Talk Art

By Russell Tovey and Robert Diament

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Category: Visual Arts

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Actor Russell Tovey and gallerist Robert Diament host Talk Art, a podcast dedicated to the world of art featuring exclusive interviews with leading artists, curators & gallerists, and even occasionally their talented friends from other industries like acting, music and journalism. Listen in to explore the magic of art and why it connects us all in such fantastic ways. Follow the official Instagram @TalkArt for images of artworks discussed in each episode and to follow Russell and Robert's latest art adventures.

Episode Date
Rufus Wainwright (QuarARTine special episode)

For the second episode of Talk Art's QuarARTine series, Russell and Robert chat with legendary singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright from his home in Los Angeles.

We discuss his iconic song ‘The Art Teacher’, his love of Whistler and John Singer Sargent’s paintings, his childhood passion for making zines and his baroque alter ego Bella von Herzgold. We hear about the time Rufus met legendary artist Erté in late 1980s New York, the influence of Aubrey Beardsley, Mucha's posters and Art Nouveau. We explore the realist paintings of Andrew Wyeth, his husband Jorn’s love of art and friendships with curator Klaus Biesenbach & artist Marina Abramović, visiting the Venice Biennale, and living with artworks by Timothy Cummings, Jonathan Meese, Clementine Hunter, Robert Wilson and even an iconic Andy Warhol polaroid of Grace Jones! We explore the psychology behind composing & developing characters for his recent opera’s 'Prima Donna' and 'Hadrian' and he reminisces about a travelling exhibition of art from the Russian Hermitage museum that made a big impact in his youth and New York afternoons hanging out with performance icons Penny Arcade, Jack Smith and Quentin Crisp. 

Follow @RufusWainwright and be sure to watch Rufus' daily 'Quarantunes/Robe Recitals' live performances streaming free via his Instagram. Pre-order Rufus' new album 'Unfollow The Rules' out from 10th July 2020. Lead single 'Damsel in Distress' is available now with a stunning animated video created from Rufus' own drawings!! For images of all artworks discussed in this episode, visit us @TalkArt on IG or @TalkArtPodcast on Twitter. Thanks for listening!

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Apr 02, 2020
Issy Wood (QuarARTine special episode)

Russell and Robert return for Season 5! Recorded primarily during quarantine lockdown, we’ve reached out to international creative guests from art, design, music, sport, fashion, TV and film. Every Tuesday & Friday (yes, twice a week!) we will bring you voices that inspire us and that we hope will inspire you too. These are unprecedented, scary, challenging and deeply sad times. We strongly believe in art and in its power to unify, to resonate, to bring hope through adversity, to offer encouragement but most of all to shine light in the darkest of moments.

For episode 1, we meet artist Issy Wood, best-known for her incredible paintings but also as an acclaimed musician and writer. Represented by Carlos Ishikawa in London and JTT in New York. Wood’s paintings find comfort in the uncomfortable, and vice versa. Uncannily familiar yet entirely strange, they are both painterly in an impressionist style and subtle imposters in their anachronism. Depicting contemporary ephemera such as mobile phones and car interiors, she impulsively renders apparently unconnected subject matter on lush velvet or discarded items of clothing, mimicking the non-sequiturs of social media. These works indicate an obsessive relationship to commodities, both treasured and discarded, inherited or stolen, gathered from the pages of auction catalogues, or snapshots from her on and offline surroundings.

Palpable throughout the work is Wood’s negotiation of her personal life through her relationship to objects and figures, such as Joan Rivers’ auctioned jewellery and Rivers herself, which she invests with fetishistic and sometimes tragic symbolism. The patterns of thematic repetition in her body of work perform a pathological, even medical, excavation; or perhaps an attempt to exorcise their seductive appeal, treading the fine line between advert and pervert.

The resulting vision is a mournful one, rendered in a muted palette, and compositionally disquieting, with implausible perspectives, crushed distances and a certain claustrophobia – we never see a sky line or a full body. Here and there, faces might emerge from inert forms, or incongruous objects jar in the pictorial frame, lacing Wood’s work with a neurotic and hallucinogenic humour.

Issy Wood graduated from RA Schools, London (2018), and studied BA Fine Art & History of Art, Goldsmiths (2015). She has previously exhibited at MoMA, Warsaw (2019), JTT, New York (2019), D.E.L.F, Vienna (2018), Carlos/Ishikawa, London (2017). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Zabludowicz Collection, London; Lisson Gallery, London; S12, London; Mendes Wood, Brussels; Société, Berlin; Tate St Ives, UK; White Cube, London; amongst others.

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Mar 30, 2020
Mark Gatiss

Robert & Russell meet Mark Gatiss, the influential British actor, screenwriter, director and novelist. We discuss Mark's recent BBC4 art documentary 'John Minton: The Lost Man of British Art', celebrating the life and work of the highly prolific and successful 20th century English artist whose work is now all but forgotten. A contemporary of Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, Minton suffered psychological problems, self-medicated with alcohol, and in 1957 died by suicide. We chat in depth about Mark's forthcoming documentary on the life of illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, a peer of Oscar Wilde, whose black ink drawings revealed the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. We explore Mark's own passion for drawing and painting portraits, the psychology behind The League of Gentlemen, his admiration for Alan Bennett, and how he came to write the series of 8 monologues ‘Queers’ in response to the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act. This episode was recorded in early January 2020.

Follow @TalkArt on Instagram for images of all artworks discussed in this episode! Follow @MarkGatiss on Twitter, and check out @TalkArtPodcast, our new Twitter.

Thanks for listening to Season 4! We will be back NEXT WEEK with the all new Season 5 'Talk Art: QuarARTine' series, recorded remotely from the global lockdown.

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Mar 27, 2020
Alasdair McLellan

Russell & Robert meet leading British photographer Alasdair McLellan. World-renowned for his sensitive approach to photography across fashion, portraiture, landscape or documentary, his work embraces references high and low, classical and pop, and continues to reflect contemporary conversations around gender, sexuality and identity. McLellan’s photography has been exhibited at the ICA, Somerset House, National Portrait Gallery and Phillips. We discuss the British male nude, his recurrent photography of Yorkshire hometown Doncaster, a longterm collaboration with skateboarder/artist Blondey McCoy and striking front-cover portraits for The Gentlewoman of subjects as varied as Margaret Atwood, Beyoncé, Julia Davis, Vivienne Westwood and Björk. We explore his admiration for the photography of Tom Wood, Corinne Day, Herb Ritts and Nigel Shafran, the music & album sleeves of bands including The Smiths and Pet Shop Boys, and artists Mark Leckey, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gilbert & George and Jeremy Deller. We discuss shooting the album cover for Adele's iconic album '25', whilst Russell recalls the experience of being photographed himself by McLellan almost a decade ago... plus one of Russell's favourite subjects Joey Essex! In 2016/17 he directed three celebrated music videos for The xx. He has published numerous books including Ultimate Clothing Company (2013), Ceremony (2016), The Palace (2016) and Blondey 15-21 (2019).

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Mar 20, 2020
Princess Julia

Robert & Russell meet the one-and-only legend that is Princess Julia!!!! We discuss her endless creativity across different worlds of music, fashion and art, life-drawing and her weekly trip to ‘Sketch Sesh’, her friendship with DJ Jeffry Hinton, and how she started DJing herself at queer spaces in London. We find out what it’s like to be photographed by Wolfgang Tillmans, her memories of being the coat check girl at Blitz & Taboo nightclubs, Leigh Bowery, Boy George, Jordan (a Malcolm McLaren protégé who featured in Derek Jarman’s film Jubilee) and the long lasting influence & legacy of that era. We discuss being shy, her love for Old Master paintings, emerging artists like Richard Porter and Lydia Blakley, her passion for Fashion East, modelling for Kylie Minogue, our mutual admiration for Pet Shop Boys plus her favourite performance artists including David Hoyle, Justin Vivian Bond and Christeene!! Finally discover how Robert first met Julia almost 20 years ago at the early 2000s clubs Kashpoint, Nag Nag Nag and Electrogogo resulting in a duet for Rob’s then electropop-band Temposhark. Follow @HRHPrincessJulia on Instagram and @TalkArt for photos of artworks discussed in this episode!

