From left: Coco Dolle, Izabela Gola and Rebecca Major at RFB’s Bogart Street Studio. Photo: Izabela Gola.

RFB Editorial Director Michele Carlo gets the story behind the stories of  “I ART NY” podcast hosts Izabela Gola and Rebecca Major.

MC: You are both accomplished artists and curators. What do each of you bring to “I ART NY” that makes your viewpoint(s) unique?

RM: I developed an interest with the interview format several years ago during my MFA studies. My aim is to formulate insightful and hopefully thought-provoking questions about an artist (or curator’s) work and through that conversation the listener will gain an understanding of the artist/curator’s creative process, intent, and accomplishments. And be entertained as well.

IG: I inherited a love for visual arts from my mother who is a painter. When I was a kid growing up in Poland I was surrounded by my mom’s paintings, art books, and her friends from the art world. To be an artist as a career path was natural for me. I am myself a hybrid, as I am a visual artist and an independent curator. My current position at the Polish Cultural Institute of New York brings me opportunities to meet interesting and influential people from the art world, such as Marie-Ève Lafontaine, an independent international curator of modern and contemporary art. She contacted me about her exhibition proposal “Street of Crocodiles,” featuring emerging Polish artists, which is now transforming into a foundation. Marie-Ève’s interview will air May 30.

MC: Why podcast? Why now?

RM: I feel that the podcast format is perfect for what we aim to accomplish. It offers a platform of accessibility, serves as a form of archive, and the recorded discussions and interviews offer a direct and candid sense of engagement for the listener, along with a a great opportunity to do something creative.

IG: Podcasting is a comprehensive way to intersect voices of people coming from different directions in the art world. It is a meeting place, a connector to foster ideas and open unrestrained discourse. I ART NY is also a hybrid with its diversity through a feminist perspective. We are very happy to be part of the RFB community as it gives a freeform platform to under-represented voices.

MC: Name the greatest obstacle you had to overcome and the greatest victory you’ve had in your career(s) so far.

RM: The greatest obstacle I’ve had to overcome in my career is the same as what I think a lot of other artists’ face: to carve out the space and time necessary to accomplish your artistic projects. New York City is demanding and can be a bit unrelenting, and it requires being very focused in order to continue to create.
In regards to my greatest victory, I can actually pinpoint two. First, was an exhibition in the Ludwig Museum in Budapest in 2003 as part of their “Urban Landscapes: Platforms of Desire” series. I was given a 1,500-square-foot gallery space where I created an immersive installation entitled “Lost Gloves of New York City” which incorporated 300 photographs I had taken of lost gloves in New York City, along with audio. Working on that scale and creating a work that was engaging on multiple levels was extremely satisfying. The second is my current job as a curatorial intern at The Jewish Museum, which represents a very different part of my capabilities and complements my artistic development.

IG: My greatest obstacle (or challenge)—and victory—was the creation of the Visual Arts and Design programming department at my job at the Polish Cultural Institute of New York. I started working there as an assistant to the Director in 2016. It took three years to create this platform of cultural diplomacy overseeing the programming of visual arts and design exhibitions, and other art- and design-focused events at a government institution that had no such department before. And I accomplished this while simultaneously doing my own artistic projects.

“I ART NY” features artists, critics, curators, performers and art historians representing a variety of backgrounds, disciplines, and perspectives. Listen/subscribe to past, present—and future episodes, including the May 30 interview with Marie-Ève Lafontaine, here: