Should Artists Talk About Their Work?

Matthew spent time recently talking with an artist friend about the pros and cons of artists talking about their art. Based on the conversation, Matthew researched the 21st century’s go-to place to hear artists talk -- podcasts! He uncovers some great places (ahem, including Artblog) to listen to the artists.

Should artists talk about their work? One friend said “Oh God! Please, please no!” But many just can’t help themselves.

Warhol said at one point in his endless career of quotable quips: “The interviewer should just tell me the words he wants me to say and I’ll repeat them after him. I think that would be so great because I’m so empty I just can’t think of anything to say.”

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Wondering who the contemporary Giorgio Vasaris who chronicle the lives of artists, both living and long dead might be, Toronto friend and artist P.E. Sharpe suggested I look into art podcasts. I did and she and I came up with a short list of some of places where artists yakking about their stuff is all the rage. Take a look and click through, give a listen:

Bad At Sports: The big daddy of art podcasting was created by Chicago-based artists Duncan MacKenzie and Richard Holland and now has an archive of 600-plus podcasts that cover the art world waterfront. The hosts – currently Dana and Ryan – yak it up with artists, curators and art thinkers to zero in on the American art Zeitgeist. Cheeky and fun.

The Art Blog: Running since 2010 and originally led by Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof, our own Artblog has produced some 70 Artblog Radio podcasts largely focused on artists and curators in the Philadelphia art scene. Informative, informal and always enjoyable!


Art for your Ear is hosted by Danielle Krysa, AKA “The Jealous Curator,” an artist who lives in Canada’s British Columbia. Krysa, an author (“Your Inner Critic Is A Big Jerk” 2016) has been hosting her podcast and blog since 2009. She interviews her peers in a way that is both warm and informal and occasionally often gossipy. There are currently 115 interviews archived and waiting for listeners.

Deep Color is New York-based artist Joseph Hart’s “oral history of artists and their work,” according to his web site. Thus far Hart has produced some 28 studio visits in which he describes the artist’s works, studio spaces and finally interviews artists in unscripted but skillfully made hour-long podcasts.

The Conversation LA artist Michael Shaw leads lengthy rambles that probe the private lives of artists in a performative manner, suitable for those rainy days when procrastination is high on the radar. The interviews skip around the country, from Ellen Harvey in Brooklyn to New York performance artist Matt Star’s “Amazon Boy.”


MagicPraxis Hosts Brooklyn artists Clarity Haynes and Kate Hawes visit mostly New York-area artist studios for an intimate and well-prepared conversation about the ritual and magic of the creative practice. Each episode highlights some of the artists’ works on the Magic Praxis page.

Studio Break David Linnewah, artist and teacher based in Illinois, launched Studio Break in December 2015 with the idea to encourage artists to explain their approaches and influences in a relaxed and direct fashion. In his 185, hour-long podcasts, Linnewah is pleasantly excited by talking to artists and really digs in, getting to interesting places like Lincoln, Nebraska and other US hinterlands where artists work and live.

Modern Art Notes is a product of interviewer/producer Tyler Green, who runs a fairly dry, advertiser-flecked “radio” show on art with a focus on well-produced exhibitions. Green is an educator, with a pedantic, wordy approach; his shows – numbering 300 thus far– are scripted and lack spontaneity, and thus are a bit sleepy in spite of the interesting subject matter on art world real estate, with episodes on “Early Diebenkorn,” “Bellini at the Getty,” and “Francis Picabia.”

Yale Radio / Brainard Carey Full disclosure: I was interviewed by Brainard Carey way back in 2015. Brainard Carey produces these fun and erudite interviews from Yale University. He’s been looking out the art world window with almost 800 interviews with artists, curators, architects, museum directors and culture workers. Carey is also a most interesting artist himself!

Also worth a listen:


Sound and Vision

Art F City

If you are hungry for more artists talking about their art or the art world, here’s more food for your ears: ART FOR YOUR EARS