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Episode 57
Producer Debi Wisch "The Art of Making it"

  • 25 min read

Episode Description

A conversation with documentary film producer Debi Wisch about her latest project “The Art of Making It”. Debi (who also produced 2018’s “The Price of Everything”) discusses analyzing the art world again from the perspective of the emerging artist. She is a long-time advocate for the arts who serves on the advisory boards of the Cantor Art Museum at Stanford University and Hunter College’s Arts Advisory, while also serving on the board of the Film at Lincoln Center film society.


Craig: [00:00:09] This is Art Sense, a podcast focused on educating and informing listeners about the past, present and future of art. I'm Craig Gould. On today's episode, I speak with documentary film producer Debi Wisch about her latest project, "The Art of Making It". Debi, who also produced 2018's "The Price of Everything", discusses analyzing the art world again from the perspective of the emerging artist. She's a long time advocate for the arts who serves on the advisory boards of the Cantor Art Museum at Stanford University and Hunter College's Arts Advisory, while also serving on the board of the film at Lincoln Center Film Society. And now, excavating the roots of the art world with Debi Wisch.

Craig: [00:01:05] Debi Wisch, thank you so much for joining me this week on the Art Sense Podcast. Debi, you were the producer of a recent documentary called "The Art of Making It". I wanted to have you on the show to talk about your life in the art world and some of the projects you've been involved with. But this project, this documentary, "The Art of Making It" for someone who's coming to the table, not knowing anything about your project, how would you describe it to them?

Debi: [00:01:33] First of all, thank you so much for having me, Craig. It's an honor to be on podcast. The film is meant to be for a broad audience and it sort of explains how the art world ecosystem works. And it's an unregulated, not always transparent world. So we try to show that and we even have motion graphic maps that literally charted out and hopefully ground the viewer. For people who are in the art world, whether institutionally or commercially or they're an artist or they're teaching, there's certain things that they'll be very familiar with because that's their world. But then we dive deeper into the film and obviously get into hopefully the hearts and the souls of the characters. Which are these...the key characters are these young artists. And we explore why anyone would sort of dive into this world where the chances of making it, whatever that means, which we can discuss, are less than 5% even when you have a terminal degree from a top school.

Craig: [00:02:45] So you were one of the producers of "The Price of Everything", which was really well received. That was what, four years ago, is that...

Debi: [00:02:54] That we premiered at Sundance in 2018.

Craig: [00:02:58] You know, I think a lot of people may know that work in this conversation is at a little bit different strata. Right? Can you kind of compare and contrast what things were put under the microscope in that film versus what we're looking at here?

Debi: [00:03:14] That's a very good question. So the price of everything was a deep dive into the art world ecosystem, but it was sort of from the point of view in the treetops. It was about ultimately the relationship between art and money. When we started making the film, our goal was to just sort of capture the world and not make some biopic or some sensational story about an art heist or something. It was to kind of get into the world with all its glory and all its warts and show what it's about. And but to do it in a way that I think is very loving, like we all came to it as people who spend a huge amount of time in the so called art world. And in every film, especially when you make a verité film, which means that you have a camera and you're following characters and you're led into these spaces that aren't always accessible to a general audience, you end up with in the case of the price of everything and the art of making it, we had about 100 hours and you want to have the sort of secret number for a commercial independent doc is 90 minutes, so that's a lot of footage that ends up on the cutting floor. And in with the price of everything, we actually film some art students who are graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago when Stefan Edlis was getting his honorary doctorate.

Debi: [00:04:42] So it's an early shoot and it was beautiful footage and very poignant. And they talked about when a gift like that is given and there's a lot of blue chip, dead male artists in the collection. What would have gone in the space had that not happened? And it was a fascinating topic and in many ways sort of foreshadows some of the issues that come up more in the art of making it, which is more a moment of inclusion and kind of from the bottom up. But you can't have everything in every film and it didn't really fit. So when I went out to make "The Art of Making It", which was a much different team, very diverse, very young, first time director, younger editor, her mentee, the first time Troy Harrison scored the film. But it was a very young, diverse team. We wanted to look at it sort of from the point of view of the stuff that got left on the floor. It really started from the students and these young artists and sort of people who are emergent and looking at the well being of the maker. It wasn't about the market. We didn't have anything about the auction houses, and there's very little about galleries. There's a wonderful scene with Marc Glimcher at Pace, but it was sort of like he covered it all. Yeah, I mean, one is in many ways, one is the tree tops and one's like the roots.

