Episode 51 David Lynch "The Art Life"

This week, we discuss David Lynch’s “The Art Life.” Mark thought it was interesting to see how much Lynch’s painting explained a lot about his movies’ dark looks and feels. We loved watching Lynch paint with his hands. I thought that Lynch’s paintings were very strong, I loved how he shaped clay on wire to write words and integrated that text in his paintings. I loved “things I learned in school”… childish and eery. Gloomy. Tending towards the grotesque, just like Twin Peaks Part II. I wonder what it is that makes us painters want to reach pieces of the past, our past, and grab them and reflect on them through painting ? Is it a form of release ? or perpetuation ?

Episode 50 How do you relate something without making it a spectacle ?

Episode 50! Wooohoo!

We looked at the work of Elle Pérez today. This photographer is interested in showing images that question the boundaries of gender, fragility, inside and outside. Their work fleshes out detailed visual cues, a drop of water, a tiny scar, to evoke in the viewer feelings of empathy. The question the artist poses in the Art 21 video “Works between the frame” made me think about those boundaries in my own work. Mark turned 50 and we talk about how it feels to get older.



Episode 49 Damnatio Memoriae

Spring will never arrive! Sault Ste. Marie saw the most snow this year, Isabelle can see 5 ft tall snow banks out her window while Mark can see grass out of his in London Ontario. Isabelle would rather forget this past Winter. Talking about memory, there was in ancient Roman time a social behaviour called “Damnatio Memoria” which caused Romans to want to erase another person from history by scratching this person from paintings, removing their names from walls. Isabelle argued that the modern impulse of Damnatio Memoria would be “unfriending” someone from Facebook. Mark and Isabelle discuss grant applications, they talk about an hypothetical visit from an uncle wanting to discover contemporary art. And as usual, they banter about anything and everything.


Episode 48 A visit with Yves Larocque and Mónica Márquez

Isabelle welcomes two special guests today, Yves Larocque and Mónica Márquez, owners and facilitators of Walk the arts, an artistic company that oversees the administration of BRAVO-ARTS, in Ottawa. We met on International Women’s Day at Algoma University where we recorded this conversation. This special episode then, marks the end of a long process for Isabelle, as a recent member of BRAVO-Arts (Bureau de regroupement des artistes visuels de l’Ontario), she facilitated the installation of pentadécagone and welcomed two artists Doris Lamontagne and Nancy Brandsma who came to Sault Ste. Marie to install this multi-video exhibition. It is important to note that this exhibit was important for our northern Ontario town because according to Michael Burtch, former Curator of the Art Gallery of Algoma, the last visual exhibition in French was in 1987; Sans Démarcation regrouped English-speaking Ontarians and French-Speaking Quebeckers 32 years ago while pentadécagone was in French only. It was also a significant event for 180 Projects, a small Ad Hoc Collective working hard to bring alternative voices to Sault Ste. Marie. This multi-video exhibit also brought ACCANO (The African Caribbean Canadian Association of Northern Ontario) to 180 Projects for the first time. Finally, pentadécagone served as a point of beginning and of social change for a small but very essential number of Franco-Ontarian women to come and view art completely in French. Many people contributed to this installation: Jacky Dupuis, Lon Granger, Katy Huckson, Taylor Jolin, Andrea Pinheiro, Miranda Bouchard, Ray Fox, Lisa Meschino, thank you so much for helping in your own way to this successful exhibition.

We decided to do the podcast in English in order to mix our voices to the others in this podcast.







Episode 46 Ryan Amadore's Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere

Last Saturday September 29th, I had an exhibit on board the MS Norgoma but I did not want to miss the opportunity to speak with Ryan Amadore before he left with his amazing work for Kapuskasing where he lives with his wife Sophie and son. For the past month, I worked in my studio space, right beside the gallery where Ryan’s work was exhibited. I kept catching a glance at his water or his ducky, the two paintings I could see while painting. His loose yet controlled brushstrokes were a reminder to keep exploring and staying fresh and loose. Not to overwork my work. I am indebted to Ryan for this et merci aussi à Sophie!!

I was so fortunate that Ryan was happy to share his thoughts with me. It’s a shorter than usual recording but such a wonderful one. Thanks Ryan and happy trails in the middle of no(some)where.

Visit http://picbear.xyz/ryanamadore to know more about Ryan!

