NOTA BENE is the podcast version of a boozy lunch at Sant Ambroeus in which adviser Benjamin Godsill and Wet Paint columnist Nate Freeman dish fresh art world gossip from Dimes Square to Mayfair, peel back the curtain on auctions, galleries and fairs—and, critically, tell you where to eat and drink in every museum-stuffed port of call. Plus there’s a special guest each week, and we’ll roast them good regardless of how much clout they carry on the circuit. It’s NOTA BENE. Don’t close the deal until you tune in.
Wrapping up our Felix coverage here in LA we are joined by the fascinating and fun Fernando Mesta, founder of the Mexico City and Los Angeles based gallery House of Gaga. Fernando is both fun as F and a serious intellect who is committed to his artists and providing them with an innovative platform for their practices. Check it out!
We are joined by the proprietor of Los Angeles gallery Chateâu Shatto, the brilliant Olivia Barttett to discuss her founding of the gallery, how she got started in the Australian Art Scene and what she sees for the future of the art scene in Los Angeles.
A big NOTA BENE exclusive—we have a very special chat with Hunter Biden, the eldest son of the leader of the free world, who has become one of the world's most famous artists months before the opening of his first solo show. In a candid interview, Hunter talks about how he got first bit by the art bug at the National Gallery, his love for the work of Mark Bradford and David Hockney, how his dad is the first person to see new paintings, and addresses for the first time the prices for his work and the wacko conspiracy theories surrounding who's buying them. Above all else, Hunter opens up about his passion for making art, and empathizes with anyone who's ever had to struggle to become a successful artist.
The legendary proprietors of stalwart LA (and Tokyo, and New York) gallery Blum and Poe join the boys to discuss their history with hotel art fairs. While this week's Felix is their first one in a long time it certainly isn't their first. They go on to discuss where the art market and gallery is now in a post covid world and what changes might be wrought. You won't want to miss this episode with these two absolute heroes.
Nate and Benjamin sit down with art advisor to the stars Meredith Darrow to talk about art and life in Los Angeles, what it's like working with Kendall Jenner on her art collection, and what she might be looking to acquire for client's at Felix this week.
We are joined by Rick Garzon, the founder of Inglewood's Residency Art Gallery's. Rick is an amazing gallerists and curator with a deep commitment to the act of community building. An Inglewood native Rick returned there after a career in advertising and opened his gallery in 2016. Rick shares his story and his passion for catering to and developing new local audiences for contemporary art.
Nate and Benjamin are taking over a suite in the Hollywood Roosevelt and teaming up with the Felix Art Fair to whip up a slew of quick-hit special edition pods with some legends of the LA art scene. First up are Mills Morán and Dean Valentine, co-founders of Felix, who swing by the suite to talk about the decision to go ahead with LA's first in-person fair in 18 months, why this is a breakthrough moment for local galleries, how sick it is to have a legit bank sponsor, and whether or not the new Nancy Silverton joint in the Roosevelt is any good.
Nate and Benjamin meet up for a special summertime in-person live (to tape) intro. They cover their epic Hamptons meet-up and art odyssey; the recent departures of Noah Horowitz and Rebecca Ann Seigel from (respectively) ArtBasel and Frieze; The galleries that are skipping Basel Basel and those participating for the first time and well as this Fucking Dick.
They are then joined by gallery owner, restauranteur and visionary mad-man Max Levai to discuss his amazing new project in Montauk, The Ranch. Max is special and so is this project, don't miss this special behind the scenes description of how it all happened and what the future holds.
Harper Levine is one of the most special people in the art world. Beginning as a rare book dealer in Minneapolis Minnesota in 1997 he has recently become known for his ability to truffle hunt for emerging and overlooked talent in the visual arts and has given several artists that are now market darlings their first gallery shows. He now has three spaces, his East Hampton flagship as well as "Harper's Apartment" on the Upper East Side and a space in Chelsea with plans to open in Los Angeles later this year and a second Chelsea space in 2022. In this wide-ranging interview we talk about his beginnings in the book trade, his move to the Hamptons, his turn towards visual art, how is friend Richard Prince is the most important book collector ever (!), his rapid expansion and much much more. Harper has a generous and wide-ranging intellect and an infectious love of life and you won't want to miss his story.