Craig: [00:06:15] How does a project like this come together as a producer? Were you bringing this idea from, like you said, was left on the cutting room floor? Did you bring that to a director and put together a team and kind of guide them or do do some of these projects come to you or how does this sort of thing normally come together?

Debi: [00:06:38] So I became a film producer in my early fifties. It was my third career, and I actually started my career producing marketing campaigns and was sort of like the creative idea person and worked on things like L'Oreal and Mont Blanc pens and Rockport Shoes and blah blah blah. And in many ways, being a producer is similar. You have to kind of take a lot of voices and you need an entire team and the producer shapes ideas, often comes up with ideas, but kind of keeps the thing moving. And a huge number of these projects never get made because it takes a lot of tenacity and you're juggling a lot of different jobs. In this particular instance, I was looking to do a film on emerging artists. I was introduced to Kelsey Edwards, who wanted to do a film about a student art fair that was being produced by her friend James Solomon, who was a curator in New York, who I knew peripherally. And we were going to do this film about student art fair that would have been more like a spelling bee of the art world kind of film. And we filmed James and the very first scene of the film, which is sort of weirdly prophetic, installing a show called "The Beginning of the End", featuring work by Sebastian Errazuriz, which for a long time, the beginning of the end was the working title of the film. And then the pandemic happened. We're like, "probably shouldn't go with that", but when the student art fair fell apart, we both wanted to make a film that was about emerging artists and kind of what was the secret sauce that anointed some and set them off in the stratosphere. Well, most of them were like juggling three bartending jobs, trying to make ends meet. Like, who anoints you? How does that happen? And does it even matter who we choose to tell the stories of our time? So it kind of emanated from that. And then you film and you get a lot of material and you start realizing who are better characters than others and it all gets made in the edit room.

Craig: [00:08:49] I watched the film twice. Once I just let it wash over me and the second time I wanted to take notes and it struck me just how many people that you guys included. I mean, there are just so many people that that you had conversations with. But, you know, one of the things that I feel is kind of an arching theme is how the art world is full of contradictions. And there is like this push and pull between altruism and commerce. I don't know how we fix it, but it makes for lots of interesting conversations.

Debi: [00:09:23] I mean, it's probably the thing that interests me most because there's this myth about the starving artist. And then you have artists like Rashid Johnson, who's hugely successful, and his work is incredible, and he straddles a lot of worlds. And why shouldn't we applaud success? We applaud success in most fields. And why is this sort of...even when you talk about art as a career, it's frowned upon. Charles Gaines, who's a brilliant artist and art educator and doing this incredible program now for Creative Time, I think their largest project ever. There's a wonderful line in the film where he says that, "you go to art school to learn how to formulate ideas and then you graduate and capitalism's like, how do you make money off of those ideas?" And I think it's like the philosopher on the hill, like, we want them and we need them. But if they become too successful or are they not as talented or are they compromising themselves? And I just think it's a fundamental question. Somehow actors and singers have broken through that where we applaud success. But it's very complicated.

Craig: [00:10:36] And, well, it's complicated in that even artists themselves still want to judge themselves by the price tag on their work and how much money they're able to put in their pocket. And I really don't know how to separate...I mean, in a perfect world...the artist that has the most to say and the most to contribute in terms of ideas, they're not necessarily the ones that's probably the most difficult work to sell because it's, you know, they're not toys. Right? They're...they can really challenge people and it can be uncomfortable. But it's not the uncomfortable work that necessarily provides the most mass appeal. Right?