Photo: Ryan Amadore 2018

Music: Neil Young, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, 1969

Episode 45 Jason McLean Part Two

Jason, Mark and Isabelle continue their meandering  conversation.  It take us to many places: Lola festival, talking about Yoko Ono, Bus Shelter pieces, Prince Trivia, Undiscovered Facts, Roberta Bondar , 180 Projects, so many things lined up, the realities of being an artist/breaks, Basquiat, Ben Portis, the future of podcasts as archives, Deep Color podcast, Cough Park Project (35:00).

From London Ontario to Sault Ste. Marie, from Toronto to Vancouver, and to Brooklyn where Jason lives with his wife and two sons. Thanks to Jason and Mark for this great opportunity! It was an honour to get to know more about a wonderful London born artist.  


To submit to Cough Park Project:

(347) 601-4266


Youtube video of Cough Park Project : 



One Eighty Projects:



Music credit : Zaz, Prends garde à ta langue

Episode 44 Jason McLean Part one

What a treat ! Mark sat with Canadian Artist Jason McLean who was visiting from Brooklyn last Sunday. Jason is a multitalented artist who is currently showing at the Michael Gibson Gallery in London Ontario.  I was a bit jittery meeting Jason via Skype and felt little mini tiny butterflies in my stomach at the start of recording but almost immediately those went away as I listened to Jason’s kind voice. We had such a good time recording that I had to split the recording in two parts!

Part one highlights: BGL Group, Beal Secondary School, Bubbles of your own realities, working tools, collaborations, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Snakes, Jason’s process, goalie pads, blocking things out, grocery store feeling, local content, Farhi, areas of despair in cities, historic walking tours influences, colour palette (electricity)/wanting life in colour/dressing story, (36:25) looking like my artwork/dressing like my father-in-law, barn smells, Art gallery of Algoma. 


Jason McLean Website :



Current Exhibit “Boomerang Smile” :



BGL Group Current Exhibition at Museum London :



Marc Bell, London Artist :



Ray Jonson Brick Snake :



Opening music : Most Def, Yo Yeah.

Episode 43 Of Wyeth, reading habits and meeting new friends

Why do we torture ourselves reading about Trump ?  Mark talks about his reading habits and recounts memories of the last time he played a video game. Perhaps video games have changed to allow more fun instead of being all stressed out. Mark met a new artist with Natalie, a patron of the arts. They met her at The Arts Project in London. We might meet Angie soon!  

Music credit : Zaz, On ira

Image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9wpU_wtRyHs/VFY8xLgT0dI/AAAAAAAABTQ/BWwxC2mc1e8/s1600/AndrewWyeth_CowinaPasteur.jpg


Episode 42 Photography, cinematography and other tidbits

Sally Mann's talent is indisputable. Using her own children, to create that amazing series, was perhaps a bit exploitative. Where are your limits as an artist ?  As with most of our conversations, we go a little bit everywhere. This week was no different!  Lately though, we've spent a bit more time talking about our families and the past. Mark and I grew up in the 70's. The saturated colours, the excessive styles are excellent periods for tv shows, Fargo in particular. We discuss painting, photography and what is the Avant-Garde. 

Episode 41 Ben Portis

This week, Mark has some bad news, he lost a dear friend, Ben Portis.  Luckily, Mark had a chance to spend some time with his friend back in April. They went to see an orchestra. To his family, colleagues, friends, and all the artists who knew him,  we wish to offer our deepest regrets on this tragic loss.


Episode 40 A conversation with Sam Decter

In this episode, Isabelle has a conversation with a musician friend from Toronto.

Sam was the co-owner of the Gore Street Café, in Sault Ste. Marie (2015-2016). In this episode, I reconnect with him through the magic of social media. He talks a little bit about some of the shows he saw recently in Toronto; Jessica Karuhanga does performances based on dance and projections (see link below.) Sam has a very experimental side to his artmaking. He blogs and podcasts on Instagram. He plays music and hosts open mic nights at the Belljar Café. I talked to him a bit about the Dawaa Dazhi Gallery and a little bit and my summer activities. I feel happy to have had a conversation with Sam, he is always full of surprises. I think he laughs a little bit at my old fashioned ways.... haha! That's ok, he's allowed. 