Nate and Benjamin catch-up on all the gossip from the art world including: Nate's first trip to Martha's Vineyard (to see this show), Benjamin's boat rides and art world barbecues, their dislike for Hunter Biden's paintings (but love of Hunter), the MacArthur "genius" grant art show in Chicago celebrating 40 years of grant giving in the visual arts, the FBI arrest of an art fraudster, Jerry Saltz refusing the bag and a whole bunch more. Don't miss this episode of the ONLY ART PODCAST.
The gents are joined by art advisor and curator James Michael Cardoso Schaeffer to discuss the news of the day including the fact that Nate is joining Vanity Fair, and the death of Donald "known known and known unknowns" Rumsfeld. In the art-world itself they cover the opening of the LUMA foundation in Arles as well as the opening of Laura Owens new exhibition, also in Arles, at the Vincent van Gogh foundation. They go on to chat about the very touching interview with Thomas Houseago about his trauma-induced breakdown, the recent Phillips sale, Jim Shaw joining Gagosian, and much, much more.
Nate and Benjamin discuss the exclusive, world-famous fondue-less fondue party Nate hosted on an East Village roof-top last night and go on to discuss an exciting new exhibition at Gagosian that opened this week before breaking down all the gossip that was fit to print in this week's edition of Wet Paint (the art worlds ONLY gossip column).
The audio quality is a bit "eh" but the content is killer.
Nate and Benjamin riff on weddings, father's day, Cady Noland's new exhibition, and how art is a terrible vehicle for laundering money no matter what The Times says.
They are then joined by Artadia Executive Director Carolyn Ramo who discusses how she kicked Benjamin's ass in tennis recently and more importantly how her organization provides direct funds to artists. She also discusses how Artadia along with several other organizations joined together in an unprecedented manner to raise and give away 25 million dollars in emergency grant funding for artists affected by COVID.
And Gossip. So much GOSSIP.
Nate and Benjamin drop in a for a quick chat to catch-up on all the gossip worth knowing from this week's Wet Paint and beyond. The begin by discussing some upcoming nuptials (but perhaps not those you think) and segue to Benjamin's trip up to Ossining to check out the art and design fair Object & Thing which is housed in a jewel of post-war modernism, the Luss house. They then discuss recent dinner invitations and gallery openings.
Most importantly they dig deep into this week's edition of Wet Paint; prying back the paywall to discuss Libby Mugrabi's ongoing divorce and recent, um, eyebrow raising (?) podcast appearance, the maybe/maybe not photoshopped instagram account of art advisor to the stars Maria Brito, and THE FIRST NEW WORK BY CADY NOLAND IN TWENTY YEARS.
All that, and more, on this week's bonus episode of Nota Bene.
Nate and Ben gab about all the news that's fit to air. On the culinary tip they discuss Kingston Wine Co., one of the best small wine stores in America as well as one of the best Jamaican restaurants, Top Taste, also located in Kingston as well the runaway prices of lobster rolls in downeast Maine. In more visual arts news they discuss the preventable tragedy that struck Dorothea Rockburne's studio and how the (alleged) tech bro who caused it is refusing to pay up.
They are then joined by the innovative and passionate collector Scott Lorinsky who shares how he got into this world we call art.
This episode is brought to you by See Saw, available in the App Store.
Nate and Benjamin breach the paywall and discuss all the hot gossip from this weeks WET PAINT.
We also touch on some great instagram posts featuring prominent young painters at dinner parties in mega dealers' town houses and other great media from around the world (well, from The New Yorker and New York Times).
In the introductionNate and Benjamin briefly discuss how Los Angeles is not thriving like New York is in these post pandemic days including Benjamin's sub-par meal at Petit Trois (le Valley). They then look forward to icon Alice Waters forthcoming Los Angeles restaurant at The Hammer. They then go on to discuss NY media comings-and-goings, a move from Pace to Zwirner, the first REAL Gala and some crazy results from the Phillips sale in Hong Kong.
They are then joined by curator, art advisor and country gentleman Robert Sheffield for a heartfelt conversation touching on the meaning of art, moving out of the city but remaining in the contemporary arts fold, and the future of art and commerce in England and beyond in a post-pandemic world. This is a great conversation and one you won't want to miss.
