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Author: Hyperallergic

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A weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world with host Hrag Vartanian, cofounder and editor-in-chief of Hyperallergic.
99 Episodes
If you’ve been online, and especially on Twitter, then you probably know the name Eli Valley and his brushy drawings that use the grotesque and absurd to make larger points about life, culture, and politics. But it wasn’t until the Trump administration that the New York City-based cartoonist was propelled into the public spotlight. Valley was attacked by a wide range of politicians, particularly Republicans, including Meghan McCain, who called the comic he drew of her “one of the most anti-Semitic things I have even seen.” McCain is not Jewish, and Valley is, not to mention that his father is a rabbi.In this conversation, I asked Valley to tell us about how he got his start in comics, how he builds on the long history of satire and graphic humor in the Jewish American tradition, and how he copes with the public spotlight while he struggles to survive as a full-time artist. This podcast is accompanied by scholar Josh Lambert’s article, which explores the art historical roots of Valley’s art. Lambert writes, “Valley comes naturally by his most pressing and recurrent theme: lies told and violence committed in the name of Jewish safety and security. His cartoon jeremiads can easily enough be fit into a long history of Jewish protest, from the Biblical prophets who excoriated the sinners of Israel to modern novelists who, like the criminally under-appreciated late-19th-century San Francisco writer Emma Wolf, wrote about Jews, as she put it, ‘in the spirit of love — the love that has the courage to point out a fault in its object.’”The music for this episode is “A Mineral Love” by Bibio, courtesy Warp Records.---Subscribe to the Hyperallergic NewslettersBecome a Member
Artists Tali Hinkis and Daniel Temkin have been at the leading edge of digitally informed contemporary art that explores the boundaries of programming, digital aesthetics, and the handmade. Their work is certainly unique, but they also share some commonalities around media-based art, glitch, and how their work in the gallery and online is circulated and experienced. I invited them to join me for a conversation to hear the thoughts of two intelligent artists who are fully engaged with the new wave of thinking around digital practices in the arts. Hinkis and Temkin are both participating in various “Digital Combine” exhibitions curated by artist Claudia Hart, who coined the term based on artist Robert Rauschenberg’s earlier “Combines” concept that intersects sculpture and painting. In this new incarnation, the digital and analogue are in dialogue.I also invited both artists, who are of Jewish descent, to reflect on their cultural heritage and how it manifests and informs their larger bodies of work. This conversation is part of a continuing series we’ve been doing over the last year with the help of CANVAS, a foundation interested in fostering new Jewish creativity in the 21st century.Hinkis and Temkin are both exhibiting together in Digital Combines at Bitforms gallery in San Francisco until January 11, 2023.The music for this episode is “Ultra (Yung Sherman Mix)” by Evian Christ, courtesy Warp Records.---Subscribe to Hyperallergic NewslettersBecome a Member
Last year, we published a dossier of statements by leading scholars supporting the fight of Tamara Lanier to reclaim the daguerreotypes of her ancestors from the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. Lanier, who lives in Norwich, Connecticut, had long heard stories through her family about an ancestor named Papa Renty, a learned man from Africa who was enslaved and brought to the United States under inhumane conditions. Those stories about Renty were important to her family and to the memory of their heritage that they kept alive. Then one day, Lanier discovered that there were photographs of her relative, and they were deposited at Harvard University because of a 19th-century racist academic named Louis Agassiz. Agassiz had commissioned them to "prove" his White Supremacist ideas about race and they lay in a trunk at the Peabody Museum until a researcher resurfaced them in the 1970s.In this podcast, I speak to Lanier about the continuing fight to reclaim her family heritage by asking Harvard to accept her right to the ownership of the images. She discusses a fascinating visit to the home of descendants of the Taylor family, enslavers who claimed Lanier's ancestors as property, and some surprising discoveries she made along the way.This is a must-hear episode, and I would highly recommend reading Valentina Di Liscia's excellent article, which was part of our special dossier, that summarizes the history of the court case and the larger fight to "Free Renty."Lanier has also allowed us reproduce some of the photographs she took at the Taylor family home, which includes various items of furniture created by her ancestors when they were enslaved.Related Links: The Continuing Fight to #FreeRenty Legal Precedents or Reparations? Lawsuit Against Harvard May Decide Who Owns Images of Enslaved People ---Subscribe to the Hyperallergic NewslettersBecome a Member