Debi: [00:11:21] Even when you go to a show and you're at a gallery, usually the toughest work isn't the first to sell. And it's sort of what we'd call institutional work. It's interesting because a number of the artists in our film and I can't take credit for it as a filmmaker that this happened, but a number of them, their careers really took off. And in recent months, recent years. One of them is Jenna Gribbon, who when we first filmed her, it was at her MFA...actually, Kelsey, the director, met her at her MFA thesis show at Hunter. And I had called Joachim Pissarro and I said, "What are some of the young artists we should look at? We want to film someone who you think is super talented and has a chance of kind of breaking out." And he gave three artists and one of them was Jen. And she's wonderful. She's so smart and she's thoughtful. And she went back to...she did her MFA in her late thirties, so she had sort of been around enough that it's not going to throw her to have this meteoric rise. And her work has a lot of gravitas. But I know that it's a struggle, even when you're kind of anointed, to continue making incredible work and not to rush and not to make more blue or more plausible work, to make work that kind of pushes the viewer and challenges yourself. And I think it's hard and I think some of them might opt to be more commercial. And I don't know, who are we to be critical of that.

Craig: [00:12:53] I had a guest on recently who was talking about challenging some of the precepts of the gallery system and how they create this false sense of scarcity. And there's a point in the movie where we're going through Pace Gallery, and he's discussing how there's sort of a bidding war for these few pieces that are available, right? And one of the ways that they kind of separate who is capable of getting on the list and who isn't, is this promise that, "well, I will sell you one if you buy an extra to contribute to a particular institution", right? And so...

Debi: [00:13:36] Common practice.

Craig: [00:13:37] Right. I mean, maybe that's a bit of an entree into a conversation of well, maybe that's a way they're able to sell the more institutional work to a buyer who never even really takes possession for their own. But it's intended as a as a gift to the institution. And of course, once you get those pieces in the institution, that adds value to the CV because, well, you see, they're in MoMA, they're in Whitney, they're in the Guggenheim. There are some rules and there is some game play, right?

Debi: [00:14:13] Yeah. Anton Kern says there are no rules, but there's an etiquette. So the buy one give one thing, you know, a lot of collectors and board members probably prefer it because at least it's transparent, like you want one, there's ten, there's a list of 100 people, buy one for LACMA or MoMA or the Guggenheim or the Whitney, and you can get one at least it gets one into the institution. And of course, it elevates the price. But you're hoping that you're selling to someone who's not going to go flip the art, that they're going to hold that piece. And it might also go to an institution, but I don't know other industries where it happens like that, like where you're buying a commodity like that, like a diamond or a watch or a home. And there's sort of this promise and where you might get away with it. But I don't know, it least it's transparent. And also there's a myth that the institutions have money and they don't. They're entirely dependent on philanthropy to bolster their collections. And there's a stat in the film that 15% of funding for museums comes from the government and the rest is from donations. And, you know, there's a big disconnect. When we were filming, I remember Anne Pasternak, who's the brilliant director of the Brooklyn Art Museum, saying that, like even within the staff, there's a disconnect that some of the staff members thought that board members were paid. And I'm like, what? Board members pay so much to, you know, for the honor of serving those boards. And most of those boards have a six figure fee.

Craig: [00:16:05] Right.

Debi: [00:16:05] So, I mean, I always feel like we should just say thank you, right? Like I was at MoMA yesterday, I'm a member and it was Museum Monday and I could walk around and see this incredible Matisse show and the Barbara Kruger show. And there was this incredible Latin American show, and it was basically free, I don't know, my memberships, $125 for the year and I go all the time. And to all those people who support it, I just want to say thank you.

Craig: [00:16:32] Right.

Debi: [00:16:33] It's not the government. 

Craig: [00:16:35] Back there you mentioned Anton Kern talking about etiquette and then you also mentioned the word flipping. And so I think that is a segue way to one of the polarizing figures, which is Stefan Simchowitz. Stefan is an interesting person and one who's also a bit of a contradiction, he's really interesting because the things that he does, he can really pull the rug from beneath a house of cards. But for the right artists, he's extremely helpful, right?

Debi: [00:17:15] I think so. Yeah.

Craig: [00:17:16] It's different. You know, it seemed like in all the scenes where we were following Stefan around or mentioned his name, he garnered a certain reaction from the gallerists that we were speaking with.

