Episode 61: Kerry James Marshall

October 29, 2006 · Print This Article

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Internationally renown, Chicago based, artist Kerry James Marshall talks to Bad at Sports live before a studio audience on October 24, 2006.

Mr. Marshall talks about his work, race, the art world, his career trajectory, and reveals that art school is the biggest fraud of all time! Also, audience participation!

This is a fantastic interview, don’t miss it.

Rhona Hoffman, interviewed live. 119 N. Peoria Street, 7:00 p.m.!!!

Thanks to all who came out for some pancakes on October 28!! Fun times.

Kerry James Marshall
Jim Sleeper
Thelma Golden
Peter Schjeldahl
Damien Hirst
Rhona Hoffman
Thomas McKnight
Bill Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Chalk & Vermillion
Billy Hork
Kathryn Hixson
Ayn Rand
Corbett vs. Dempsey
Matthew Barney
Richard Serra
Charles Barkley
Jack Kirby
Linda Goode Bryant (owner of Just Above Midtown Gallery)
Leonardo da Vinci
Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_61_Kerry_James_Marshall.mp3

20 thoughts on “Episode 61: Kerry James Marshall”

  1. Ann Onymous says:

    Dear BAS,

    Great painter! Great interview! What a downer though. This interview was much more cynical than I was expecting.


  2. roberto scala says:

    I like Is the best image in my life i see thnak you
    very much compliment to Roberto scala , Sorrento () Italy
    o sole mio . music

  3. The Scarlett Pumpernickel says:

    Jeepers that is confusing, but it is nice to see that BAS is drawing an international crowd!

  4. salvo cheque says:

    Wow, that was awesome!

    Cynical or just honest?

  5. Phyllis Stein says:

    Kerry is very low on the b.s. and quite high on the perceptivity scale. I have lived a lot of what he describes. He just says it better than anyone else, including me. He is not cynical and if you think he is you need to pick your doughy ass up and get to work.

  6. Excellent trestise on the need for education for employment for art students. The acknowledgement that not all art students will be artists is a powerful one. However, I question the idea that art objects have only market value, and no intrinsic value. Were cave paintings commodified?? Is there no instinctive appeal to an aesthetic twinge in one’s stomach? Then why are there artists making work in areas outside of America and Western Europe if there is not a market. Granted the state of post-secondary art education is flawed, but is it not means to an end? Do other disciplines not endure similar trials? Should UIC ask for the salary paid to Mr. Marshall returned if it is fact such a fraud?

  7. Richard says:

    I am obviously a big proponent of being an informed participant. I think the realities of any business can make you cynical. Particulalry over time.

    While I found him a touch cynical in moments, I really enjoyed getting an overall sense of his path through his career in this interview and thought that the success of this interview overall (and I do think this is one of our best) was attributable to Mr. Marshall’s intellect and skill as an educator. He took our half-baked questions and gave thougthful and engaging answers. C for us, A for him.


  8. brad farwell says:

    Great show, really interesting interview.

    I think that it is worth bearing in mind that Mr Marshall’s take on the practicalities of art are only relevant if you want to be Successful (i.e. be one of the names in the book of art). It isn’t a strategy about how to make art, or how to make better art, it’s a strategy to try and make sure you make it into Art and the Art World, and aimed at giving yourself every possible advantage to achieve that. There are lots of successful artists who are less self-aware and make it anyway; they simply were reliant to a greater degree on luck. It seems that KJM’s philosophy is to make your own luck; it’s a lot easier to be in the right place at the right time if you’ve got a map and a watch.

    (re: cave paintings- they weren’t commodities, but neither did the cave men need them as a source of income. If your finances and personal sense of well-being are independent of the approbation of the art market, feel free to pursue your art in isolation. it’s a totally legitimate thing to do, but it probably won’t lead to that capital-s Success he’s talking about.)

  9. Richard says:

    I actually was thinking about this point during the interview (as I have the attention span of gerbil of acid) and my model of making art which is more about finding fndign and space to do my huge things that are largely there to amuse me. I don’t really think a whole lot about selling stuff. So I suppose it really is all about the context in to which you place yourself. I’m okay with not being famous. I enjoy my big installations when I get to do them,

  10. Steve Hamann says:

    I like how this interview connects with the previous podcast about the influence of comic book art in contemporary art. I would’ve liked to hear more of Marshall’s comic influences. I wonder who his in his “cannon” of comic artists or comic characters ? Marshall’s “Rhythm Mastr” (I don’t think I spelled it right) and “Sob Sob” seem very much in the realm of “Comic Art” that M.S.Brandl discussed earlier, in that it utilizes an illustrative style, with comic book conventions such as the word balloon.

  11. Brian says:

    This is one of the best BAS interviews I’ve heard.
    Not only should we celebrate KJM’s honesty and intellect but that he is here in this city. Proof that even with a sophisticated strategy for making work, one does not have to secede to the coasts to have an impact.

  12. Michael says:

    Great job BAS, a wonderful and insightful interview. Kerry wasn’t cynical at all, he relayed his own personal experience with a cup full of truth. Bravo!

    RE: Cave Painting (Don’t you think the Cave Painter, while painting to insure the hunt, was offered his share of the spoils depending on the outcome thereof.)

  13. FABULOUS interview. What a wonderfully clear thinker. I just got to listening to the Podcast — I’m behind you guys, I know! I didn’t find KJM cynical at all, in fact, I think his notions very clearly leave a door open to and INVITE resistance, they are just pragmatic about the biased arenas in which we operate. Reminds me a bit o that wonderful political philospoher, Cornel West. ANd beautiful paintings too. And paintings!

  14. Hey Roberto! I’m supposed to be THE only Italian listener!

  15. Richard says:

    How come all of you fabulous foreign listeners aren’t inviting us for vacation tours!!!

  16. Alright Richard, get your BAS-asses over here and you all can stay with me in Switzerland and other friends — but none of this typical American all-the-countries-in-Europe-in-one-week-crap. You should stay a bit and check out art and stuff. And do a series of tapings for podcasts later, from Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria and England (the places I have lots of contact with) and any other such as Roberto and Stefano.

    Warning — Americans are not all that popular here right now, and Canadians ARE! Horrors!

    But really, I invite you and D and A. Come sometime.

  17. This is the best Bad at Sports show that I have heard so far. Well done.
    I am listening from Berlin, Germany but enjoy getting hints of what is going on back in Chicago regarding art. The surprise spam mail that I received earlier this year that turned me onto your efforts has filled that gap nicely.
    I have attempted to popularize your interviews with my artist friends bearing a connection to Chicago. A small demographic indeed, but your drip of quality content in the ocean of the internet is appreciated.

  18. Richard says:

    Thanks! We appreciate the overseas love.

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