In this episode of the Artmatcher podcastMichael Goodman speaks with Michael Shaw whose work primarily aims to highlight issues of income inequality. He explains the complex process of creating art through cyanotypes, along with how public infrastructure reflects America’s wealth gap. A provocative conversation ensues about how art galleries contribute to gentrification. The duo discusses the modern art market’s various sectors, and they question if NFTs are merely a cash grab.

About Michael Shaw

Michael Shaw is a visual artist whose work focuses on income inequality and the wealth divide. He works primarily with cyanotypes, which provide a limited structure to work within and against, mirroring the limitations of affordable living. His method requires a dense web of masking tape in varying widths, rips, and thicknesses – a painstaking, brick-by-brick process that honors the culturally humble structures of the neighborhoods he seeks to protect. In art historical terms, Shaw depicts modern representations of the ‘home of the serf’ who exists in the murky class system of the U.S.

About The Conversation Art Podcast

Michael is also the creator and host of The Conversation Art Podcast, which explores the contemporary art world through conversations with a range of participants from the center to the fringes and back again. Through frank and incisive exchanges, the show sheds light on what goes on behind the scenes, whether in a studio, a gallery, or in the backroom. Artists, industry professionals, and students alike gain an insider’s view of these often opaque machinations at work.

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Key Moments

  • 00:30 Getting to know Michael
  • 05:05 Understanding cyanotypes and Michael’s creative process
  • 30:20 Income inequality and public infrastructure
  • 49:55 Art in context
  • 53:55 The art world’s recent influx of incomers