Renee Cox

A Conversation with Renee Cox

In an inaugural episode of the Cerebral Women Podcast, we interview artist, photographer and lecturer Renee Cox. She shares her opinion on several topics revealing her critical views on female sexuality, beauty, power and humanity. Her current body of work includes her provocative photography uniquely manipulated by technology. The New York Times recently invited Renee to photograph Nick Cave for one of the four covers of ‘T’s 2019 Greats Issue’ and published a story about her in the Style Magazine titled ‘An Artist Shares Her Most Striking Images of the Decade’. Among many of her distinguished accomplishments, Renee is known for using her naked body as the subject matter which has sometimes been considered controversial and politically incorrect. In 2001 her “YO Mama’s Last Supper” (1996), at the Brooklyn Museum prompted former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to support implementation of “decency standards” at New York City art institutions. This candid and direct discussion sheds light on the sharp tone of her narrative and her ability to instill a lasting impression on students and audiences. Renee is a full time Professor of Photography at Columbia University.

Monster Soul Culture

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A Conversation with Deborah Brown

In our second episode of the Cerebral Women Podcast, we interview Brooklyn based figurative painter Deborah Brown. Her many accomplishments as an artist are impressive, as is her unrelenting advocacy and support of artists. Her paintings are in many museum, private and corporate collections. She has been a visiting artist and lecturer at several universities including Hunter College, Pace University, Columbia University, among others. She has been acknowledged in several publications including the New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, Art in America and Juxtapose Magazine. In 2020, Deborah was accepted into the prestigious Shandaken Projects fellowship where she will spend six months in a series of group discussions between faculty and fellows. Her passion to support other artists both financially and intellectually is sincere and consistent. In this podcast Deborah shares with us her insightful perspectives on the art world.


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Photo credit: Hillary Dvorkin
Photo credit: Hillary Dvorkin

A Conversation with Nate Lewis

In episode 3 we feature visual artist Nate Lewis. His first solo exhibition is opening March 1, 2020 at the Fridman Gallery in Manhattan. He is currently in several group shows including the Smithsonian Institution Group traveling show and 21 c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati. For further details see links provided.

‘Nate Lewis explores history through patterns, textures, and rhythm, creating meditations of celebration and lamentations.’

His work is complex and layered, compelling the viewer to study it more closely. Before pursuing his art practice Nate was a nurse working with patients in various intensive care units. While feeding his passion to support the life of humans he discovered his passion to create art. Listening to his interview you will be entertained and intrigued by his journey from nurse to artist and the initial challenges of creating his work.

Signaling 6 detail1

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Self-portrait, Yellow Book-Savoy series 2003

A Conversation with Ike Ude

Episode four features Nigerian American artist Ike Ude.

He is a photographer, a performance artist and author of several books and founder and publisher of aRude magazine.

In 2017 Ike spoke during a Global Ted Talk in Tanzania to discuss his book ‘Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty a stunning publication depicting major Nigerian’s in the media.

His work is in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Sheldon Museum, RISD Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts and in many private collections.

Artsy, ranked Ike — along with Rembrandt, van Gogh, Warhol — among the top 10 “Masters of the Self-Portrait.”

He was included on the Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List in 2009, 2012 and 2015.

Commenced during Art Basel Miami 2019, Ike has a one year exhibition at The Betsy Hotel on Ocean Drive.

Sartorial Anarchy #5, 2012

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Photo Credit: Lindsay Mitchell
Photo Credit: Lindsay Mitchell

A Conversation with Chela Mitchell

In Episode Five we feature Chela Mitchell, an art advisor based in Harlem who has extensive knowledge of the emerging black contemporary art market. She has a deep appreciation of the industry, particularly supporting black artists. Chela started collecting during her late twenties and founded her art advisory business in 2016. She provides art advisory services to private, public, and new collectors needing assistance navigating the contemporary art market. Her clients include collectors and luxury brands looking for guidance diversifying their collections. In early 2020 The Los Angeles Times featured Chela in ‘Faces of Frieze 2020: Picturing the art crowd at Los Angeles Premier’ fair.’
In December 2019, Forbes highlighted her as ‘Making Waves In The Elite Art World: Meet The Black Millennial Art Advisory Disrupting The Status Quo.’

During this interview Chela shares with us her upcoming and exciting project titled Komuna House.

Chela Mitchell has successfully established herself as a major figure in art advisory.

A favorite painting ~ Kerry James Marshall’s ‘Watts’
A favorite painting ~ Kerry James Marshall’s ‘Watts’

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M. Florine Demosthene

A Conversation with M. Florine Demosthene

In Episode Six I interview visual artist M.Florine Démosthène. She was born in the United States and raised between Haiti and New York. At times she resides in Ghana where she moved after abruptly deciding to build her practice without the drama of being an artist in New York City.