Debi: [00:17:29] That is true. So I'm...I've spent a lot of time with him between filming and then we screened at Stanford and we did a wonderful screening with the cultist in L.A. and he came and spoke. I wanted to interview him for the last film, and at the time I was like, "Oh, we need a villain. Let's interview this guy, Stefan Simchowitz." And I got poopooed and you know...and then we had too many characters in it. So we, we filmed him very early. Listen, I don't think he's a villain at all. And, you know, he's a charming, lovely guy. He's also very smart. And I remember going through the Anderson Collection with him at Stanford, and I've gone through that collection maybe 50 times. I've never gone through it with someone who was so informed and passionate, and he had lengthy discussions with the guards. I've seen him interact with the artists who he's supporting. It's complicated and I know people said to me, "Why would you give him a platform?" And I'm like, "Wait a minute, I'm observing an ecosystem. And as a responsible journalist, which is in many ways what a documentarian is supposed to do, you have to kind of cover all angles," but...I mean, I'm not really sure what he does that's so controversial. I've heard stories, but I haven't seen it. I've seen know, he's a wonderful father. He has a lovely wife. He's got this whole community of friends. I mean, he's got galleries. He's got a lot of tastes. He's just disruptive to a system.

Craig: [00:19:08] The system has a precarious nature in relation to, once again, that artificial sense of scarcity. Right? And when he is a patron and a benefactor for these young artists, he winds up holding a lot of inventory. I think the thing that scares the gallerist the most is that his ability to kind of at any moment interrupt that sense of scarcity for the artist that has moved beyond Stefan and is now higher up the food chain, all of a sudden there's more work on the market than they would have wanted and, you know, is that going to cause the price to go in the wrong direction and how do we recover? But for the most part, he's not helping people that are, you know, anyone who's got a Yale MFA or a top tier MFA, they're really not interested in what Stefan has to offer, right?

Debi: [00:20:10] Right. And there's a lot of different art worlds and there's a lot of room for different ones. And, you know.

Craig: [00:20:16] But you know, if you were to ask an artist who doesn't have a graduate degree but is just trying to hump it and make it into the art world, "what if I pay for your studio space, pay for your assistants, I guarantee to buy whatever you make at this price. And you know, you can just make your work full time for the next year or two years." Most of those artists will take someone up on that offer, especially when at the end of the day, a lot of the artists that he helps do wind up getting lifted in ascending to the next level. I don't know if he's a tastemaker, but I think he does...he is able to to see talent.

Debi: [00:20:59] I think he he can see talent. And he's also I mean, he grew up in the art world. I walked through museums with many people and I've seen few people who get as charged and passionate and who are as informed, like truly historically informed as he is. And I just think that no one is selling their work to him today without having a sense of what they're getting into and not doing it under duress or certainly not duress from him. And you make choices in life. I mean, I was just thinking as you were talking and just to play devil's advocate, because I don't I don't really know. There's no right answer. It's just interesting. And I think it's very interesting that he's sort of been vilified to the degree he has. But, you know, there's real estate companies are like real estate, private equity companies that they'll buy a landmark building and they'll clean it up and flip it and sell it to a foreign buyer. And everyone's like, "Ah, they made a profit. That's so great." Whereas like, is it that different? Like, I don't know. Take like the megagalleries. If you look at Hauser & Wirth or PACE or Zwirner, they are giving literally museum quality exhibitions for free and then they'll sell a couple pieces and it supports the enterprise. And I don't know, is that such a bad thing? Like, I would be so happy if a retail store had a museum quality exhibition of some fashion designer and you could walk in and see it and enjoy it. And you know, you don't have to buy anything and no one's pressuring you. In many instances, they don't even talk to you.

Craig: [00:22:44] Right.

Debi: [00:22:44] Like, it's just odd, but it's not bad. And I mean, I go to those galleries all the time and their programing is extraordinary, right? It's as good as any museum show, right?

Craig: [00:22:57] Absolutely. Absolutely. And the spaces are magnificent.

