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Magic Praxis

Author: Magic Praxis

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Visual artists interview other visual artists about their work, lives and creative process. Hosted by Kate Hawes and Clarity Haynes. Sound and music by John Bender.
14 Episodes
Multimedia artist Liz Collins draws from the materials, processes and techniques of textile and fabric media. Her work varies in scale from the object-based to the immersive and architectural, and straddles the divides between the functional, the decorative, and the expressive. We visited Liz in her Sunset Park studio, and she discussed why we need to transcend the age-old binary of craft vs. art, how her background as a fashion designer informs her current work, her love of LGBT books and queer art community, and the transformative experience of seeing art in collectors' homes. For more on this episode, and to see images of Collins' work, please visit
Rachel Owens is a sculptor whose work is often socially engaged. She works with materials as varied as crushed glass, resin, and steel humvee truck bodies. Kate and Clarity visit her in her Brownsville, Brooklyn studio, where she discusses the logistics of creating large-scale public sculptures, how a work's function changes when it enters a private collection vs. a public space, and the role that sound often plays in her work. For more on this episode, and to see images of Rachel's work, please visit
Chitra Ganesh is a multi-disciplinary artist working with myth, symbols and narrative. Guest host Maia Cruz Palileo, also a multi-disciplinary artist, was mentored by Ganesh in the Queer Art Mentorship program. During a visit to Ganesh's studio in DUMBO, Brooklyn, the artists discuss her exhibition "The Scorpion Gesture" at the Rubin Museum, a series of motion-activated animations which engage with the permanent collection of Himalayan art. The show includes a second part, "Face of the Future", in which Ganesh invited seven emerging artists, including Palileo, to contribute work relating to science fiction and the future. For more on this episode, and to see images of Ganesh's work, visit our website at
Episode 11: David Shaw

Episode 11: David Shaw


David Shaw's intricate sculptures are composed through the juxtaposition of materials such as branches, dirt, steel, glass, holographic laminate, flocking, and found furniture. In our visit to his Brooklyn studio, he discusses his long involvement with the gallery Feature Inc., which closed in 2014 after the death of its influential founder, Hudson. He also reveals why a childhood near-death experience sparked his passion for deep sea diving, and how before discovering sculpture, he was on a path to becoming a brain surgeon. For more on this episode, and to see images of Shaw's work, visit our website at
Episode 10: Susan Bee

Episode 10: Susan Bee


Susan Bee's paintings and collages have been described as "pastoral psychedelia," and "a savage mix of Expressionism and Pop schadenfreude." Born and raised in New York City by artist parents, Bee is a longtime supporter of feminist art and women artists. She spent her student days in the 1970s attending AIR Gallery events; she later joined the historic gallery and is currently a member. Bee is also a co-founder, with fellow artist and writer Mira Schor, of the influential art journal M/E/A/N/I/N/G (1986 - 2016). During our visit to her Cobble Hill, Brooklyn studio, Bee discussed the challenging realities of being a woman artist, the heady days of 1970s feminist activism, and her longtime involvement with the Language Poets, through her husband, Charles Bernstein. For more on this episode, and to see images of Bee's work, visit our website at
Episode 9: Becca Lowry

Episode 9: Becca Lowry


Becca Lowry carves intricate wall-mounted sculptures out of wood, which she decorates with painting and weaving. She is interested in ideas of use, architecture, vulnerability and bravery, and has said she thinks of her creations as "shields." In our visit to her Connecticut studio, she discussed why she chose not to go to art school, her experience growing up as the daughter of a builder and a jeweler, and how objects can take on sacred and protective functions. For more on this episode, and to see images of Lowry's work, visit our website a
Pinar Yolaçan was born and raised in Turkey, went to fashion school in London, and studied sculpture and photography at Cooper Union in New York City. Her work examines gender, power, and colonialism through a process she likens to anthropology. In this episode, we discuss her various series, such as Like a Stone, Mother Goddess, Maria, and Perishables, and what led her, in each, to create portraits in which subjects are adorned with unconventional garments such as paint, full-body jumpsuits, and slabs of raw meat. Most recently, Yolaçan visited the Kayapó tribe in the Brazilian Amazon, and learned from their most outspoken female leader, Tuire, the example of resistance against all odds. For more on this episode, and to see images of Yolaçan's work, please visit our website at
Jenny Dubnau is a painter of portraits. Her uncanny, highly detailed oil paintings are made from the careful study of photographs she takes herself. Kate and Clarity visit the artist in her Long Island City studio, and discuss contemporary vs. historic meanings of portraiture, Barthes' idea of the punctum, and how Dubnau taught herself to paint from photographs of cadavers found in the Yale Medical School library. For more on this episode, and to see images of Dubnau's work, visit our website at
Episode 6: Jim Butler

Episode 6: Jim Butler


Jim Butler paints large-scale, detailed images of small glass maquettes he makes himself, which he calls "characters". Kate and Clarity visit him in his Queens studio, where he talks about being a young artist in the '70s, glass blowing, photography as a source for painting, and the allure of the otherworldly. For more on this episode, and to see images of Butler's work, visit our website at
Guest host Sharon Louden is an artist, educator, and advocate for artists. Her book The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life gathers essays from 40 visual artists, one of whom is Chloë Bass. Bass is a conceptual artist working in the field of social practice. Louden interviews Bass about projects in which she temporarily becomes part of other people's communities, in places such as Greensboro, Omaha, and New Orleans. The artists discuss navigating the art world, social relationships, teaching, the limits of empathy, and sustaining oneself financially. The conversation was recorded at the Center for Book Arts, where Bass is an artist in residence. For more on this episode, visit our website at
Julian Kreimer is a painter who alternates between plein air painting and abstraction. Kate and Clarity talk to him in his Brooklyn studio about the sociology of urban plein air painting, gentrification in New York City, and how being in therapy made him a better artist. Kreimer wrestles with questions of plain air painting's relevance in an art world obsessed with the new, and explores the ways art can engage the visual, the political, and the social. For more on this episode, and to see images of Kreimer's work, visit our website at
Photographer Nona Faustine asks us to examine what it means to be an American. In her Brooklyn studio, Faustine talks with Kate and Clarity about the importance of paying tribute to under-recognized histories, notably the histories of slavery and of African American lives lost through police violence. Faustine discusses mourning rituals, the challenges of taking nude self-portraits in public spaces, and the lost art of the family album. For more on this episode, and to see images of Faustine's work, visit our website at
Clarity and Kate visit the Catskills studio of painter Brenda Goodman, and discuss how she starts a painting, her early influences in 1960s Detroit, figuration vs. abstraction, and why she doesn't consider herself a feminist. For more on this episode, and to see images of Goodman's work, visit our website at
Clarity and Kate visit the Brooklyn studio of painter Elizabeth Insogna and discuss finding your tribe, spirituality in art, the Divine Feminine, symbols and dreams. For more on this episode, and to see images of Insogna's work, visit our website at