Standing in Quicksand

February 12, 2019

We cover a lot of ground in this episode of Explain Me. That ground looks something like this: 

Museum Board Members Fail Moral Challenges, Museum Exhibitions Exceed Expectations

December 4, 2018

Donna DeSalvo assembles some of Andy Warhol's greatest work for his retrospective at the Whitney Museum, while revelations that Whitney Vice Chair Warren B. Kanders owns a company that sells tear gas used at the border shake museum staff. Soul of a Nation at the Brooklyn Museum looks at the history of political activism, while Jack Waters offers a mix of bag of awe inspiring abject art paired with groan inspiring sculptures and paintings. Jack Whitten at the Metropolitan Museum dazzles, Art and Conspiracy flops, and Amazon is going to drive us all out of our homes. Relevant links below. 

Andy Warhol at The Whitney Museum

Whitney Museum Vice Chairman Owns a Manufacturer Supplying Tear Gas at the Border, Hyperallergic

Whitney Museum Staffers Demand Answers, Hyperallergic 

Soul of a Nation, Art in the Age of Black Power at the Brooklyn Museum 

John Waters: Indecent Exposure at the Baltimore Museum of Art 

Jack Whitten at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Closed Dec 2)

Everything is Connected: Art and Conspiracy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Amazon Headquarters Will Come to Long Island City: Curbed Explainer

ASAP Pledge Not to Take Crumbs from Amazon




Live From Forward Union: Four Women Who Are Using Art to Change the World

September 29, 2018

It's been a rough news week. Between Thursday's testimonies of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Kavanaugh's near appointment to the Supreme Court Friday, many of us are exhausted. We would like a win for women.  

Sometimes the quickest way to achieve that is to do it yourself. As such, this episode of Explain Me celebrates women who have made waves in the world of art and activism, through a series of interviews with four major figures—Mia Pearlman, Jenny Dubnau, Nancy Kleaver, and Mira Schor. 

In the first half of the show, Mia Pearlman and Jenny Dubnau talk about their work pushing for changes at the city and state level and how being an artist makes that job easier. In the second half, Paddy Johnson and Nancy Kleaver talk about their new public art organization, PARADE, and Mira Schor talks about the history of feminism in art from the 1970's through to today, and her contributions. Stream it. Download it. Listen to it. This one's important.  



What it Really Means to be A Mid-Career Artist: A Talk with LoVID’s Tali Hinkis

August 21, 2018

In this episode we talk with LoVID's Tali Hinkis about the challenges of being a mid-career artist outside of New York. We discuss how to engage a general audience to getting grants and networking. A refreshingly frank talk about what mid-career actually looks like for artists and what it takes to even get there. 

Explain Me: The Case for Taxing the Hell Out of Peter Brant

July 16, 2018

In this episode of Explain Me William Powhida and Paddy Johnson discuss the horrific business practices of Peter Brant and Interview Magazine, a fundraising campaign at University of North Carolina so misguided that firing is in order, and the latest headscratching Creative Time project. To help us discuss all of this, and how the new tax code will affect artists accountant and painter Hannah Cole joins us.  

Explain Me, Part II: Doug Aitken New Era, Worst Show of 2018

June 7, 2018

In Part II of Explain Me, William Powhida and Paddy Johnson discuss the difference between relational aesthetics and social practice, the whims of the auction market and the perilous affect it can have on artist careers, and Doug Aitken's train wreck of a show at 303 Gallery along with a handful of truly remarkable shows. Those shows listed below.  

Doug Aitken at 303

Painted in Mexico 1700-1790 at The Met

Huma Bhabha at the Met

A Luta Continua The Sylvio Perlstein Collection

Mel Chin at the Queens Museum


Jacolby Satterwhite at Gavin Brown

On Human Limits at Present Company

Ander Mikalson

*Plus we throw Dan Colen under the bus. 

Explain Me: Bags of Cash Help New Galleries

June 6, 2018

In this episode we discuss how the Frieze Art Fair's failing air conditioning units won't help global warming, sales strategies for emerging artists, and galleries that have come and gone. 

Related Utopias: Bitcoin Economies and the Art World

May 1, 2018

This week on Explain Me, William Powhida and Paddy Johnson talk with artist Kevin McCoy about Blockchain, Bitcoin and the Monegraph. This episode is your ultimate bitcoin/blockchain/monegraph explainer. 



Seven on Seven, 2014

Public Key/Private Key

Reading List: 

Hito Steyerl - If you don’t have bread, eat Art!
Does Digital Culture Want to be Free?
How blockchains are transforming the economy of cultural goods
Thanks to Explain Me sponsor, Superfine

Explain Me: The New Museum Triennial—Two Critics Perform Their Own Acts of Sabotage

April 17, 2018

In this episode of Explain Me, Paddy Johnson and William Powhida discuss the New Museum Triennial "Songs for Sabotage". Both Johnson and Powhida agree this show has more of its fair share of bad art but only Powhida sees this as a dealbreaker. Debate ensues. The ad in which Pepsi and model Kendall Jenner create world peace gets a mention. 

All images discussed can be viewed on Art F City.  

Thanks to Explain Me sponsor, Superfine

Spring Break Part Two: The City and the City (Part Two)

March 10, 2018

In part two of Explain Me William Powhida and Paddy Johnson discuss at the following exhibitions: 

“Secret Identities” The Amazing Blackman and other comics by Kumasi J Barnett. Curated by Jac Lahav

"Freedom School" by Elektra KB

"A Pressing Conference" by Macon Reed. Curated by Helen Toomer

"Bobby’s World" by Bobby Anspach

"Psychic Pharmacy" by Howard Hurst curated by Helen Toomer

"Hard or Soft Option" by Fall on Your Sword. Curated by Amber Kelly and Andrew Gori

“Ours” co-curated by Dominic Nurre and Lynn Sullivan

"Goodbye Columbus" a group show curated by Isaac Aden and Joseph Ayers 

"The Last Equestrian Portrait" a group show curated by Amanda Nedham and Kyle Hittmeier

Images will appear on Art F City. 


Correction: In this episode we incorrectly identified a series of protest signs titled "You'll Never Know We Were Here" 

as the work of Sarah Walko. The piece was done by Fernando Orellana.