Intro song: Stargazing by Sam Decter, 2015. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND41Rs8PnjQ






Episode 39 Cindy Sherman and Transformation

Why are clowns so creepy? It could be the ambiguity we feel about these characters, are they safe or not? Is it the fact that the brain is wired to find average features attractive and therefore trustworthy? Is it something learned socially about jesters and characters that have populated our childhoods ? Maybe all of this together ? However, Cirque du Soleil clowns are not as scary.  Making art 24\7 is not necessarily my choice, I do make a lot, maybe not up to the point of some artists. Cindy Sherman creates staged photography. She transforms herself to create different moods, with a vacant look in her eyes, inspired by the women in advertising around her in the 60's and 70's. 




Episode 37 Christoph Niemann in the Netflix Series "Abstract: The Art of Design"

Christoph Niemann talks about his work and his process. He designed many of the magazine The New Yorker front covers. There is a new series on Netflix Abstract : The Art of Design which we are watching. We talk about when is the time when kids start not drawing emotionally and instinctively but according to standards set by whoever around them. Why is it that they are not encouraged to continue along that line. As usual, our conversations take on a meandering of its own.  (PS a little scratchy here and there.)

Abstract: The Art of Design   https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/80057883

Christoph NIemann :  http://www.christophniemann.com/

Episode 36 Katarina Grosse, Joan Jonas and Omer Fast

We watched an Art21 movie on three artists.  Katarina Grosse makes gigantic sculptural paintings involving trees, dirt, and the space of the art gallery itself.  Joan Jonas makes performance drawings involving dancers, musicians, and herself in her installations. Omer Fast makes experimental/journalistic-like movies about Drone Pilots or Porn Actors. We agree that performance art is problematic. Becoming the body that is viewed as the art is a little bit problematic. Where is the line? How much of that happens out of peer pressure? My definition of art is pretty broad and I would not say performance is "not art" however, I would definitely say that I cannot engage in it the same way that I would with physical space. 



Episode 34 Diana Thater and Stan Douglas

Mark did some computer programming and he liked that, it's a creative program solving that he likes. Stan Douglas of Vancouver brings us inside the old neighbourhood he grew up in. He did a show called "Les détroits" of photography and prints of Detroit. He is focussed on Urban Decay.  Diana Thater produces installations that are movie based, or influenced by film. Abstraction in film for her is abstraction of time. Diana Thater builds a maquette, she photographs the animals that she displays.

As viewers of videos on the Art21 website, we are really fascinated with the process of art making. As viewers we are seeing the complete arc of artmaking from the development of ideas in the studio to the actual installation of the pieces, to interviews with the artists during the exhibition. Immersive installations because they involve all the senses and the space require so much knowledge and also so much money to get the right kind of equipment, they might not be the easiest thing to get into. However... it can be done!

Opening song: Ratatat Loud Pipes

Photo : Diana Thater, Knots and Surfaces (2001)

For more information on all these awesome videos we are talking about:  www.art21.org


Episode 33 Liz Magor and Matthew Barney

Today we watched the Art21 website and we both picked an artist to view and we discussed these artists. Mark went for the work of Matthew Barney who made a film series called "The Cremaster" which he started in 1995. I believe he made 4 movies based on his study of Male Sexuality.  We also watched Liz Magor talk about her gloves that she is casting and we saw an aluminum house on stilts in Coal Harbour British Columbia. Amazing work. Matthew Barney's work, I must admit to not understanding and it almost seems like the biggest extension of a man's ego I have ever seen, short of the Trump Tower... but maybe I am missing the point. Who knows? 

Opening Theme: Blink 182 I miss you

Image: Liz Magor Being this 2012 http://catrionajeffries.com/artists/liz-magor/works/#25

Episode 32 Pixels versus Pigment

Pixels and technology have inundated our lives. Charles Baudelaire said that urban living or the city was  "an immense reservoir of electric energy." in his essay "The Painter of Modern Life" (1863).  In the rise of industrialisation and mechanisation,  "the eye was never allowed to rest." (Geiger, Rutsky, 2005) The same anxieties felt in the fin du siècle are mirrored in the Twenty-First Century whenever we talk about technology.  Bombarded by pixels and movies, video games, apps, memes, pinterest images and instagram, the pixel is ubiquitous. Mark and I are still on that topic!! Join in, anytime you feel! Drop me a line at isabelle.michaud@gmail.com

Intro song by Félix Leclerc, Hymne au printemps 

Photo: Isabelle Michaud Une journée dans la vie de Madame Michaud