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Mar 13, 2020
Ima-Abasi Okon

Russell & Robert meet British artist Ima-Abasi Okon. Ima's current solo exhibition is at VOID, Derry~Londonderry and runs until 25th April 2020. This episode was recorded in July 2019 during an earlier iteration of Ima's solo exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery, London. Ima works with sculpture, sound and video to produce installations that explore exhibition-making as an exercise in syntax, adopting linguistic and grammatical structures within her installations as a way of complicating the construction of knowledge.


For the VOID iteration of the commission, a series of industrial air conditioners are adapted to become hosts for a new multi-channel sound piece comprising an existing audio track that has been slowed down. Acting as both a cooling system for the gallery and as a vehicle for the sound work, the fans perform at various speeds and durations.


In another gallery the ceiling has been partially lowered using a standardised modular system, often found within offices, retail spaces, waiting rooms and other administrative environments. The mass-produced ceiling tiles have been smeared with an invisible mixture of morphine, insulin, ultrasound gel and gold, imbuing the otherwise everyday objects with a personal, totemic charge.


Hand-crafted glass light shades, each adorned with an opulent design and filled with palm oil and Courvoisier VS Cognac, hang from the ceiling. With the introduction of these liquids, the lights emit a golden glow, further highlighting an atmospheric friction between Okon's production processes, pointing to the possibilities of magic as a sculptural act. Okon's ongoing use of oriented strand board, painted with varnish and framed with 'exotic woods' further explore how value is assigned to a given object or material through its categorisation, modes of display and origin.


Ima-Abasi Okon is currently participating in the residency programme at Rijksakademie Academy for fine arts, Amsterdam. For more about Ima’s work please visit or follow @i_a_okon. For exhibition images: @DerryVoid and @ChisenhaleGallery. Special thanks to Polly Staple & Ellen Greig at Chisenhale and Mary Cremin & Tansy Cowley at VOID. Finally, THANK YOU for listening! We love to hear your feedback. @talkart

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Mar 06, 2020
Louis Fratino

Russell and Robert meet American artist Louis Fratino in London! Drawing inspiration from personal experience and, more recently, photographic source material, Fratino makes paintings and drawings of the male body. His work includes portraits, nudes, and intimate scenes of male couples engaged in activities ranging from the mundane to the graphically sexual. The result is a body of work that is a loving and honest expression of the contemporary gay experience. With great attention to surface and color, features such as an earlobe, belly button, body hair, or the curves and planes of the body are accentuated and stylized in Fratino's work, complimenting the sensual appeal of his subject.

Born in 1993, in Annapolis, MD, Fratino received his BFA in Painting with concentration in Illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD in 2015. Recent exhibitions include Night and Day, Jeff Bailey Gallery, Hudson, NY (solo); Heirloom, Antoine Levi Gallery, Paris (solo); Youth and Beauty!, MAN Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro, Nuoro, 2018 (group); and Matisse + Fratino, Cabinet Printemps, Düsseldorf, 2018 (group). He is a recipient of a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Painting, Berlin (2015-16) and a Yale Norfolk Painting Fellowship, Norfolk, CT in 2014. Fratino lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

For more details on Louis' works, check out #LouisFratino hashtag on Instagram or visit his galleries @SikkemaJenkins (New York) or @AntoineLevi (Paris). If you've enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or email as we love hearing your feedback! @TalkArt

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Feb 28, 2020
KAWS (NYC special episode)

Talk Art NYC!!! Russell & Robert meet artist Brian Donnelly aka KAWS at his Brooklyn studio for a rare glimpse into the private world of one the world's most iconic creative figures. KAWS engages audiences far beyond the museums and galleries in which he regularly exhibits. His prolific body of influential work straddles the worlds of art and design to include paintings, murals, large-scale sculptures, street art, graphic and production design. Over the last two decades KAWS has built a successful career with work that consistently shows his formal agility as an artist, as well as his underlying wit, irreverence, and affection for our times. The nature of his work possesses a sophiticated humour and thoughtful interplay with consumer products and collaborations with global brands from DIOR (with Kim Jones), to his own, now dormant, streetwear label OriginalFake.

He often draws inspiration and appropriates from pop-culture animations to form a unique artistic vocabulary for his works across various mediums. Now admired for his larger-than-life sculptures and hardedge paintings that emphasize line and color, KAWS' cast of hybrid cartoon and human characters are perhaps the strongest examples of his exploration of humanity. KAWS has been exhibited at the Doha Fire Station Museum, National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, High Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, and the Yuz Museum in Shanghai.

Follow @KAWS on Instagram or visit If you've enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or email as we love hearing your feedback! @talkart

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Feb 21, 2020
Tai Shani

Russell & Robert meet Tai Shani, multidisciplinary British artist and joint-winner of the Turner Prize 2019. Shani’s practice encompasses performance, film, photography and sculptural installations, frequently structured around experimental texts. She is currently a Tutor in Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art.

Taking inspiration from disparate histories, narratives and characters mined from forgotten sources, Shani creates dark, fantastical worlds, brimming with utopian potential. These deeply affective works often combine rich and complex monologues with arresting, saturated installations, manifesting equally disturbing and divine images in the mind of the viewer. 

We discuss her on-going "DC: projects", developed by the artist over a four-year period and culminating in her Turner Prize nomination. The work is made up of multiple characters which explore mythical and real women in an expanded adaptation of Christine de Pizan's 1405 pioneering proto-feminist book, The Book of the City of Ladies. Shani uses the structure of an allegorical city of women to explore ‘feminine’ subjectivity and experience, through a gothic/science-fiction lens. Adopting Pizans’ medieval conception of history, where historical events, fictions and myths are entwined, "DC: projects" draws upon a host of references, tropes and characters from disparate sources, creating an elaborate world, outside of time and beyond patriarchal limits. 

Follow @TaiShani on Instagram or visit and for details of Tai's installation at Turner Prize 2019 visit @TurnerContemporary or @The_Tetley for Tai's earlier exhibition mentioned in this episode. If you've enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or email as we love hearing your feedback! @talkart

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Feb 14, 2020
Denzil Forrester

Robert & Russell meet legendary British artist Denzil Forrester. We discuss 40 years of painting, his childhood in Grenada, the impact of moving to London in 1967 aged 11, his memories of making drawings in London's dub & reggae nightclubs of the late 1970s-80s, his admiration for Jah Shaka's sound system and the drive to create paintings that documented the club scene he cherished. We learn about racially-motivated arrests of the time including Forrester's own unjust arrest as a student followed by the death of Winston Rose a few years later, a friend of Forrester’s who died while under police restraint. Forrester went on to pay tribute to Rose in a number of iconic paintings including 'Three Wicked Men' (1981), now part of Tate museum's collection, and in a recent large-scale public mural for Art on the Underground titled 'Brixton Blue' (2019). Reflective of the contemporary black experience and the racial tensions of the 1980s, the mural straddles Brixton station's entrance and depicts a Brixton street scene with the figures of a truncheon-wielding policeman, a Rastafarian ‘businessman’ holding a portable sound system and a besuited politician. We also hear how curator Matthew Higgs of White Columns, New York and fellow painter Peter Doig & TRAMPS gallery helped shine a spotlight on Forrester's paintings for a new generation.