Something incredible happened a few months ago. After Oklahoma lawyer Brett Chapman (Pawnee) started tweeting about the tomahawk of Ponca Chief Standing Bear, which is currently in Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the revered object may actually be going home.His short messages asked why the tomahawk was in the care of that institution and not with one of the two federally recognized Ponca tribes. The questions raised eyebrows, and as Cassie Packard reported for Hyperallergic, the museum later posted a statement on its website explaining that the museum and the Ponca tribe are “in active discussion about the homecoming of Chief Standing Bear’s pipe tomahawk belonging to the Ponca people.”Chapman, who has Ponca heritage, joins me for this podcast to explain the history of the tomahawk and why the return of the heirloom is important.Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
A painter who may be best known for her contribution to the Photorealism movement, Audrey Flack has been a working artist for roughly 70 years. Now at age 90, Flack reflects on the art world, from her days as part of the New York School of artists in the 1950s and 60s; her rise to fame as the only prominent female Photorealist; her embrace of sculpture and public art in the 1980s and 90s; and her return to painting only a few years ago. In this wide-ranging conversation, Flack also shares her experiences in college with renowned modernist Joseph Albers; a strange and unnerving experience with renowned painter Jackson Pollock; how she coped raising children through all of this; and much more. We’re joined by artist Sharon Louden, who is a mutual friend of Flack and myself.This is Flack's first-ever podcast, and I'm excited for you to hear the story of this incredible artist who continues to push us to see the world anew. I hope you enjoy this epic interview with the talented artist.The music in this episode is Ultra (Yung Sherman Mix) by Evian Christ, courtesy of Warp Records.Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Tim Kang started his career as a software engineer for Deutsche Bank and invested a year of savings in Ethereum in early 2016, and let’s just say it’s paying off. The North Carolina native, who is known online as “illestrater,” is now a digital art collector and purchased works by Murat Pak and Beeple before all the recent auction sales and press coverage propelled them into the spotlight. He’s founded other artist platforms, including CUE Music and Universe.XYZ, and his latest organization, Sevens Foundation, is offering “Sevens Genesis Grants” for emerging and underrepresented artists to mint their first NFT. Kang calls himself a “champion of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists” in the NFT space.I spoke to him to learn more about his interest in NFTs and collecting digital assets and his thoughts on the future of the field. This is a continuation of a series of podcasts we’re publishing on the evolving terrain of NFTs and their impact on artists and the arts community.The music for this episode is “Autowave” by Kelly Moran from the album Ultraviolet, which is available from Warp Records.Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Diya Vij started her new job as Associate Curator of Creative Time just last fall, in the midst of the pandemic. She has since announced the first Creative Time Think Tank cohort, which includes La Tanya S. Autry, Caitlin Cherry, Sonia Guiñansaca, Namita Gupta Wiggers, and a number of other engaged voices of the art community. This new initiative invited people to submit proposals for an open call, drawing 200 individual or group applicants. The selected cohort will meet regularly for the next 10 months to reflect on the realities around us and imagine a way forward for the cultural sector.Vij has built a reputation over the years for her work at the Queens Museum, High Line, and in the Commissioner’s Unit of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, where she created the Public Artists in Residence program. She joins me to discuss this unusual think tank and what the collective hopes to accomplish.Music is Lorenzo Senni’s “Move in Silence (Only Speak When It’s Time to Say Checkmate)” from Warp Records.Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Since 2001, Bitforms gallerist Steven Sacks has been exhibiting and selling digital art (though he hates that term) and building an audience and support network for artists working with new media.After Sara Ludy, one of the artists Bitforms regularly exhibits, told Hyperallergic about her plans to negotiate new more equitable contracts for any NFT she sells, I decided to speak to Sacks to hear about his experience during this pandemic period when NFTs dominate many mainstream conversations about online and digital art. He talks to me about selling art, how things have evolved, and what he expects from this new wave of change. Galleries, Sacks suggests, will always be relevant.This is the third podcast in a series of episodes and articles we will publish in the coming weeks on the topic of NFTs.Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Lindsay Howard is the head of community at the Foundation, one of the new platforms that have been part of the current wave of NFT art. She joined me in our Brooklyn studio to discuss the audience for crypto art and the collectors eager to fork over money for it. We also delve into what it could mean for an art scene facing the fact that the post-pandemic world may be very different for creators, sellers, collectors, journalists, scholars, and everyone else.This is the second podcast in a series of episodes and articles we will publish in the coming weeks on the topic of NFTs.Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Contemporary artist Addie Wagenknecht is a veteran of the blockchain space — as much of a seasoned pro as one can be in a field that’s only a decade old. She’s been observing the gold rush over NFTs in the last few weeks and agreed to join me on this episode to educate newbies about blockchains, NFTs, and all the issues they bring up. Are NFTs good for artists and the art community? The short answer is maybe. In addition to being an artist, Wagenknecht is Director of Technical Ecosystems at the Algorand Foundation, and she brings a much-needed pragmatism to the topic, as PR campaigns often make it seem like NFTs are going to change the world. This is the first in a series of episodes we will publish in the coming weeks on the topic of NFTs.  Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Photographer Scout Tufankjian was glued to her screens like Armenians around the world following news of developments in Artsakh. After the ceasefire was announced, she decided to rush to the region, which she's visited numerous times before, to document the handover of territories to Azerbaijani forces. It was an emotional trip but one she knew she wanted to make.Best known for her photo book Yes We Can: Barack Obama's History Making Presidential Campaign, Tufankjian also created what was once the internet's most popular photo (it was of the Obamas). She stopped by our Brooklyn studio to share her insights and reflections from her experience in November and December. The podcast was recorded on January 19, 2021, the 14th anniversary of the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.The music in this episode is by Mary Kouyoumdjian and is titled "This Should Feel Like Home" (2013), which was commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Hotel Elefant.Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
This week’s headlines were dominated by news that the Museum of Modern Art will not remove billionaire Leon Black from their board. Hyperallergic’s Jasmine Weber and Valentina Di Liscia join me to talk about it along with PEN America’s new handbook for persecuted artists, Mexico’s request that Christie’s auction house halt its sale of pre-Hispanic objects, the return of looted artifacts by the Museum of the Bible to Iraq and Egypt, and how some of the important quilters of Gee’s Bend now have Etsy shops.The music for this episode is Darkstar’s “Jam” courtesy of Warp Records. Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.Photo caption: Members of the 27N Movement had gathered to read a text by Martí, an important symbol of the nation's struggle for independence from Spain (photo by Reynier Leyva Novo, courtesy of 27N Movement)Protesters outside of MoMA in February, 2017 (photo by Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)
It’s been a non-stop news cycle since last November’s election, and Hyperallergic’s news team has been on it. Join us and listen to the team’s thoughts on the stories we've been reporting on.For this episode, we gather to discuss the stories that we covered this week, including the Bernie memes; the Capitol insurrection; the charred Melania Trump sculpture in Slovenia; the rumors that Trump staffers were taking works home; the Ohio Arts Board member who was forced out after her social media posts were discovered; the damage to an ancient arch in Iraq; the closing of the disastrous Vessel in Manhattan; and the viral sink reviewer who hates the faucets at the Museum of Modern Art.The music for this episode is Lorenzo Senni’s “Canone Infinito” courtesy of Warp Records. Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Born Leonard McGure, Futura made his reputation spray painting subway trains in New York City in the 1970s as “Futura 2000” — the number was dropped in 1999. He would go on to be part of the booming graffiti and street art movement in the 1980s, but was forced to depend on European venues and collectors after attention in the United States quickly dried up in the late 1980s, though he did go on to collaborate with various American fashion and music labels.Now he’s back with his first solo New York exhibition in 32 years, which is taking place at Eric Firestone Gallery in Manhattan. In this conversation, he generously shares his insight into the mercurial art world, what motivates him to continue making work, and reflections on a scene that continues to change.The music in this episode is Lara Sarkissian’s “A House is a Being,” from the album Grief Into Rage: A Compilation for Beirut, which is raising funds for victims of the Beirut blast last August. I’m sending love to those who continue to grapple with that horrific event.Subscribe to Hyperallergic on Apple Podcasts, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Since she first emerged into the spotlight in the 1990s, artist Shahzia Sikander has forged her own path with artworks that meld traditional manuscript illumination and calligraphy techniques with visual innovations that seem to transform into an alchemical universe of awe, wonder, and intimacy. Her current exhibition at Sean Kelly gallery, her first in a decade, includes three animation works and continues to push ink, gouache, and mosaic to new heights in her art. There, she is also displaying her first bronze sculpture.In this conversation, Sikander joins me in the Hyperallergic studio to talk about making art through the pandemic, what she wants her art to do, and her hopes for a new post-pandemic art world.The music in this episode is “Animal” by Radiochaser. Subscribe to Hyperallergic’s Podcast on iTunes, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
