of the art oriented podcasts that I listen to. The interviewer is genuine and genuinely interested in learning about those that he’s talking with. Really informative and of-the-moment. On the other hand, the conversation doesn’t come off as trendy...in a good way. The episodes are varied and unbiased with artists coming from different walks of life. They’re not all from the same school for example. Talking about how artists afford life lately is an important topic which sometimes arises in the discourse. It’s REAL.
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worthyette
Wonderful
Very interesting to listen to these conversations as a painter myself. The questions are thoughtful and the interviewer seems to have a talent for active listening. Each episode is a little different, and I always enjoy the wrap up at the end.
hannahcaro
The Premier Contemporary Art Podcast
The Conversation: an Artist Podcast is an treasure trove of information for anyone interested in learning about the inner-workings of the contemporary art world and market. Mr. Shaw has provided us with an incredible amount of information from an outstanding array of guest from all corners and levels of the art world. I am deeply grateful for all of the insights and information that I have gained from these conversations. This is the premier podcast for the contemporary art scene.
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Ces_
Excellent
The content is high caliber. The flow of the interview is very good. Overall this series of podcasts are very educational.
sarapalaciosdesigns
Definitely Recommend
A great listen if you want to learn more about various art fields. It has a wide array of guests and interesting topics, while still feeling like a friendly conversation between contemporaries.
Taakothewizard
a great listen about contemporary art
I often listen in the studio while working. Michael Shaw does not trot out the usual questions. His strength is in not asking directly about the artwork at all. Instead, he turns the discussion to all other aspects of a guest's life, and thereby generates some very interesting insights. No boring artspeak here, just real people talking about real lives in art.
Daniel Gerwin
Highly Recommend
This is an amazing podcast!
BKP1992
Favorite arts podcast-worth the listen
Interesting and informative-great variety-talks about the art world with artists, writers etc in various cities. Glad I found it.
Nykyk
Addicted!
A must! Listen to interviews with top contemporary artists, critics, dealers and a few collectors thrown in there. I'm hooked. Michael does a fantastic Interview and is dedicated to challenging interviewees and asking the harder questions that inform, educate and entertain. I listen to lots of art podcast and this one is the best.
KayMidge
artist/art prof
I found this podcast through Casey Jex Smith, who posted a link to his interview on his Facebook page. I've loved every episode so far. Michael Shaw really digs into the nuances of each artist's particular situation: artwork, studio habits, day jobs, family life, city, life philosophies, etc. to paint a full picture of the complete person that happens to make art a huge priority in life. Thanks for introducing me to so many artists and exposing me to more about artists I already love. It's been a real pleasure listening in the studio.
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Amy Sacksteder
Always Good
Always thought-provoking, relevant, accessible conversations with a wide variety of art-related people. Wish there could be more in-person conversations as I think they are the best, but sadly because of budget I know it’s not possible.
KM11111111
A must for artist trying to be emerging!
I just started discovering podcasts about four months ago and this is my go to. The variety of guests does an excellent job at not excluding anyone from the conversation. Never stagnant and even when I think the conversation may not offer me anything, it does. Thanks for the show!
cmuniz4
Insight into a wide range of art world topics
Started listening to this while in grad school in Texas and was grateful to hear some different perspectives on life in the art world. Now I'm living in LA and I'm happy to have a regular dose of art talk that cuts through the both the academese and the back-slapping. I thought of the podcast (and was inspired, finally, to write a review) when I looked at the latest issue of carla and saw an article examining the usage of the word "practice" by artists; if you're a regular listener you'll know that's a hot-button issue.
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Kai P Martin
casual, considered, and informative art world conversation
michael shaw does a great job bringing in a diverse range of arts related voices. i've learned many enriching things from these thoughtful interviews.
easmalls
Very generous- very insightful
Material of the highest quality. Michael's work with this show is a step away from the dysfunction in the art community that I'm sure you're all familiar with. Anyway, the podcast has been more educational and insightful than 99% of my art school experience. Thanks to all parties involved!