Some quick hits from around the art world focusing on the only gossip column in the art world, Nate's Wet Paint.
Nate discusses his original reporting on a new lawsuit against MoMA trustee Leon Black, Larry Gagosian's bedroom hang of a painting by Issy Wood, and a whole bunch more.
The audio quality is a bit "meh" but hey, this Sh!t's free!
Nate and Benjamin discuss lobsters, (sort of) saving a child's life and other memorial day hijinx.
They are then joined by writer, curator, gallerist (and former star intern) Alexander Shulan to discuss the evolution of his LOMEX project, real estate in New York and going back to school for his PhD (in a non-art related subject). We delve deep into his current show, a solo exhibition by Kye Christensen-Knowles - a current crowd fav. If the crowd is Nate and Benjamin anyway.
Nate and Benjamin discuss what they have been eating, the art they have been seeing and all the week's hot art gossip.
They are then graced with the presence of writer, researcher, (real) podcaster and Gladstone Galleries Director Alissa Bennett to discuss how she got to the top of the front desk heap (while making friends and influencing people along the way). We learn Straight Up about her humble luxury retail beginnings before she gives tips and tricks on how the youth of today can master the front desk game. Then we go behind the scenes to hear about her legendary instagram account @regret_counter_ and how her in-depth research into celebrity fandom led to her newest instagram sensation @westwood_village_mortuary which tracks a totally different type of auction from what we usually cover.
NO BULLSHIT: Alissa is one of the most accomplished, smart and funny people in the artworld you will NOT want to miss this episode.
The gents discuss their trip to the recently reopened Bemelmans, that upstate life and a bunch more before being jointed by guest Joe Cole; collector, eater, suburbanite, dad, and co-founder of Broadway Gallery (along withPascal Spengemann).
Nate and Benjamin are joined by guest host Andrea Neustein to discuss the first in-person art fair in the states in over a year (Frieze, NY). And of course all the attendant dinners and parties and gossip. Only on Nota Bene
Nate fills Benjamin in on what he missed in Mexico City last week and tells the tale of the dream that led to a huge Kentucky Derby payday before briefly discussing the passing of art collecting lion Eli Broad.
Special Guest and charter Crab Posse member Lock Kresler then dials in from London for a detailed discussion of some of the top lots coming up for auction next week at Christie's and Sotheby's. A long time auction house specialist and art dealer Lock is an encyclopedia of knowledge about the art market and shares some amazing details and astute analysis about some of the pictures going under the hammer in New York next week. We discuss works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Martin Kippenberger, Matthew Barney, friend of the pod Joel Mesler, Jonas Wood, Alex da Corte, the most amazing Robert Colescott imaginable, what's going on with Rudolf Stingel and a whole slew more.
Nota Bene: Don't raise your paddle (or sign an irrevocable bid contract) until you've tuned in.
With Nate reporting from Mexico City while Benjamin holds down the fort in NYC the gents discuss Jeff Koons defection to Pace Gallery, long lunches at Contramar, the passing of epic collector Hans Rasmus Astrup, consolidation in the art logistics game, supermodel Emily Ratajkowski's chic NFT trolling of Richard Prince and Olafur Eliasson's spectacle at the Beyeler Foundation in Basel.
They are then joined by award winning Art Critic Andrew Russeth who shares what he has learned about art and food since moving to Seoul during a global pandemic including rumors of a Frieze bringing an edition of their art fair there, the potential fate of the 12,000 item, 2.5 billion (with a B) art collection of longtime Samsung chair Lee Kun-hee, and most critically all the tasty food he is eating.
In the first half Nate and Benjamin discuss trivialities including the resumption of power breakfasts at Balthazar, the trendiness in the artworld of the expensive Prolon fast and the 4/20 reopening of steakhouse standby Smith & Wollensky. They go on to discuss Paula Copper's legacy planning as revealed in last Sunday's Times and how that highlights the lack of such public announcements by other top gallerists (happy birthday Larry). The lads go on to discuss some of the blockbuster lots Sotheby's has announced for their May sales as well as their results from Hong Kong including a record result for recent guest of the pod Joel Mesler. Benjamin shares what he has learned in his recent immersion into the antiquities market ahead of a Christie's sale this week including how Logan Roy of Succession may be driving a particularly hot segment of that market. Nate then shares some background on some reporting he did on Frieze LA that was recently featured in his column.