Debi: [00:23:03] Extraordinary and the curatorial work. And it's phenomenal. And you know, at least you go in and you know what's going on there. There's no smoke and mirrors. It's like here is a show on Morandi and these three are for sale and the rest are borrowed and it's contextualized and it's no different than a museum show. Right?

Craig: [00:23:27] It seemed like there were there were probably four or five artists that we followed a little bit more than others. One of those was Chris Watts.

Debi: [00:23:38] Yes.

Craig: [00:23:38] And it was captivating to hear him talk about his work and his struggle prior to, during, and after the George Floyd event, right? And so, can you kind of describe where did you meet Chris?

Debi: [00:24:00] Kelsey, the director, she always jokes like she met him at a bar. She's married in his three kids, but they were introduced by a mutual friend because we were looking for an artist who had kind of fallen out of the system. And Chris is you the time when you cast someone and you start filming them, you don't really know what you're getting into. He happens to be an incredible human being, very talented artist. He traveled with the film for...we did ten months of film festivals and he showed up to many, many of them on his own. And we met a lot of students who he was at Yale with, like a lot of artists who were in his class. He was beloved. He was always a little bit outspoken, but in a very appropriate manner. And he was doing have to also remember that we cast this film in 2019 and 80% of the filming was done before the pandemic. So all of the issues that come up...or maybe are accelerated by the pandemic. We're already in our film and it's because artists see things before the rest of us. And their work was about diversity, equity and inclusion, trans rights, the Black Lives Matter and mass incarceration. Like Chris was doing work about that long before George Floyd. I think when all of that went down, we just wanted to be supportive in there for him because at that point we're a friend. But as he will say, artists know how to take care of themselves. It's the rest of us that have issues. And, you know, he just...I think he was thinking and working. And he also was preparing for his first New York show, which was during COVID. He just had a show at Galerie Lelong, and his work has evolved. Also, his work is more colorful and joyful right now.

Craig: [00:26:06] And I think that was one of the revelations that I had watching the film was that I wasn't aware that a program like Yale would ask someone to leave. I'm sure it'd be hard to have somebody from Yele comment on how or why that happens. But I know that you got pretty close with Lisa Corinne Davis.

Debi: [00:26:34] Lisa Corinne Davis. She taught there.

Craig: [00:26:35] Right. You know, she mentioned how artists like Kehinde Wiley and Mickalene Thomas, she said they had an understanding of marketing, understanding of the matrix that they need to navigate and connect with that determination. Ambition was there from the get go. And then the next sentence, she's like, "there are some talented students who can't operate in that world or don't want to operate in that world." What are we to read between the lines there?

Debi: [00:27:06] I want to just respond to the first part of the question, then I will respond to that.

Craig: [00:27:11] I'm sorry.

Debi: [00:27:12] No, no, no, no, no. Because we had two interviews lined up with Marta Kuzma and she canceled them both. And then we wrote to the registrar at Yale to confirm everything. Never heard back. And then two teachers who I promise never to reveal their names, corroborated Chris's story. And then we got a friend of his to talk on the record and included that. Plus, over the course of the last year and a half, I've met dozens, literally dozens of his friends who are some of them are now quite famous artists who are in his class, and one can just Google it and figure it out. And he did get kicked out for changing the style of his painting. Maybe he could have protested it, but he didn't. He kind of just showed up for the crits and hung out in New Haven and did his work. And I think what Lisa is saying is like, you know, some people just don't need to get that degree and they don't want to play the game. And playing the game might have meant like he was doing this figurative work and they wanted him to do figurative work. And I think he describes it beautifully. He said, "I was in one place and they wanted me to stay in another place and I just wasn't willing to make that compromise." I didn't know that students got kicked out before we started this film, other than for behavioral things. And there's not a chance that there was a behavioral thing. And I've had that corroborated. But I also know him. He's a profoundly decent guy. He didn't do anything to get himself kicked out. And I think he might like I think he says it in the film that, you know, it was a little embarrassing with his nieces and nephews, but to people who knew him in the program, he did nothing wrong. He might have been a bit of a hero.