Florine earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School for Design in New York and her Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College in New York. She has exhibited extensively through group and solo exhibitions in the USA, Caribbean, UK, Europe and Africa.

She has shown with the Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in both a solo booth and group show at The New York Armory Fair in 2019 and 2020.

Florine is the recipient of a Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Arts Moves Africa Grant and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. She has participated in residencies in the USA, UK, Slovakia, Ghana and Tanzania. Her work can be seen at the University of South Africa (UNISA), Lowe Museum of Art, PFF Collection of African American Art and in various private collections worldwide.

Our interview was fun. You will enjoy.

For The Time Being. M. Florine Demosthene

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Anastasiya Tarasenko
Anastasiya Tarasenko

A Conversation with Anastasiya Tarasenko

Episode Seven features emerging artist and painter Anastasiya Tarasenko.

Born in Kiev Ukraine, Anastasiya moved to New York City with her family at six years of age and has resided in the city ever since. She attended art schools early on and ultimately received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2017.

Her work is influenced by artists such as Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Durer, Jean Fouquet and Van Der Weyden, to name a few. Also, worth mentioning, Anastasiya uniquely paints on enameled copper.

After being featured in New American Paintings, Steven Zevitas, the publisher and gallerist, invited Anastasiya to participate in a show in Boston that runs thru March. She recently exhibited her work during the 2020 Spring Break Art show and this summer artists Deborah Brown and Patty Horing are curating a group show of self-portraits that will include paintings by Anastasiya. Most exciting, she will have her New York City solo debut in the fall.

You Can't Teach Old Dogs New Tricks -  
Oil on wood-backed copper panel.
You Can't Teach Old Dogs New Tricks - Oil on wood-backed copper panel.

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Pauline Willis
Pauline Willis

A Conversation with Pauline Willis

Episode Eight features Pauline Willis, the CEO and director of the American Federation of Arts. The AFA is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally and is an important institution that introduces the visual arts to communities that may not otherwise be exposed to them. In her role Pauline has the unique opportunity to work with prestigious art institutions, esteemed collectors and amazing artists. She is an art aficionado.

In 2011, during her first year at the helm of the organization, she significantly multiplied the number of traveling exhibitions on the AFA’s schedule and generated new connections with museums in South America, Asia and the Middle East. Since then Pauline has worked with various art institutions with the purpose of enhancing the lives of people around the world by exposing them to the visual arts.

She has a passion for putting great works in seemingly incongruous settings, so that they may be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

In this episode she shares her enviable adventures with us.

Pauline Willis at the American Federation of Arts 2019 Gala and Cultural Leadership Awards. Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/PMC via Getty Images.
Pauline Willis at the American Federation of Arts 2019 Gala and Cultural Leadership Awards. Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/PMC via Getty Images.

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Photograph by William Jess Laird
Photograph by William Jess Laird

A Conversation with Michael Halsband

Episode Nine features photographer Michael Halsband. He grew up in Manhattan and at age ten became interested in photography as a hobby after learning how to produce a print from start to finish. Michael pursued his passion and was accepted into the School of Visual Arts (SVA). Before graduating in 1981 he began photographing portraits for several magazines and thereafter worked with Interview, Avenue and Rolling Stone Magazine. This led to his becoming the tour photographer for The Rolling Stones.

During Michael’s career he worked with well know fashion brands, photographed icons and celebrities, published books, and documented the making of films. He continues to work with an 8 x 10 camera and personally processes and prints his work.

This episode shares with us a chapter in Michael’s interesting life. In 1985, while working for ArtNews magazine, Michael was assigned the job of photographing four artists, one being Andy Warhol. It was that friendship that led him on a journey traveling to Paris and Lisbon with Jean-Michel Basquiat.

This story must be shared.

Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat #143  Studio New York City, July 10, 1985 By © Michael Halsband, 2020 - All Rights Reserved
Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat #143 Studio New York City, July 10, 1985 By © Michael Halsband, 2020 - All Rights Reserved

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Marcus Brutus
Marcus Brutus

A Conversation with Marcus Brutus

In this episode I feature Marcus Brutus. Marcus is a self-taught artist, who currently resides outside of Washington, DC and New York City. He holds a BS from St. John’s University in Queens, New York, and previously worked in public relations positions in the fashion industry. Being unfulfilled Marcus decided to pursue a career as an artist and has clearly proven to be a talented figurative painter.

Marcus began exhibiting his work and quickly attracted the attention of collectors and institutions alike, with two solo exhibitions, a monograph entitled The Uhmericans, and a solo presentation at EXPO Chicago 2019.

I met him a few summers ago during an exhibition at Harbors Books in Easthampton. I appreciated his work and his demeanor, and I have followed his journey since. I could easily live with his paintings which are a reflection of his personality. Easy and mellow.

You will find his journey compelling and refreshing. Enjoy.

Atelier (2018) Acrylic on canvas 36x36 in
Atelier (2018) Acrylic on canvas 36x36 in

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