The second half features an interview with Mills Moran of Los Angeles gallery Morán Morán wherein he discusses his new gallery in that city as well as their forthcoming expansion to Mexico City. Mills also tells us about the history of his gallery, how it has changed over the years and how they managed during the pandemic.
All that, and more on Nota Bene. Don't close the deal until you've listened.
Benjamin and Nate are joined by the brilliant Andrea Neustein to discuss what's what in the world of contemporary art this week. The three discuss Manhattan's best byo restaurant (wu's wonton king) and Benjamin's sublime sommelier and ordering skills; the hypebeast status of gear from Andrea's alma mater (Spence); the Whitney Independent Study Program; the change of venue for the 2022 edition of Frieze LA and the potential for a Frieze fair in Seoul; ArtBasel Hong Kong's pared down 2021 exhibitors list; the results of Urs Fischer's non-fungible token auctioned on Fair Warning; the (sort of) solidified attribution to Da Vinci of the painting Salvator Mundi sold at Christie's to Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman for $450 million in 2017; and the recently announced Met Ball. We wrap-up the first half of the pod discussing the Venice Biennale scheduled to open next year and past european art travels to documenta and Skulptur Projekte Münster and how art-world travel may change in a post pandemic world.
The second half of the pod focuses on recent and forthcoming gallery openings, Nate's encyclopedic knowledge of Taylor Swift AND the forthcoming New York Mayoral election featuring Benjamin's mea culpa for flirting with Andrew Yang as his choice.
Nota Bene: Don't transact in the art market until you've listened.
Nate and Benjamin discuss Nate's overactive social life including his *very* fancy literary-influencer dinner at Dr. Clark's. They are then forced to discuss Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) as superstar artist Urs Fischer is auctioning his first one off with Loic Gouzer's invitation-only app-based Fair Warning auction house. This leads to a discussion of the reported tension/jockeying between Urs, his main gallery (Gagosian) and Fair Warning backer and Pace Gallery head-honcho Marc Glimcher.
The main event is an interview with the innovative gallerist Stefania Bortolami. The interview delves into her early professional years including running a project space in Barcelona and then her tutelage under the seminal dealer Anthony d’Offay. We then discuss what it was like to move to New York and work for Larry Gagosian and the subsequent decision to break out on her own. In addition to talking about some of the innovations her gallery has made, Stefania breaks important news in announcing her forthcoming "Artist's City" project in Buffalo this summer with one of the market's most in-demand painters.
Nate and Benjamin have a quick chat on the news of the day covering passover seder, the stunning David Hammons show at The Drawing Center, how Frieze is trying to stage a safe in-person art fair in New York next month and Nate's profile of market phenom Robert Nava.
In the second half we are joined by the artist and gallerist Joel Mesler who--hot on the heels of his sold out exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles--breaks down his personal and artistic history. We cover his wayward youth in Los Angeles, his college years and (brief) move to Israel, graduate school in San Francisco, his place at the center of the all important Chinatown (LA) art scene of the early aughts, his gallery move to New York and later East Hampton and how he pivoted to becoming a fulltime (and highly in-demand) artist. You won't want to miss this legendary recontour and his insightful take on what his long and varied journey has taught him about the contemporary art world and life in general.
In this introductory episode of NOTA BENE your hosts--art advisor Benjamin Godsill and Wet Paint columnist Nate Freeman--give a short introduction to the Note Bene world. They discuss the best places to get a drink in art world capitals including London (Dukes), Zurich (Kronenhalle Bar), Miami (Mac's Club Deuce) and Basel (split decision between the Kunsthalle Bar and the bar of the Three Kings Hotel). Less louche (but no less interestingly) they discuss the future of Hong Kong as an art world capital and a host city for major art fairs given the political climate there. Wrapping it up they preview what we can look forward to in upcoming episodes of this brand new podcast focusing on the art world including: the art market, travel, art fairs, auctions and galleries brought to you by two insiders who have seen it all.