Denzil Forrester's major solo exhibition 'Itchin & Scratchin' runs at Nottingham Contemporary until 3rd May 2020. This remarkable exhibition's wide ranging artworks roam from London to Rome and New York, from Jamaica to Cornwall. Pulsing with music and movement, these nocturnal scenes are by turns intimate and ecstatic, singular records of the Afro-Caribbean experience in Britain. Presented in partnership with Spike Island, Bristol, where it will travel to from 4 July to 6 September 2020. Follow @Nottm_Contemp and @SpikeIsland. Special thanks to @StephenFriedmanGallery's Karon Hepburn, Jonathan Horrocks and Tamsin Huxford. If you've enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or email as we love hearing your feedback! @talkart

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Feb 07, 2020
Tommaso Corvi-Mora

Robert and Russell meet leading gallerist & ceramicist Tommaso Corvi-Mora. We discuss growing up in Italy, moving to Germany for a pivotal first summer job working with Alighiero Boetti for a Bonner Kunstverein show, becoming a gallery assistant with Esther Shipper in Cologne, his early love of artist Joseph Beuys, and his longterm passion for the late Cuban-American artist Félix González-Torres. We explore collecting art, how he started his gallery in South London in the same building as Greengrassi (owned by his partner Cornelia Grassi), his representation of leading artists including Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Alvaro Barrington, Jennifer Packer, Roger Hiorns and Adam Buick. Plus we learn about his own recent artistic career making ceramics, including a number of successful exhibitions curated by fashion designer Duro Olowu. See Tommaso’s new ceramics in Collect art fair at Somerset House with Made in Britaly. Plus he’s giving a ‘Lightning Talk’ at Collect on Saturday 29th February and will also be part of Camden Arts Centre’s ‘Ceramics Circle’ event on March 8th 2020. Follow @corvimora for the gallery’s Instagram and @tcmceramics for his ceramic work! If you've enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or email as we love hearing your feedback! @talkart

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Jan 31, 2020
Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings

Russell and Robert meet artists Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings. We explore the challenges & benefits of making art as a duo, letting go of your ego when collaborating, their decision to build their own @GayBar venue where they hosted one-off events over a 4 year period in their South London studio (complete with a bouncer, actual cocktail glasses and the occasional police raid!!!). We learn what it was like travelling around the country to make ‘UK Gay Bar Directory (UKGBD)’ (2015–16) a 5 hour video archive of LGBTQ social spaces. We discuss a ‘Gay Pride float’ they designed for Art Night (2019) in Walthamstow, their film ‘Something for the Boys’ (2018) and learn about an ongoing series of detailed drawings such as ‘The Sleepers’ (2019), their admiration for Michaelangelo, and the recent desire to create frescos. Their first institutional solo exhibition ‘In My Room’ brings together film, fresco painting and works on paper @FocalPointGallery, Southend, Essex from 16th February until 31st May 2020. Special thanks to Rózsa Farkas @ArcadiaMissa London and P·P·O·W @ppowgallery New York. If you've enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or email as we love hearing your feedback!

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Jan 24, 2020
Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Russell & Robert speak with Lawrence Abu Hamdan, an artist, audio investigator and recent Turner Prize joint-winner. Lawrence's work explores ‘the politics of listening’ and the role of sound and voice within the law and human rights. He creates audiovisual installations, lecture performances, audio archives, photography and text, translating in-depth research and investigative work into affective, spatial experiences. Abu Hamdan works with human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International and Defense for Children International, and with international prosecutors to help obtain aural testimonies for legal and historical investigations. He is a member of Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths London where he received his PhD in 2017. We discuss linguistic "code-switching", making art that's accessible for everyone, the experience of being nominated for the Turner Prize (2019), why he created the work 'Earwitness Inventory' (2018) for Chisenhale, his admiration for the sound installations of Alvin Lucier, the influence of experimental DIY music scene in Leeds and what it was like growing up between Yorkshire and Jordan. Visit @TalkArt on Instagram for images of all artworks discussed in this episode, and follow @LawrenceAbuHamdan. This special episode was recorded by phone with the artist at home in Beirut and us in London. If you've enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or email as we love hearing your feedback!

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Jan 17, 2020
Grayson Perry CBE

Talk Art returns for Season 4!! Robert & Russell meet Grayson Perry CBE, the legendary English artist, Royal Academician, writer and broadcaster. Best known for his ceramic vases, tapestries and cross-dressing, as well as his observations of the contemporary arts scene, and for dissecting British "prejudices, fashions and foibles". We discuss Essex & the 'Cockney diaspora', the relationship between his collages & pots, transvestism, inviting fashion students at St Martin's to create dresses for his persona Claire, his admiration for fashion designers like Manish Arora & Alessandro Michele, iconic women like Countess Raine Spencer, why he enjoys making limited editions & multiples, his childhood teddy bear Alan Measles and a recent trip to USA to make a new documentary about the political & social divide. We find out about his marriage to Philippa Perry, why he loves cycling & collecting motorbikes, historical influences such as 15th century plates & pottery, Folk art, Outsider art, Islamic ceramics but also living artists he admires such as Mark Bradford and Jonas Wood, plus Grayson shares some advice for emerging artists. Visit @TalkArt on Instagram for images of all artworks discussed in this episode, and follow Grayson @AlanMeasles. Special thanks to Matt Carey-Williams and Kathy Stephenson @VictoriaMiroGallery. If you've enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or email as we love hearing your feedback!

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Jan 10, 2020
London Hughes (Live at London Podcast Festival)

It’s the holidays... and our gift to you is the gift of laughter!!! What better way to celebrate Christmas than to chat (and laugh lots) with our dear friend LONDON HUGHES??!! London is a pioneer, rebel and renaissance woman: stand-up comedian, presenter (Alan Carr was her early mentor), podcaster (Spotify's 'London Actually'), actor ('Fleabag') and now screenwriter with a forthcoming USA TV series for NBC (which she will star in too). Discover why her childhood nickname was ‘The Young Picasso’ and why her favourite Picasso paintings are ‘Weeping Woman’, and ’La Reve’. We discuss how she came to admire the paintings of Jackson Pollock, a painting ‘Sugar Shack’ by Ernie Barnes that her family had a print of in their household as she was growing up, we learn about her father's adoption by a white family in London and why London’s least favourite art form is photography. We discuss the art of comedy, Richard Pryor, Whoopi Goldberg, her friendship with Lenny Henry and discover many comedians also make art including Harry Hill & Noel Fielding and she introduces us to the work of pop sculptor Fred Allard and how she tried (and failed) to buy one of his sculptures. London explains why her favourite museum is the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice and her admiration for Peggy’s support of then-unknown artists!! This episode was recorded live at Kings Place for the London Podcast Festival, on Sunday 8th September 2019. Follow @thelondonhughes and visit @talkart for images of artworks discussed in this episode. Thanks for listening this year! Talk Art will return in January 2020 with Season 4.

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Dec 26, 2019
Joyce Pensato (NYC special episode)

This special episode of Talk Art is an interview with the late, great, legendary artist Joyce Pensato. Joyce was one of Russell & Robert’s favourite painters, who in recent years became a close friend to both. We were honoured to be invited by Joyce to visit her in New York on 28th May 2019 to record what became her last interview. We discuss growing up in Brooklyn, the encouragement of her father (an outsider artist who often made her toys), her love of German Expressionism in her teens but also Gauguin and Van Gogh, of whom she made a clay sculpture of which she would carry on the subway to show people. Joyce explains how Hollywood movies & pop culture had a lasting impact on her work, her love of Coney Island, meeting fellow painter Christopher Wool, painting with black & white enamel paint, how Christopher’s father Ira Wool became the first champion and collector of her paintings followed by exhibitions in Paris and further support from French collectors.

She discusses a recent sculpture inspired by Big Ang (the US mafia “Mob moll” and reality TV star), her love of the movie Rocky and how Sylvester Stallone began collecting her work, why she had a nickname of ‘The Eraser’, her beloved dog Charlie, her key 1970s mentors & painting teachers Mercedes Matter and Joan Mitchell, how Thea Westreich championed her work in the 80s, her love of the works of Georg Grosz, Edvard Munch and Francis Bacon.

We also chat with artist Elizabeth Ferry who ran Joyce’s studio for the past ten years and hear how they became known collectively as The Fizz & The Cucumber!!! Joyce set up the ‘Joyce Pensato Foundation’ to support future generations of young artists. For images of images discussed in this episode visit Instagram @talkart and @joycepensato. We love you Joyce! The Fizz is fizzing!!

“I feel like I’m in the painting. We are one. I totally love to be physical. It’s in me.” Joyce Pensato, 1941-2019.

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Dec 20, 2019
Haroon Mirza

Robert & Russell meet British artist Haroon Mirza, best known for installations that test the interplay and friction between sound, light waves and electric current. He devises sculptures, performances and immersive installations, such as The National Apavillion of Then and Now (2011) – an anechoic chamber with a circle of light that grows brighter in response to increasing drone, and completely dark when there is silence. An advocate of interference (in the sense of electro-acoustic or radio disruption), he creates situations that purposefully cross wires. He describes his role as a composer, manipulating electricity, a live, invisible and volatile phenomenon, to make it dance to a different tune and calling on instruments as varied as household electronics, vinyl and turntables, LEDs, furniture, video footage and existing artworks to behave differently. Processes are left exposed and sounds occupy space in an unruly way, testing codes of conduct and charging the atmosphere. Mirza asks us to reconsider the perceptual distinctions between noise, sound and music, and draws into question the categorisation of cultural forms. "All music is organised sound or organised noise," he says. "So as long as you’re organising acoustic material, it’s just the perception and the context that defines it as music or noise or sound or just a nuisance" (2013).

Mirza's major solo exhibition 'Waves and Forms' is at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton until 11th January 2020. The show highlights the artist’s ongoing exploration of waveforms: how they are perceived, the emotional and physical responses they create and the various ways in which we relate to them. 

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Dec 13, 2019
Jon Key (NYC special episode)

Talk Art New York!!!! Russell & Robert meet multidisciplinary artist Jon Key. Key is a queer black man originally from the small rural town Seale, Alabama now living and working in Bushwick, NY. A writer, designer and painter, his work excavates the lineage and history of his identity through four themes: Southerness, Blackness, Queerness, and Family. Through the process of writing, photography and painting, Jon’s work is portrayed graphically through four colours: Green, Black, Violet and Red. Respectively, these colours intertwine memory and intimate recounting of the four pillars grounding the work.

We discuss his breakthrough 2019 solo show at Rubber Factory, followed by the group show 'Punch' at Jeffrey Deitch NY curated by artist Nina Chanel Abney (who collects Jon's work), his twin Jarrett Key (@jar.key, also a painter & performance artist), why he frequently paints self portraits and making the series of work 'Man in the Violet Suit' as a response to the 2016 Orlando USA shooting at the Pulse queer nightclub. We discuss his graphic design work with @MorcosKey (with Wael Morcos) for brands such as Nike, MoMA, New York Times, and his love of artists including Klimt, Picasso’s blue paintings, Charles White, Romare Bearden's collages, art directing influential black queer LGBTQ lifestyle magazine 'The Tenth'. Jon is a co-founder and the design director of Codify Art, a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist collective whose mission is to create, produce, and showcase work that foregrounds the voices of people of colour, highlighting women and queer people of colour.

You can see Jon’s paintings this weekend in Miami at Untitled Art Fair at Steven Turner LA's booth, running until 8th December .

Follow Jon on Instagram @jkey13 or visit his website to learn more. View images of all artworks discussed in this episode @talkart. If you enjoy listening to Talk Art, please leave us a review at Apple Podcasts or drop us a line

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Dec 06, 2019
Helen Cammock (Live in London)

Talk Art Live in London! Russell & Robert meet British artist Helen Cammock, nominated for the Turner Prize 2019 and winner of the 2018 Max Mara Arts Prize for Women. This special episode was recorded live in front of a sold-out audience at Art Assembly in Walthamstow, organised by Art Fund and the National Art Pass. Learn more at:

Helen Cammock works across film, photography, poetry, spoken word, song, printmaking and installation. We discuss 'The Long Note' (2018), her film that celebrates the involvement of women in the civil rights movement in Derry in 1968. Originally commissioned by Void Derry to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first civil rights march in Derry, Northern Ireland.

Cammock produces works stemming from a deeply involved research process that explore the complexities of social histories. Central to her practice is the voice: the uncovering of marginalised voices within history, the question of who speaks on behalf of whom and on what terms, as well as how her own voice reflects in different ways on the stories explored in her work. Cammock’s practice is characterised by fragmented, non-linear narratives. Her work makes leaps between different places, times and contexts, forcing viewers to acknowledge complex global relations and the inextricable connection between the individual and society.

You can view Cammock's film 'The Long Note' and a room of screen prints as part of the Turner Prize exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate until January 12th 2020. Free entry!

Recorded live on stage at the Mirth, Marvel & Maud venue on Saturday 23rd November 2019, part of this awesome brand new one-day festival! Follow @ArtFund on Instagram and @TalkArt for images of all artworks discussed in this episode. Use #TalkArtPodcast and #ArtAssembly to tag us in your posts & stories from the day and we'll share our favourites!

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Nov 29, 2019
Caroline Coon

WARNING: this episode of Talk Art contains strong language! Russell & Robert meet legendary English artist Caroline Coon. We discuss 50 years of painting in Ladbroke Grove, feminism, her longterm political activism, the importance of being socially conscious, decriminalising sex work, growing up in Kent, punk rock, managing The Clash & writing for Melody Maker in the 1970s. We explore the influence of artist Pauline Boty who helped found British Pop art, and was the only female painter in the movement, inheriting Boty's paints after her early death at the age of 28, and we consider the lasting power of painting but also ceramics and artworks made by hand. Her first solo exhibition ‘Caroline Coon: The Great Offender' was held in 2018 at The Gallery Liverpool, followed by her current first solo London exhibition at TRAMPS (running until 22nd December 2019) curated by artist Peter Doig & curator Parinaz Magadassi. The works span the 1980’s to 2019, demonstrating how Coon, in her explicit social and political commentary, has made art that rebels against binary conceptions of gender and challenges orthodoxy in ways that are particularly relevant today. The exhibition travels to TRAMPS New York, in Spring 2020. Art historian Maria Elena Buszek, in her catalogue essay for the exhibition, writes: “Artist, writer and activist Caroline Coon is one of the towering ‘disappeared’ women of her generation; she was a catalyst and witness to some of the most critical moments of art, music, and politics, only to see her participation muted and marginalised, and her male contemporaries canonised.” Learn more at and Special thanks to Martin Green.

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Nov 22, 2019
David Dawson (on Lucian Freud)

Russell & Robert meet artist David Dawson for a private, after-hours tour of 'Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits', the breathtaking new exhibition he has curated at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. We discuss being assistant/head of studio for the last 20 years of Freud's life, Leigh Bowery, going to Taboo nightclub, Freud's early drawings and paintings inspired by surrealism, his grandfather Sigmund Freud and how Freud got all his information for his paintings from looking. We explore Freud's friendships with Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach, what it's like to be a nude model for Freud's paintings - Dawson was subject in 7 paintings and 1 etching - and discover how Freud protected his own privacy and his unparalleled discipline of painting 7 days a week, every day of the year! We learn about David's own painting of urban landscapes and also his photography including timeless portraits of Freud. Follow David on Instagram @davidelidawson and see images of all artworks discussed in this episode @talkart. Special thanks to Alexandra Bradley at the RA @royalacademyarts.

We strongly recommend visiting this exhibition. 'Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits' runs until 26 January 2020 and is in the RA's smaller, Sackler Wing of galleries and they expect demand to be high. To ensure the best possible experience, all visitors (including Friends of RA) must book a timed ticket to see this show.

In a world first, more than 50 paintings, prints and drawings are brought together by this modern master of British art. One of the most celebrated portraitists of our time, Lucian Freud is also one of very few 20th century artists who portrayed themselves with such consistency. Spanning nearly seven decades, his self-portraits give a fascinating insight into both his psyche and his development as a painter – from his earliest portrait, painted in 1939, to his final one executed 64 years later. They trace the fascinating evolution from the linear graphic works of his early career to the fleshier, painterly style he became synonymous with.

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Nov 15, 2019
Sir Ian McKellen CBE

Russell & Robert meet iconic British actor Sir Ian McKellen CBE at his home in East London. We have a private tour of Ian’s art collection including stunning works by L.S. Lowry, David Hockney, Andrew Logan, textile artist John Allen and an Antony Gormley cast iron figure he chose to display in the River Thames at the end of his garden! We learn about Ian’s childhood in Bolton and how his father’s natural talent for art meant Ian chose a different way to express himself on stage and screen! However his own passion for art led him to buy a work to commemorate every part he’s played around the world and he even set up an artist residency in the house next-door. Ian remembers Andy Warhol taking his photo at The Factory in 1970s New York (& buying a screen print of Mick Jagger), being painted twice by his longterm friend David Hockney and why he sees the paintings of L.S. Lowry as stage sets. We also discuss the 20 portraits of Ian at the National Portrait Gallery collection by artists as varied as Cecil Beaton, Lord Snowdon, Mary McCartney, Trevor Leighton and Clive Smith who won the BP Award from the National Portrait Gallery and was given the commission to paint McKellen for their collection. Whilst, Christian Hook painted McKellen in the final episode of Portrait Artist of the Year on TV and won the prize also! Plus, find out which legendary Hollywood actor is also a secret painter - Ian owns not one, but two, of his colourful paintings!! ‘The Good Liar’ starring Sir Ian & Dame Helen Mirren (and our very own Russell Tovey!!) is out today in UK cinemas. Follow Ian on Instagram @IanMcKellen and the film at @GoodLiarMovie. If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review at Apple Podcasts and visit @TalkArt for images of all artworks discussed in this episode.

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Nov 08, 2019
Alvaro Barrington & Teresa Farrell

Robert & Russell meet artists Teresa Farrell and Alvaro Barrington (Tt x AB) at their joint show at Emalin gallery, East London. Titled 'TALL BOYS & A DOUBLE ESPRESSO', the exhibition celebrates creative collaboration and the importance of friendships/conversation when making art. We discuss how the duo first met at Hunter college and the ways they continue to inspire, critique and challenge each other to grow as artists. We discuss being a contrarian, hosting live music, art performances and even dancing within the gallery context to build and expand community. We explore concepts within Alvaro's concurrent solo at Sadie Coles gallery, London 'GARVEY: SEX LOVE NURTURING FAMALAY' and how Teresa's advice helped Alvaro work out certain paintings for that exhibition. As well the extending future exhibitions at further galleries including Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris and Corvi Mora, London inspired by the writing of Marcus Garvey, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Special thanks to Emalin gallery's Leopold Thun and Angelina Volk @emalinofficial. For images of all artworks discussed in this episode, please visit @talkart on Instagram. Follow Teresa @tuh_nesta and Alvaro @alvarobarrington.

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Nov 01, 2019
Michael Stipe

Robert & Russell meet music icon Michael Stipe, best known as lead singer of R.E.M. We discuss his lifelong love of taking photographs (more than 37,000 so far), his childhood Nikon camera (a gift from his father), self-portraits, making sculptures, his friendship with Patti Smith, meeting members of the Beat Generation such as Allen Ginsberg & William Burroughs and why he dislikes his own handwriting. We explore his recent collaboration with Sam Taylor-Johnson on the video for his new solo single ‘Your Capricious Soul’ (which is also raising funds for charity Extinction Rebellion), his admiration for artist/poet John Giorno, British poet Edith Sitwell, photographers Robert Mapplethorpe and Wolfgang Tillmans, sculptors Bernini and Brancusi, meeting Andy Warhol (and buying one of Warhol’s Polaroid cameras), a moving story related to the play Angels in America, why German artist Hans Haacke is one of his greatest heroes and the last impact of his early Athens relationship with artist Jeremy Ayres.

Michael’s new book of photography ‘Our Interference Times: A Visual Record’ is available now. We also recommend his earlier book ‘Volume 1’ (both published by Damiani, 2019 & 2018). His first solo single ‘Your Capricious Soul’ can be downloaded as a bundle with video and artwork exclusively from and you can follow his former band (and the 25th anniversary of their album Monster) on Instagram @rem

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Oct 24, 2019
Jamian Juliano-Villani (NYC special episode)

It's Talk Art's ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! Russell & Robert meet American painter Jamian Juliano-Villani in her Brooklyn studio to discuss topics as varied as being a noisy neighbour, Weezer's Green Album, an encyclopedic knowledge of both music & art history, watching Live Leak to stay tough, political correctness, a childhood growing up in her parents silk-screening factory printing merchandise for pop bands, her friendships with NYC artists Brian Belott, Billy Grant & Borna Sammak, her favourite artists including Mario Merz (and Arte Povera), Chilean painter Roberto Matta, Ivan Albright, Allen Jones, Walter Price and Ashley Bickerton, plus we explore her extensive & entertaining lists of potential topics for future paintings!!! Thanks to everyone who has been listening to Talk Art over the past year!! Visit Jamian at Instagram @psychojonkanoo and view images of artworks we discussed in this episode @talkart. Jamian is represented by JTT Gallery @jtt_nyc - check out our interview with JTT founder Jasmin Tsou from earlier this season! This episode was recorded in New York at the end of May 2019 while Jamian was finishing painting new works for recent solo show 'Let's Kill Nicole' for Massimo De Carlo Gallery, London.

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Oct 17, 2019
Kembra Pfahler

Russell & Robert meet legendary American performance artist and musician Kembra Pfahler. We discuss growing up in California, her early performance art installations in 1980s Lower East Side (including sleeping in a storefront window for The Extremist Show at ABC No Rio), the impact of the AIDS crisis and how forming her band The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black helped transform her life. We chat about Availabism (a term coined by Kembra - making the best of what's available), Future Feminism, drawing, body paint, Punk rock, her respect for artists Karen Finley, David Wojnarowicz and experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger, the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, collaborating with Lou Reed & Laurie Anderson, being taught by Mary Heilmann and Lorraine O'Grady, and the influence of her later relationship with art dealer Colin De Land. We hear about her recent teaching role at Columbia University, championing interdisciplinary art, her friendship with musician/artist Christeene, collaborating with Rick Owens for a show later this year at Centre Pompidou and working on a solo booth with Emalin gallery at Frieze London 2019. We love Kembra so much!!! Follow Kembra at Instagram @KembraPfahler_ and check out @TalkArt for images of artworks discussed in this episode.

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Oct 10, 2019
Vik Muniz (Live in London)

Talk Art Live in London, with Ruinart! Russell & Robert meet Vik Muniz, the superstar Brazilian artist best-known for his complex photography made with a diverse range of materials including sugar, toys, diamonds and even trash to recreate and interpret famous images, such as the 'Mona Lisa' (which he executed in peanut butter and jelly), or a Picasso (created entirely with raw paint pigment). Muniz taps into our collective memory of known and recognisable images and artworks. With a wry and canny combination of high and low, Muniz uses the photograph not in the traditional sense, as a recording of reality, but instead as a document of his illusion. Recorded live in front of an audience at Soho House Greek Street on 1st October 2019, we discuss his new Ruinart collaboration 'Shared Roots' on display this week at Frieze Art Fair in London. As well as looking back to his childhood dyslexia, drawing cartoon clouds in the Manhattan sky (using a modified crop-dusting plane) and his legendary 'Verso' series in which Muniz recreates the back panels of world famous paintings like Van Gogh’s 'Starry Night' or Vermeer’s 'The Girl with a Pearl Earring'. We discover why he decided to work with photography following a life-changing shooting which led to him moving to New York to become an artist. For more details please visit @ruinart #SharedRoots @vikmuniz @talkart at Instagram!

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Oct 03, 2019
Jasmin Tsou (NYC special episode)

Talk Art New York!!! Russell & Robert visit NYC to meet gallerist Jasmin Tsou (JTT Gallery). We discover why she set up her Lower East Side gallery in 2012, initially exhibiting her peers, but soon expanding her program to include emerging artists in a climate that she describes as ‘scary and intimidating.’ Tsou has a very collaborative approach: ongoing conversations with colleagues have shaped JTT’s program and remain at the heart of her activity as a gallerist. We explore the work of her artists Marlon Mullen, Diane Simpson, Issy Wood, Jamian Juliano-Villani & Borna Sammak. For more details visit and view images of artworks discussed in this episode on our Instagram @talkart.

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Sep 26, 2019
Katherine Bernhardt (NYC special episode)

Talk Art NEW YORK!!! Russell & Robert meet painter Katherine Bernhardt in the BIG APPLE. We discuss her early paintings of ET, growing up in St Louis, a teenage exchange trip to Portugal & Morocco that led to a love of ceramics & berber rugs, before eventually moving to Chicago & New York to study art. We explore her love of Georgia O'Keeffe, Chris Ofili, Laura Owens, Stanley Whitney & Mary Heilmann, why she started to paint Pink Panther & Garfield, her recent experiences exhibiting in Tokyo, making tiles & plates in Guadalajara and why she chose to renovate a new painting studio in Puerto Rico. We discuss her large-scale murals, furniture-making, visiting legendary artist Louise Bourgeois at her studio, painting a portrait for rapper icon Drake and her friendship with artist Brian Belott. Plus listen to the first ever Talk Art karaoke!!! View more images at KB's Instagram @KBernhardt2014 and @TalkArt.

