Art

376: James McMullan

In 1976, Milton Glaser sent him to a Brooklyn disco for New York magazine, to illustrate an article that would become the movie Saturday Night Fever. Jim showed his paintings to editor Clay Felker. “Clay looked at them and he said, ‘Jim, what are you showing me here? I don’t get it. Nothing’s happening.’” But it all worked out. And not … Continue reading »

Art

353: Vinnie Bagwell

When this sculptor creates a statue of a historical figure―Sojourner Truth, Ella Fitzgerald, Teddy Roosevelt―she learns a lot about her subject. While conceiving a more metaphoric project, Victory, she made a disconcerting discovery: there are no Black angels in public art. “Are you trying to say there are no Black people in heaven?” she demanded. … Continue reading »

Art

351: Alice Aycock

This sculptor, perhaps best known for a series of piece resembling captured tornadoes, describes how her darker feelings affect her work: “As artists, we are very sensitive to pain, but we don’t just use it as something to whine about, but as a probing tool.” No whining? No wonder I’m not an artist. Well, that … Continue reading »

Art

313: William Wegman

Like millions of his admirers, I encountered him through his videos of his dogs, Man Ray, then Fay Ray, then her descendants – odd, surprising, sometimes funny, always full of feeling. Curiously, he used to say horrible things about video art. “That’s how a young artist thinks. I’m much more generous now as an old … Continue reading »

Art

312: Garry Trudeau

He was still in college when he created his smart and funny comic strip, “Doonesbury,” and has since sent his characters to a disconcerting number of wars without disheartening the readers. His most recent book is Lewser: More Doonesbury in the Time of Trump, which nearly disheartens me. Laughing through my tears. Of rage. Continue reading »

Art

Episode 299: Sarah Boxer

This cartoonist and her cousin, our featured musical guest Jill Sobule, were raised in Colorado, with ties to a disastrous nineteenth-century scheme that sent Jewish immigrants westward from the slums of the Lower East Side. Great story. Great song. (Somehow the words “disastrous scheme” evoke the White House. I can’t imagine why.) Continue reading »

Art

Episode 234: Samuel Levi Jones

  He rips the covers from encyclopedias and law books – the texts of power – and stitches them together into artwork that is moving and beautiful. “Some individuals have found it problematic that I’m destroying this material.” Destroying or reconfiguring? A conversation about art and authority at the International Print Center New York, with … Continue reading »