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 »

Art

Episode 184: Kameelah Janan Rasheed and Marwa Helal

  Surely a Muslim TSA agent will be sensitive to the feelings of Muslim travellers. And by “surely,” I mean “surely not.” Writer Marwa Helal and artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed describe their encounters with the TSA, disheartening stories delightfully told. Plus tales of the weight room and the irrational fear of Egyptian pumpkin seeds. A conversation … Continue reading »

Art / Fiction

Episode 178: Hallgrímur Helgason

  Iceland is a paradise for writers, with its highly literate population, generous government grants and total absence of cockroaches. Unfortunately there are only 330,000 Icelanders, so even if they all buy your book your horizons are limited. Fortunately that’s why the novelist (and print-maker, and translator and more) Hallgrímur Helgason visited America. A conversation at the … Continue reading »

Art

Episode 174: Benjamin Swett

  Diane Arbus’s old contact sheets include images she never meant us to see, so would perusing them violate her rights as an artist? Photographer Benjamin Swett says he’d look at them with pleasure, and he makes a persuasive case that he’s not going to hell. Plus, the invention of the circular saw and celibacy reconsidered: surprisingly … Continue reading »