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Sep 19, 2019
Wong Ping

Russell & Robert meet artist Wong Ping at Camden Arts Centre, London for a special tour around his solo exhibition 'Heart Digger'. Wong Ping creates digital and sculptural works that reveal very human, often universal fantasies, through absurd narratives. Drawing from his own social encounters, he elaborates his stories into dark humorous tales that touch on political and cultural anxieties. Digitally rendered in a seductive technicolour language, they recall the modernism of Fernand Leger, the pop language of Tom Wesselman or Allen Jones, and the design aesthetic of The Memphis Group and early 1980s video games. These simple but seductive animations also disguise a deeper critique of technology.

Wong Ping is the inaugural recipient of Camden Art Centre’s new Emerging Artist Prize at Frieze (2018). The Prize was established in collaboration with Frieze Art Fair, as part of Camden Arts Centre’s commitment to nurturing and celebrating the most innovative artists of the moment, who have yet to receive the recognition their work deserves. The annual prize awards an artist exhibiting in the Focus section of Frieze London with an exhibition at Camden Art Centre.

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Sep 12, 2019
Hans-Ulrich Obrist

We're back! Talk Art Season 3!! Robert & Russell meet one of the world's most celebrated & iconic curators Hans-Ulrich Obrist. Best known for his groundbreaking work as Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries, London, Obrist has curated shows by many of our favourite artists as wide-ranging as Rebecca Warren, Faith Ringgold, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Wolfgang Tillmans, Etel Adnan, Phyllida Barlow, Marina Abramović, Yoko Ono and many, many more. We discuss his childhood passion of reading books, an early exploration of curating and collecting art postcards, the impact of meeting Alighiero E Boetti in his mid teens and his first group exhibition (curated in his kitchen) with artists including Christian Boltanski and Fishli & Weiss. We discuss memory in art, the importance of listening, an ongoing exhibition ‘Do It’ started in 1993 that has since been realised in more than 160 museums across the world as well as the more recent 'It's Urgent' billboard international art poster project. We learn how he has been addressing the challenge of bringing art to as many people as possible (including a notable recent collaboration with Arthur Jafa) as well as his early interest of bringing together art & science, the legacy of curator Lucy Lippard, of caring for the environment and the importance of taking ecology to the centre stage.

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Sep 05, 2019
Raven Smith

Russell & Robert meet British Vogue columnist & writer Raven Smith. We discover his definition of an Art Bro, the crossover between art & fashion, wandering through the Venice Biennale 2019, seeing a live performance by Rose McGowan, getting caught up in another performance where Raven had to hold a broom handle, drawing David Hockney’s paintings aged 6, writing his first book ‘Trivial Pursuits’ in Berlin (a collection of irreverent essays on modern life to be published in 2020) and why he chose to travel recently to Egypt. Check out Raven's hilarious Instagram account @raven__smith. Thanks for listening! Series 2 has been SO fun to record. We will return very soon with Series 3. For all images and latest updates please visit instagram @talkart. You can buy tickets NOW for a special live Talk Art recording at Kings Place on Sunday 8th September 2019 for London Podcast Festival. Our guest will be AWESOME comedian London Hughes.

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Aug 22, 2019
Edinburgh Art Festival - Part 2

Part 2 of a very special Talk Art episode diving deep into Edinburgh's creative scene, in partnership with Bombay Sapphire. Celebrating a decade since Russell & Robert first met at the Scottish National Gallery, the duo return to Edinburgh to uncover hidden gems of the city's art festival through a series of conversations with leading artists, curators and gallerists.

Part 2:

  • Stuart Fallon - TALBOT RICE GALLERY

"Edinburgh's creative and cultural scene is completely unique," says Russell Tovey. "Robert and I couldn't wait to go back - especially having first met there ten years ago - to discover more about the city off the beaten track through the eyes of its artists and creatives."

"We hope it inspires people to tap into their own creativity and discover the creative possibilities that Edinburgh has to offer," adds Robert.

Recorded and released during the city's busiest cultural month, the collaboration was inspired by Discover The Possibilities Within, a new campaign which aims to aims to awaken the creative spirit in everyone. Please download a special map of our Edinburgh highlights from instagram @BombaySapphireUK and visit @TalkArt for images of all artworks discussed in this episode.

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Aug 20, 2019
Edinburgh Art Festival - Part 1

Part 1 of a very special Talk Art episode diving deep into Edinburgh's creative scene, in partnership with Bombay Sapphire. Celebrating a decade since Russell & Robert first met at the Scottish National Gallery, the duo return to Edinburgh to uncover hidden gems of the city's art festival through a series of conversations with leading artists, curators and gallerists.

Part 1:

  • Claire Feeley, JUPITER ARTLAND
  • Laura Simpson & Lesley Young, EDINBURGH SCULPTURE WORKSHOP
  • Adam Benmahklouf - Artist, Educator and Art Editor of THE SKINNY

"Edinburgh's creative and cultural scene is completely unique," says Russell, "Robert and I couldn't wait to go back - especially having first met there ten years ago - to discover more about the city off the beaten track through the eyes of its artists and creatives."

"We hope it inspires people to tap into their own creativity and discover the creative possibilities that Edinburgh has to offer" adds Robert.

Recorded and released during the city's busiest cultural month, the collaboration was inspired by Discover The Possibilities Within, a new campaign which aims to aims to awaken the creative spirit in everyone. Please download a special map of our Edinburgh highlights from instagram @BombaySapphireUK and visit @TalkArt for images of all artworks discussed in this episode. Part 2 will be released very soon!

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Aug 16, 2019
Lena Dunham

Russell & Robert meet superstar actress, writer, director & keen watercolourist Lena Dunham in her London hotel room for a feature-length Talk Art exclusive! We discuss painting ‘en plein air’ & embracing nature in Wales this Summer, what it was like growing up as daughter of two legendary artists Laurie Simmons & Carroll Dunham and remembering New York as a child during the 1980s AIDS crisis. We learn about Lena’s favourite artists including Lisa Yuskavage, Ellen Birkenblit, Lee Krasner, Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) & Lucy Jones, her childhood admiration for John Waters, Steve Martin and teen crush on Leonardo DiCaprio, working with Brad Pitt in the new Tarantino movie, her friendship with Hollywood icon Demi Moore and why she recently got new tattoos of her parent's and sibling Cyrus' names. Lena reveals her admiration for Madonna's latest album, obsession with recent British TV series Love Island, TOWIE star Gemma Collins, pop band S Club 7 and describes a recent visit to Derek Jarman’s house in Dungeoness. Note to EVERYONE everywhere - please don’t call Lena "M’Lady".... a more preferable nickname is "Lena D"!!!!

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Aug 08, 2019
John Booth

Russell & Robert meet London–based artist, illustrator, ceramicist and textile designer John Booth. Best-known for his graphic works featuring multi–layered collages of textures and colours, Booth draws inspiration from artists including Karel Appel and Betty Woodman as well as from retro children’s playgrounds and postmodern Italian designers.

Born in Scotland in 1984 and raised in Cumbria, Booth moved to London in 2004, where he graduated with a BA in fashion print design at Central Saint Martins in 2009. He has since taught as a lecturer both at Central Saint Martins as well as at the University of Westminster. Booth has worked for several fashion brands including Zandra Rhodes, John Galliano, Ashish, Christopher Shannon, Lou Dalton and most recently, Globetrotter and FENDI.