Rumpled
Wonderful
Intelligent host who asks great questions without being overly academnic. great guest roster
Alexander Laurentius
continuing ed for fine/contemp arts-interested folks
those working in the creative field will find michael shaw an apt, informative + entertaining moderator as he navigates contemporary issues in art + culture with artists, curators, critics + "multi-hyphenates". if you work or play hard in art + design, listen regularly to refresh + rediscover your opinions + take on "the conversation".
k@ts@n
Great and building over time
Fresh and expending its scope, this podcast hones in on the critical current issues in comtempoarry art. Always different and always fascinating.
Med Ed David
THE artist podcast
Chances are you are in your studio right now painting, sculpting, drawing, glueing beads on styrofoam or who knows what and you are looking for something to listen to while you work for the next 18 hours or so. You’ve gone through Fresh Air, no new Radiolabs, Robyn O’Neil’s Me Reading Stuff isn’t due for a couple days, new Hardcore History isnt due for a couple months and you are in that search for that new podcast… Look no further. The Conversation is a wonderful show, and there are lots of good quality episodes to keep you engaged. You will be wondering why you hadn’t heard of this show earlier. Give it a listen, subscribe and tell people about it because this is a show the art world should support.
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Mark ryan 123
Always so interesting!
Michael Shaw does a superb job as an interviewer and also selecting a diverse roster of guests. I’m always interested in what each guest has to say. I highly recommend this podcast to anyone interested in art, as a practitioner as well as an appreciator.
Lisamakesart
Excellent
This podcast is great, and has kept me listening for a while now. While centering on LA, it has a larger scope than that and I can easily relate to it while being based in London. The language and approach are such that I imagine even those not already interested in and familiar with the contemporary art world would find it accessible.
markdunstan
A staple in Podcasting
I enjoy this podcast tremendously. The conversations are meaningful and relevant, especially in the Los Angeles market. I feel very disconnected from the NY state of mind when it comes to art. I celebrate the passion from which Michael interviews. The guests are great and I enjoy the variety in the type of guest on the show. Love you down here in Laguna Beach.
ReneeBangerter
Amazing podcast
I have been looking for a great art podcast to listen why I paint, many of the podcast that ive run across were not good material while painting. I have been trying to make my way through all the episodes as I spend endless hours painting, Keep up the amazing work
carlosfr87
Intelligent and entertaining
The interesting and varied guests, from artists to critics to dealers discuss the art world and their relationship to it without veering into either vapid sensationalism or getting bogged down in deep theoretical quicksand. Highly recommended.
Doubleojoe
Great artist podcast
This podcast interviews a variety of people involved in the art world.
Groupon user77
A worthy listen for anyone in (or interested in) the arts
Though The Conversation's artist-centric episodes are definitely worthwhile, I've enjoyed the podcast more and more as Shaw has expanded the guest list to include other members of the art ecosystem. To me, there's a lot of value in hearing a practicing artist engage with gallerists/dealers, writers/critics, and other characters about how they see their roles and the industry overall. The somewhat different line of questioning tends to lead to less practiced, more revealing answers than those types of guests are used to giving. And the listener benefits. If you want to learn more about how the art world works -- without suffering your way through too much dry prose -- subscribe.
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Tfs3000
Window into art
As some of the other reviews have said, I like Michael’s approach. It’s relatable and he also gets deep into it with the guests. I don’t really know how to write about art stuffs, so I’ll just leave it at that. Well done Michael - keep it up!!
_happy_taco_
Co-host MANN!
Listened to the podcast with LA Times critique. Hilarious and engaging. More Deb Mann, please!!
Maddscience
so informative
Mike is an awesome interviewer. The quality of his guests is top notch. I have learned so many interesting insights on the art world here. I cannot recommend this show strongly enough!
JDRogers331
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