Craig: [00:29:08] It reminds me, in the college sports realm, college football, there's a particular school that quotes that they have a 98% graduation rate for their football players, but they don't include football players that either quit or are asked to leave or don't stay there the full four years, they're only quoting the statistics of folks that stayed there the whole time. And it's almost like, you know, they're able to maintain their brand by saying, you all seems very nefarious. It just...

Debi: [00:29:44] Well, in sports, it's very nefarious because the schools are making a tremendous amount of money off of those athletes who get nothing. And many of them never make it into the pros.

Craig: [00:29:55] Right,

Debi: [00:29:56] Though. That's a terrible, terrible thing. I think that needs to be corrected. There's an abuse of these athletes and most of them aren't given the education that they should be getting at those institutions.

Craig: [00:30:09] Right.

Debi: [00:30:11] I can't believe I just said that. But there you go. But I think in the art world, and especially at a school like Yale, where it is a meal ticket and they all know that. And Felipe Baeza's spoken very openly about his experience there. And, you know, it's a little bit of a game, which I'm sure it is at a lot of art schools, because what are you really being taught? You're learning to sit through a crit and you're listening to someone's opinions. You're probably learning some techniques, but more than anything, it's the connections and the community that you're building. And every artist I've ever spoken to has said that, that it was really about that, just the network of people and sort of the support systems and what that gives to you when you have a profession where you're mostly working alone.

Craig: [00:31:03] You know, you mentioned Jenna Gribbon earlier, and I think this has really been a breakout year for Jenna. I know just in the last several months she was included in a group show with just real all stars at the Modern in Fort Worth. "Women Painting Women". I interviewed Andrea Karnes, the curator of that show earlier this year, and she just recently signed with LGDR, which is a huge name in the art world, right? And so it must be satisfying for you to be able to document those moments with Jenna before all of that recognition.

Debi: [00:31:47] You know, it is. And also, I just really like her as a person. I think she's wonderful and I hope that it all continues. And I think she's someone who's smart enough and kind of seasoned and truthful enough that she'll be able to navigate it. I actually showed a rough cut of the film last summer to Jeanne Greenberg, and I remember her eyes lighting up when she saw the work. So I just think it's wonderful that she's up there and she's with a world class gallery that has a global presence, and I think she's ready for it. She also had a piece this year in the Frick, which was extraordinary, the portrait of her partner and muse in the purple suit with exposed nipples and the rings. And it was just like you walk into the Breuer Building and it's the Frick Collection and there's Jenna. And it was just such a great badass moment, but so deserved. She's such a good artist and like seeing a friend succeed at this point because she was on that trajectory, I don't think the film had anything to do with it. It's just wonderful that we have her talking about that sort of pivotal moment on camera.

Craig: [00:32:55] How do you wrap up a film like this? And like do you pull it all together in kind the end of a documentary like this, you want some suggestions on how things are going to change or get better. Do we have a vision of a better art world?

Debi: [00:33:16] I think it's broader, and I think the social media of it all is never going to go away. So that artists and I mention Jenna again, but I mean, Lisa Corinne Davis says that like she got herself out there through social media. She didn't have a fancy upbringing and lots of connections. She made it happen. So I think that the ability for artists to kind of have an agency on their own is extraordinary. I think things like Spring Break are going to continue and they have more and more of those type of pop up shows that are a platform for new voices available. I also think that even though there are a lot of issues in the art world, I was talking to a friend who's in Janesville, Wisconsin, and they have an arts festival in September and they have muralists all over the country submitting. And she said to me, "You know, we decided this year when we have the muralists submit proposals, we're going to pay them for that because it takes a lot of time and artists are always asked to do things for free", which is very true. And we've been collecting press on articles, on things like that. And I have to say there's a lot of new grants and residencies and sort of museums broadening their approach and having free days and maybe more awareness for different educational programs that are available to the public. I mean, I'm kind of always err on the side of optimism. I don't think the industry is in worse shape than other industries, and I think it's getting a lot of attention.

