Last week while desperately hunting for a new podcast I found this 10 episode mini series called A PIECE OF WORK. The podcast’s website describes it as “everything you want to know about modern art but were afraid to ask.”
It’s hosted by Abbi Jacobson, co-creator of Comedy Central’s Broad City, and each episode she learns about a different style of modern art. Have you ever been to a museum and seen paintings that are just random paint splatters or a simple triangle painted on a wall and thought “Why?! What is this supposed to be?!” This podcast answers that question in the most entertaining way.
The thing I love about the show is how honest it is. The host often brings her friends (including Hannibal Burress, Tavi Gevinson, Questlove, RuPaul) to the museum of modern art and introduces art pieces to get their opinion. I love this part because the guests don’t feel like they have to lie, pretend, or sound smart. They’re just honest. If they think it's dumb, they’ll say. If they like it but they’re not sure why, they’ll say it. No consideration given to how "uneducated" they may sound.
Museums can feel like such daunting places because you might feel like you’re not allowed to be yourself. You feel this pressure to go from art piece to art piece, stare in silence, make a face like you’re REALLY getting something deep from it, then nod your head and move on. Like an intellectual or a fancy boy.
Whenever a museum curator is interviewed for A PIECE OF WORK they never shy away from the fact that they were well aware of what most people think of modern art. They know we often think it's total crap. They're not afraid to quote the biggest criticism all modern art receives: “What is this junk?! I could have made that.” But what's cool is they're willing to start there because they're confident in their ability to get us to a place where we understand and appreciate the art.
I think the honesty makes this podcast so accessible. The show doesn’t shame you for not “getting it.” It’s ok with you admitting you don’t like modern art. I think that approach made me lean in. That made me want to be more open to learn, and be a part of this conversation.
Honesty has that effect.
Listen to all 10 episodes: https://t.co/aguRGFGjS7