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Episode 096 - Origin Stories

Art Chat Podcast

08/26/13 • -1 min

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Recorded: 19 August, 2013

Participants: Steve Harlow, Emory Holmes II, Jim "Jimmy The Peach" Aaron, Ruth Parson, Allan Ludwig.

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Steve says he doesn't want to, "hog all the fun," of moderating the podcast. Artistically, he says he admires the directoral style of Andy Warhol, "turn on the camera."

"And take a nap," Emory completes.

Steve says he likes the awkward pauses and people fumbling for words, "that's the best part."

Allan says he's in mid-coast Maine. Emory asks if he's been fishing? Allan says he's been photographing circles. He likes perfect circles, he thinks imperfect circles are grotesque.

Jim suggests a theme of touchstones or starting points for this episode. What caused you to be a creative person? What Is your "pole star," your guide?

Emory says he relies on the Blues. When he started reading Nietzsche. He was impressed by the wit, savagery, and generousity of his thinking. He thinks the Blues is comparable. Funny, tragic, violent, and full of shifting moods. He says every story he's written has drawn from that fountain of expectations.

"Our lives are tragic and we have the ability to bring some light, some texture to our time living here," Emory says. He relies on the Blues to inform him and give him a field of play.

Jim asks if it is the "call and response" of Blues that Emory connects to.

Emory says no, but when he gives a reading of his work, it is always fun to hear the audience give response. When he was on a press junket to Fort Smith, Arkansas, for the movie, "A Soldier's Story." reading a piece, he had written on one of the stars, Howard Rollins, who has in the audience punctuating Emory's lines with, "ah hums" and "well ahhs" like it was a church sermon. The call and response there was appropriate, but a surprise. Emory thinks the concision, the emotion, the storytelling of the Blues is his touchstone.

Ruth says her beginnings as a writer was a story she wrote she was eight years of age. At that time, she was writing to, "hear what I was thinking and it hasn't changed, that's still why I write." Her interest in sculpture started with seeing Rodin's work at Stanford University. She was on her knees hearing the "Les Bourgeois de Calais" whisper.

Les Bourgeois de Calais Musee Rodin

Jim says he enjoyed Les Bourgeois de Calais at The Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden

Balzac at MOMA by dominotic, on Flickr

Ruth also learned from Rodin's waxes in San Francisco, at Legion of Honor, then saw some again in Paris, at Musee Rodin. Balzac was her favorite, "such a mountain of a man."

Allan commends the sense of permanence in the placement of public sculpture in Washington, D.C., saying, each piece there, large or small is in a well considered environment. In New York City, there's so little land, they plopped these things down in tiny spots which spoil the effect of the sculpture. In NYC, the Parks Department thinks that public art is a burden, they rotate sculptures in and out. There was one of Andy Warhol in Union Square, but it's gone now.

The Andy Monument, 17th & Broadway, NY, NY

Regarding motivations, Allan says ...


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