On Tuesday, June 23, 2015, Hyperallergic hosted our first-ever live reading event, which took place at Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Hyperallergic Weekend Editors John Yau and Albert Mobilio read their poetry, writers Marisa Crawford (“Crying for Ana Mendieta at the Carl Andre Retrospective”) and Ryan Wong (“I Am Joe Scanlan”) read pieces that were among our favorites from that year, while two Hyperallergic veterans Allison Meier and Jillian Steinhauer (“Wading in Matthew Barney’s River of Shit”) read some of their own writing.The event also included a wacky comments section, where Hyperallergic staff and contributors Tiernan Morgan, Jennifer Samet, and Elisa Wouk Almino read some of our zaniest comment threads that were percolating on the website at the time — my favorite involves Shakespeare truthers. There’s even a short Q&A at the end with Hyperallergic Weekend Editor Thomas Micchelli.I know you’ll get a kick out of this time capsule from what feels like a bygone age, back when Obama was still president and “fake news” wasn’t the ubiquitous term it is today.The music in this episode is titled “A Boy and a Makeshift Toy.” It’s performed by violist Michael Hall, pianist Stephanie Titus, and composed by Mary Kouyoumdjian. The piece is inspired by the war photography of Chris Hondros, particularly a photo of Albanian refugees from Kosovo waiting at a train station.Subscribe to Hyperallergic’s Podcast on iTunes, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
We can’t believe it’s been four years since the 2016 US Election, and here we are again. I’m joined this episode by the Hyperallergic news team — news editor Jasmine Weber, and reporters Valentina Di Liscia and Hakim Bishara — to discuss the stories we reported on over the last six months. These include a look at Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s records on the arts; various mural and poster projects that have engaged local communities; the decision of some museums not to serve as polling places; and other news of note.It’s election day, so we hope all those who can will vote.The music featured in this episode is “Wink Wink” by Teddi Gold.Subscribe to Hyperallergic’s Podcast on iTunes, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
For months, media specialists, pundits, and analysts were warning us to brace for an onslaught of memes and other forms of propaganda that would flood our feeds this US election season. While there certainly have been a comparable amount of memes and videos as in 2016, the use of deepfakes — a form of artificial intelligence to make images of fake events — never quite materialized. Why?In this wide-ranging conversation, I talk to artist and technologist An Xiao Mina about the absence of deepfakes and what this might tell us about the media ecosystem now and going forward.This conversation is part of our Sunday Edition on Propaganda.The music featured this episode is a new track by Command Dos titled "Proof."Subscribe to the Hyperallergic Podcast on Apple Podcasts, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
A few weeks ago, artist Sam Durant released a long essay about his work, "Scaffold," which reflects on the project that dominated art world headlines. Originally commissioned for documenta (13) — the influential quinquennial exhibition in Kassel, Germany — in 2012, it wasn't until "Scaffold" was installed in the Walker Art Center's sculpture park in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, that it was met with protests by the local Dakota community.That event was a lightning rod for a national conversation about appropriation, racism, and the role of artists, museums, curators, and others in those conversation. I invited Durant to join me on the podcast to discuss the reason he wrote this so many years after the fact and what he thinks the lessons are.The music featured in this episode is the track “California Life” by Radiochaser.Subscribe to the Hyperallergic Podcast on Apple Podcasts, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Last week, the New York Times reported that the National Gallery of Art's Philip Guston retrospective, expected to travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Tate Modern in London, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, would be delayed by four years. The reasons are many, including the limited demographics of those who worked on an exhibition that is very much about race, as well as the current cultural climate. The decision has caused = reactions of indignation and anger in some art circles, causing others to be perplexed over what seems like an overreaction to the delay of an exhibition by a very well-known artist, who is frequently shown and exhibited in spaces the world over.In this episode, the director of the National Gallery, Kaywin Feldman, shares her thoughts on the decision, why it was important, and what the National Gallery of Art will do now.The music featured in this episode is the track “California Life" by Radiochaser.Subscribe to the Hyperallergic Podcast on Apple Podcasts, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Comments (2)

Panacea Theriac

so good!

Mar 10th

Karla Freiheit

First, this is a great conversation to have about art and artists working in the region since contemporary art and artists here are neglected by the larger art world.  Second, as an artist living in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, I'm surprised to hear the claim about the amount of art happening here in Dhahran (17:14) and Khobar.  Is there an authoritative source available to learn more about what's happening in Dhahran?  What I've seen is kind of hacky.  Please help us access the good stuff.  Thanks in advance!

Apr 18th
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