A Piece of Work

By Kate Glavan

Image via  WNYC

Image via WNYC


A Piece of Work is an exciting podcast purporting to present “everything you wanted to know about modern and contemporary art but were afraid to ask.” The 10-episode series, created by MoMA and WNYC in 2017, explores some of the nuances from its popular exhibits without making value judgments on the artwork, using accessible language contrary to typical esoteric art discussions. Abbi Jacobson, known for her work on Broad City, hosts the podcast and interviews a series of artists, curators, and influencers. Her famous friends like Tavi Gevinson, RuPaul, and Questlove speak about their experience with certain art movements that have influenced them. As a Rookie Mag fan, I loved hearing Tavi talk about the infamous Warhol One Hundred Cans (1962)  and contemplate how he might have used Instagram or whether he might have taken part in social media at all.Who would’ve thought that Questlove changed the way Bitmoji structured its app? This is but one of the takeaways from tuning into A Piece of Work.

Each 20-minute episode dives into famous collections from Pollock to Warhol, all on display at MoMA. With a fresh spin on “art talk,” these informal, lighthearted conversations pose those questions you were too afraid to ask, , such as “What is that?” and “Why is this art?” Each of the 10 episodes make visual art approachable to the casual museum goer. Jacobson finds the balance between art history and opinion using her Degree in Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art.  And yet, she doesn’t claim to speak on behalf of the artistic elite. A Piece of Work is perfect from art newbies to enthusiasts who want to understand more about artistic movements separate from the some of the more elitist sentiments existing  within the community. Check it out on NPR to get in touch with your inner art critic!


Originally published 10/18/17