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Aug 01, 2019
Deborah Frances-White (Live at Latitude Festival)

Talk Art's LIVE PREMIERE recorded at the Latitude Festival on Sunday 21st July 2019. Russell & Robert meet Deborah Frances-White, the iconic comedian and Guilty Feminist herself. We discuss growing up in Australia, studying at Oxford University, collecting art, feminism and creativity. We mention the Help Refugees charity in this episode. To learn more please visit:

Special thanks to the Festival Republic team, in particular Kirsty Victoria Taylor, for inviting us to perform at Latitude. Big thanks to Deborah for being our first ever live guest and for the very entertaining yet deeply profound interview.

If you enjoyed this live episode, Talk Art returns to the stage on Sunday 8th September 2019 for the London Podcast Festival in Kings Cross. Tickets are on sale now from Kings Place

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Jul 25, 2019
Jamie Hawkesworth

Russell & Robert meet leading documentary and fashion photographer Jamie Hawkesworth. We discuss Milton Avery, forensic photography, the power of natural light, a dedication to analogue cameras, taking Kate Moss’ portrait in India and documenting landscapes of Antarctica. We learn about Jamie’s early project 'Preston Bus Station' and explore his later collaborations with JW Anderson for Loewe and exhibitions at The Hepworth Wakefield and Huis Marseille, Amsterdam; the latter showing a mix of his personal as well as his commercial photography. Jamie reveals his admiration for photographers William Christenberry, Jem Southam & William Eggleston and for land artist Michael Heizer - who invited Jamie to take his portrait in the Nevada desert at Heizer’s mythical, monumental, as-yet-unseen 'City' (an ongoing land artwork that began in 1972 and will finally be publicly opened in 2020).

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Jul 18, 2019
Rose Wylie

Russell & Robert meet painter Rose Wylie, one of their all-time art heroes, at her Kent home-studio where she’s painting for a New York solo show opening later this year at David Zwirner. We discuss the impact of film on her painting including Gus Van Sant, why the early paintings of Cezanne are the greatest, painting people she respects such as Serena & Venus Williams, alchmey bottles, helping frogs cross the road, wild roses and letting your garden grow free. We learn about her longterm working relationship with Jari Lager & Union Gallery (now Choi & Lager) and her respect for artists such as Tal R, Alida Cervantes, Sam Doyle, Faith Ringgold, Kerry James Marhsall, Neo Rauch, David Hockney and Katherine Bernhardt.

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Jul 11, 2019
Raimund Berthold

Russell & Robert meet Austrian-born fashion designer Raimund Berthold. A graduate of Central St Martins, Raimund spent four years working with leading fashion houses in London & New York including Alexander McQueen & Vivienne Westwood before launching BERTHOLD in 2009, the London-based gender-neutral eponymous clothing brand for the makers and shapers of culture. We discuss what it's like growing up in a ski resort, how art influences his collections, the joy of collecting, and living with, art. We learn about Raimund’s favourite artists including Wolfgang Tillmans, Isa Genzken, Rebecca Warren, Magali Reus, Phyllida Barlow, Sarah Lucas, Klara Lidén, Jordan Wolfson and more. Plus in an exciting, unexpected turn, Raimund turns the tables on Rob & Russ and interviews them with 4 special questions at the end of the episode! 

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Jul 04, 2019
Janet Street-Porter CBE

Robert & Russell meet broadcasting legend Janet Street-Porter CBE at her home in East London. We discuss reading & self improvement, comic strip art, her godmother who was a big influence in her teenage years, French cinema & the films of Jean Cocteau, her favourite composers including JS Bach and Philip Glass as well as a memorable Gustav Metzger performance that she saw whilst studying at the Architectural Association. We learn about Janet’s favourite art including Jake & Dinos Chapman’s Goya-inspired etchings, Pop Art, Joe Tilson, Allen Jones, Richard Hamilton, Michael Craig-Martin, Grayson Perry, Patrick Caulfield, Jim Dine, Ed Rusha, Hamish Fulton, Gary Hume and H.C. Westermann. We also view a previously-unseen series of 6 portraits of Janet painted by Damien Hirst.

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Jun 27, 2019
Billy Childish

Robert & Russell meet legendary painter, musician and poet Billy Childish. We discuss white suits, Dada, a Kurt Schwitters-inspired tattoo, punk rock, Van Gogh and why he got expelled from studying at Saint Martins in 1980. We find out about his friendship with Peter Doig, relationship with Tracey Emin, his breakthrough exhibitions with curator Matthew Higgs at not-for-profit art space White Columns (New York) & the ICA (London) and how he started to work with leading Berlin gallery Neugerriemschneider. Billy’s solo exhibition of new paintings at Carl Freedman Gallery, Margate runs until 25th August 2019, free entry. For images of Billy's paintings, please visit Instagram: @carlfreedmangallery and @talkart

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Jun 20, 2019
John Stezaker

Robert & Russell meet British artist John Stezaker. World-renowned for his collages, we discover how he chooses his source material - typically old film stills, vintage postcards, or Hollywood headshots. In a world saturated by images, Stezaker's manipulations create space both physically and metaphorically for alternative interpretations, for exploring the seams and fissures of the visual world.

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Jun 13, 2019
Zoe Bedeaux

Talk Art returns! To kick off Season 2, Russell & Robert meet Zoe Bedeaux, the multi-disciplinary artist, poet, super-stylist and creative shapeshifter. We discuss harlequins, Picasso, Irving Penn and Louise Nevelson. Whilst learning about Zoe's collaborations with iconic image makers Judy Blame, Ray Petri and more recently leading photographers Juergen Teller and Tim Walker. You can view Zoe's film work 'From The Mouth of Babes Speak I' at Somerset House in London as part of a major new exhibition 'Get Up, Stand Up Now' until 15th September 2019. The show celebrates the past 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond. @zoebedeaux @talkart

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Jun 06, 2019
Zawe Ashton

Welcome to the final episode of Season 1! Robert & Russell meet leading actress, writer & director Zawe Ashton, author of new book 'Character Breakdown' and who initially came to prominence as Vod in Channel 4's Fresh Meat. We discuss Zawe's recent leading film role in art-world satire Velvet Buzzsaw (in which she starred alongside Renee Russo & Jake Gyllenhaal). We learn about artworks that Zawe has connected with over the years including photographer Deana Lawson, Andreas Gursky and Kerry James Marshall, what she learned by interviewing legendary American performance artist Lorraine O’Grady for the Tate, and we discover why she researched the art of Tracey Emin while building her art dealer character for current stage performance in Harold Pinter's Betrayal on London's West End (which will soon travel to Broadway, New York). Thank you for listening to Season 1. We will be back soon with more exciting interviews. Please message us at Instagram @talkart and let us know which episode you loved most from the first series. Thanks for listening. Art for everyone!!

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May 23, 2019
Phyllida Barlow CBE

Robert & Russell meet British sculptor Phyllida Barlow CBE at the Royal Academy of Arts for an hour-long private tour of her current solo exhibition 'cul-de-sac'. World-renowned for using materials such as plaster, cardboard, scrim and cement, which turn the conventions of traditional sculpture on its head. We discuss her best-known works including the Tate Britain Commission 2014, and her installation for the 2017 Venice Biennale British Pavilion, where she represented the UK.

Listen in as we experience entirely new sculptures by the artist in the RA's Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries. Towering above like seemingly precarious structures, these giant site-specific works both test and take inspiration from the gallery’s architecture. In the form of a “cul-de-sac”, with only one way in and out, it gives visitors the freedom to find their way between them.

Alongside her own work, Barlow had a long career as a fine art teacher, including Professor of Fine Art and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Slade until 2009, and Chelsea College of Art and Design before that. She was elected as a Royal Academician in 2011 and was also part of last year’s Selection Committee for the 250th Summer Exhibition. Barlow is represented by Hauser & Wirth.

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May 16, 2019
Luke Evans

Russell & Robert meet leading actor Luke Evans, star of Beauty and the Beast, The Hobbit, Girl on the Train and Dracula Untold. We discuss collecting art while he's filming in different locations around the world, his friendship with iconic artist duo Gilbert & George, learning to draw in charcoal for his leading role in The Alienist and fond memories of growing up in Aberbargoed, in the south of Wales. We find out what Luke thought of recent exhibitions in London by Martin Parr and Phyllida Barlow, whilst learning how he was invited by Grayson Perry to be on the committee for this year's Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition. For more on Luke, follow his instagram: @thereallukeevans Don’t forget to leave us a review at Apple if you enjoy this new episode!

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May 09, 2019
Zadie XA

Russell & Robert meet Zadie XA, a Korean-Canadian artist with a strong focus on 'making', combining and exploring her own identity through film and performance, textiles and painting. We discover more about her technicolour universe including an upcoming performance at the Venice Biennale 2019, a mutual love of dogs (especially Rocky), shamanism, hip hop and performative style, the Yin/Yang symbol, ‘crits’ at art school and what it was like being an international student at Royal College of Art and so much more! Art Night, London’s nocturnal contemporary art festival have commissioned a new performance by Zadie in Walthamstow (the Mayor’s first London Borough of Culture) on the evening of 22 June 2019. More details: or at Instagram: @ZadieXA. Don’t forget to leave us a review at Apple if you enjoy this new episode!

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May 02, 2019
David Shrigley OBE

Robert & Russell meet David Shrigley OBE, one of the UK’s most loved and respected artists whose hilarious and disturbing doodles, sculptures and anecdotes depict the world as an absurd place. We discuss wide-ranging topics such as worms, tattoos, Dada, taxidermy, making art books and being nominated for the Turner Prize. Whilst further exploring art as therapy, living in Brighton, songwriting, drawing dogs and what it’s like to have internationally recognised handwriting. Plus discover what David's wrestling name would be, if he were a champion wrestler!! Please leave us a review and rating if you’ve enjoyed this episode! For images of all works discussed in this episode, visit our Instagram @TalkArt 

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Apr 25, 2019
Gavin Turk

Robert & Russell meet leading artist Gavin Turk. They discuss tailored suits, artist persona, veganism and a lifetime interest in the surreal form of an egg. We explore Turk's iconic early works including four antiqued mirror cubes in 'Robert Morris Untitled 1965-72' (1990) and the iconic 'Cave' (1991) an ‘historical blue plaque’ to commemorate work done by the artist during his time at the Royal College of Art, as well as a 'Tea Stain' (2004) edition that Russell gifted to Robert on his 30th birthday. This episode is released on the same day as Turk unveils a giant new bronze sculpture 'Oeuvre (Verdigris)' at Somerset House, in London on the River Walk. In association with Photo London, the artist is simultaneously inviting the global art community to upload and contribute their own ‘Portrait of An Egg’ to be exhibited at the fair. With spooky synchronicity this years social media phenomena has been ’The World Record Egg’ so this ambitious art collaboration is opening up ideas around social media, memes and the global obsession with recording the world photographically through our phones. You can submit your egg images until early May at Happy Easter holidays everyone, egg-citing times! Please leave us a review and rating if you’ve enjoyed this episode! For images of all works discussed in this episode, visit our Instagram @TalkArt 

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Apr 18, 2019
Victoria Pomery OBE

Russell & Robert get the high-speed train to Margate to meet Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary. We explore her journey to plan, build & open the museum designed by architect Sir David Chipperfield, which has had over 3 million visitors since 2011 becoming an attraction of national and international importance. We discuss swimming in the sea before work, the incredible light in this seaside town, how art can give people hope and the inspirational history of JMW Turner who lived in Margate in the 1800s and painted more than 100 works, including some of his most famous seascapes, inspired by the East Kent coast. Please leave us a review and rating if you’ve enjoyed this episode! For images of all works discussed in this episode, visit our Instagram @TalkArt 

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Apr 11, 2019
Ryan Gander OBE

Russell & Robert chat to leading conceptual artist Ryan Gander OBE. We explore artist persona, designing a kitchen sink, family ties, the soul of objects and why his art has been so commercially successful in Japan. Ryan reveals how a limited edition Rolex watch transformed into an artwork, why he worked with glow-in-the-dark concrete, the importance of empathy and why we should all ‘let the world take a turn'. For images of works discussed in this episode, visit our Instagram @TalkArt. Ryan’s new BBC Four documentary ‘Me, My Selfie and I’ is available to view on iPlayer until mid April 2019. Please leave us a review and rating if you’ve enjoyed this episode!

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Apr 04, 2019
Tracey Emin CBE

Robert & Russell meet Tracey Emin CBE, one of the world’s most respected, successful and controversial artists. During an hour-long private tour of her current solo exhibition ‘A Fortnight of Tears’, we explore her mother’s recent death, grief, everlasting love, the supernatural, insomnia and abortion. Tracey reveals that nature is one of her biggest influences and how working in a small South of France studio enabled the artist to wholeheartedly and triumphantly return to painting. Learn more about her longterm connection to the work of Edvard Munch, her return to her childhood hometown of Margate and why, surprisingly, she doesn’t keep a diary. For images of all works discussed in this episode, visit our Instagram @TalkArt Please leave us a review and rating if you’ve enjoyed this episode!

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Mar 29, 2019
Sadie Coles

Robert & Russell meet gallerist Sadie Coles, one of the world’s most respected and successful art dealers. Discover why she set up her gallery in London after managing Jeff Koons’ studio in New York in the mid 1990s; how she first discovered the work of Sarah Lucas and John Currin; the skill of representing new artists on the primary market and the importance of taking a longterm view. We discuss feminism and equality in the workplace and why it's good to be collegiate. Finally we explore childhood trips to visit Tutankhamun at the British Museum, a memorable performance by mime artist/choreographer Lindsay Kemp and a pivotal Nancy Grossman exhibition.

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Mar 22, 2019
Martin Creed

Robert & Russell meet legendary artist and ‘poet of the everyday’ Martin Creed (and his dog Jimmy). Find out why this Turner Prize winner doesn’t read reviews of his own work, who his favourite comedians are and how music has informed his art. We delve deep into Creed’s creative output spanning more than 30 years. From a giant kinetic sculpture with the word MOTHERS lit up in neon, a live performance where athletes run through the Tate as fast as they can, to a more recent handmade textile work: a multicoloured neck-warmer (worn by the artist during this very interview).

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Mar 15, 2019
Louisa Buck

Robert & Russell chat with leading British art critic and author Louisa Buck, columnist for the Art Newspaper and a judge of the Turner Prize in 2005. They explore how the art world has evolved since the 1980s and 90s, discover which artwork Grayson Perry made as a commission to commemorate the birth of Louisa's daughter as well as revealing the best, and very worst, interviews she's conducted. Happy International Women's Day!

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Mar 07, 2019
Sarah Hadland and Laura Aikman

We celebrate the holidays with two dear friends, the actresses Sarah Hadland and Laura Aikman (both stars of The Job Lot comedy sitcom with Russell). Topics include Olafur Eliasson’s melting ice installation highlighting climate change, Yayoi Kusama’s infinity mirrored room, the paintings of LS Lowry, Beryl Cook, Picasso and Ed Ruscha. Plus we discover which guest once pole danced for Madonna! Happy Christmas everyone. We will return in Spring 2019 with a weekly season. Love Russell and Robert X

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Dec 27, 2018
Pedro Pascal

Russell & Robert talk with leading actor Pedro Pascal, star of Narcos, Game of Thrones and forthcoming Star Wars 'The Mandalorian'. They discuss his favourite artist, a classic painting on display at Museum of Modern Art that offered Pedro comfort when he moved to New York in the mid 1990s, as well as his more recent art experiences at Tate Modern and Frieze Art Fair whilst filming in London for his latest movie Wonder Woman 1984.

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Nov 23, 2018
Sir Michael Craig-Martin CBE

Russell & Robert talk with leading artist Sir Michael Craig-Martin CBE exploring 50 years of art-making. From his early 1960s work as a conceptual artist culminating in the seminal ‘An Oak Tree’ (1973) through to more recent decades as an internationally-renowned painter, sculptor and printmaker as well as his influential role as a teacher to two generations of Young British Artists at Goldsmiths.

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Nov 08, 2018
Introducing Talk Art

Welcome to Talk Art! Actor Russell Tovey and gallerist Robert Diament discuss how they first became friends a decade ago, plus more recent adventures at Frieze Art Fair, the Turner Prize, South London Gallery and other exhibition highlights in London, as well as Robert's gallery relocating to the seaside town of Margate, Kent.

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Oct 19, 2018