Debi: [00:35:00] You know, I'm the NFT thing is a whole other. We could do a whole episode just like you just did. But, you know, at least it's got people thinking about it and talking about it. Sebastian Errazuriz, at the end of the film, does talk about the AR and VR and how the whole world becomes your gallery. And I know he's very focused on monuments, which, you know, who knows, could be the next film. But I think that all of those discussions are being brought into the mainstream in a way that maybe they weren't before the pandemic. And you know that people can go online and explore and learn and scan and no longer have to. I wonder what's going to happen with fairs and things like that if there'll be a consolidation and people are worried about sustainability and finally focused on the environment in a big way, like will that all change? I would imagine. I think it's an industry that's creative and it's usually ahead of things and it's ripe for change in the same way that there's a lot of change going on in the entertainment industry. And I was reading The Wrap this morning and they said the consensus is that there's no consensus, right? So I would think in the art world, the consensus would be that it's like there's a lot of change going on right now. We don't know where it's going to end up, but it's going to be in a different place.

Craig: [00:36:28] I can see change happening. My conversations in the NFT space. I mean, right now we talk about NFTs as being something separate, but in my mind it won't be long before it's just an underlying technology. All of those attributes, all the benefits are baked into how we sell artworks in terms of being able to track provenance, being able to provide royalties to artists, heck, even being able to provide royalties to your first gallery, right?

Debi: [00:37:03] Wouldn't that be something?

Craig: [00:37:06] Right? Or you know, there's Simon de Pury is doing auctions as primary market sells with galleries starting here in the next month, which is something that is totally different, right? And so yes, you know, change is the new constant.

Debi: [00:37:29] Yeah. And maybe it's a period where it's okay to throw spaghetti at the wall and just see what works. Like what's sticky. You don't know. Like there was a moment where how much did they pay for that Beeple thing?

Craig: [00:37:43] 69 million.

Debi: [00:37:44] Yeah, that's not happening today. However, I agree with you. I don't think NFTs are going away. I don't even think the blockchain is going away. I think artists may have their own metaverse or art schools might, and it's just I don't think it's a revolution. I think there's this evolution going on and it's just a little accelerated right now.

Craig: [00:38:03] Well, Debbie, I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to have such a great conversation. Where can people watch "The Art of Making It"?

Debi: [00:38:13] Well, the people can watch "The Art of Making It" can get the film on iTunes and you can get it on Amazon. And please go to our website  We have updates all the time. We have a lot...a screening at the MCA in Chicago that I'm doing with Jerry Saltz August 17th. We're premiering at Hot Docs in Toronto August 5th, we're at a theater in Montana. We just finished a theatrical run in IFC. We're crazy, and we're still committed to showing this film live with members of the cast conversing. So you'll follow us on Instagram. We post all the time and yeah, watch the movie.

Craig: [00:38:53] What if someone wanted to host a screening? So say that there is a community arts organization that really wanted to open up a dialog about this and they wanted to have a screening. Is there a way to reach out to you guys to to proposition that?

Debi: [00:39:08] Yes, DM us on Instagram and we will make that happen? We do that. There's a small fee and members of the cast and team are always willing to go. We've become like a merry group of pranksters and all of us are super, super passionate about the topics in the film. And we will go anywhere and we have. Thank you for asking that, though. I mean, the film was meant to be seen on the big screen. We're thrilled that everyone can get it on iTunes and Amazon, but we can make that happen.

Craig: [00:39:42] Wonderful. Well, again, Debbie, I really appreciate your generosity of time and openness. And, you know, thank you for for making a beautiful film that shines a light on well deserving artists.

Debi: [00:39:57] Thank you so much for having me. And also thank you for doing the podcast. I love it. I was listening the last week to all the Art Sense and I like that you don't have the usual suspects and that you go deep and that it's candid and...

Craig: [00:40:11] I try. I try to go deep and...

Debi: [00:40:14] I'm really honored to be in the company of other guests.

Craig: [00:40:18] Oh, my gosh.

Craig: [00:40:27] That's all the time we have for this week. You've been listening to Art since you can find the show on Apple Podcast, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher Radio, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. If you've enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe. And while you're there, please rate the show and leave a quick review. Your feedback is the key to other folks finding us. And if you'd like to see images related to the conversation, read the transcript and find other bonus features, you can go to and click on the podcast tab. If you'd like to reach out to me, you can email me at Thanks for listening.

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