Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








Conversation between Michael Sherman and Olivia Ramos.


Sue Williams

Window of Opportunity, 2015

Oil on Canvas

70 x 80 in.

SHERMAN:  ‪hello‬‬


RAMOS:  ‪Hi Sherman, thank you for joining me‬‬


thanks for having me‬‬


‪so we ran into each other at the Art Basel Fair right as you were purchasing this piece by Nina Beier‬‬


‪yes. but i first saw you right after i had bought the Sue Williams piece from Regan Projects‬‬


‪yes you are right... i just got the names confused


i really like Williams work


did you know of her before you saw this piece or did run into the piece and then heard of her


me too. i had been looking at her work the last 2 years at Basel and when i saw this piece i couldn't say no.


it had so much more depth and the colors in person are amazing


‪i agree... the different scales of brush strokes, from blurs to a very refined line creating drawing-like images, are very joyful and almost whimsical‬‬


yes! and the lines are so precise. its really a beautiful piece of work.


yes. .. the baby blue in contrast to the the lines feel like a horizon, a sort of background to this whirlwind


i enjoy the visual narrative


i collect another artist named Friedrich Kunath who also does these surreal drawings throughout his work and so when Sue had added this dimension to the pieces this year it brought a smile to my face because i have always loved the way she paints. I love the loafer in the middle of the painting.‬‬


yes it also reminds me a little of Cecily Brown's work‬‬


Williams is somewhere in between Kunath and Brown‬‬


Kunath is a bit more figurative‬‬


but i see that juxtaposition of line-work and painting that also appears in Williams' work


‪yes. ‬‬


Nina Beier's piece is very different‬‬


Nina Beier

Allegory of Peace and Happiness of the State, 2015

Ceramic cup, cofee beans, resin, wood and metal

12 2/3 x 22 x 19 2/3 in.


Nina's piece is so clever. its a sculpture made of coffee beans being poured onto the floor by a coffee cup.‬‬




i like that theres a bit of awkwardness to her work


Yeah she tends to mix things up which i like. The first time i saw her work she had made the framed paintings from different fabrics.‬‬


‪I love coffee and could think of nothing better for my kitchen than this sculpture.


i found them brilliant. They even smell like espresso  ‬‬


‪haha awesome‬‬


so this piece was location specific


as opposed to William's piece


correct. I also love the gallery Standard(OSLO), i think they have one of the best programs.


Williams was a I can't walk away from this decision. Big different in price but equal love for the both.


‪right... Williams is more conventional in it's beauty, at least only in comparison to Beier which has a very subtle and ingenious touch of impossibility and reality that work very well together


i too enjoyed meeting Gilda from Standard - hoping to get her in a conversation soon


She's fantastic‬‬




so tell me about the Jonathan Gardner piece you bought


because it seems like a bit of a curve ball


Jonathan Gardner

Reading Room, 2015

Oil on linen

56 x 36 in.


‪I love tennis as you know. And I saw this painting at Sadie Coles of these women playing tennis and it was Jonathan Gardner. I then researched his work online and saw that he worked under Jim Nutt whose work I liked. Almost like a sims game version of Picasso.


Anyway, I'd put Gardner on my radar and I was having lunch with a good friend of mine named Casey Kaplan who has a gallery in NYC and mentioned to him I really like this guys work. He paused and smiled and said "that's so strange because I'm going to represent him" which then made me smile because I knew right then I would be able to own a piece of his work.‬‬


ha... a sims game version of Picasso... i thought of it more like if Modigliani + Matisse + Botero had a baby


there are hits of those DNAs there for me


but i definitely see the sims version of Picasso


His attention to details is fascinating. The way he paints a women gives her body life on the canvas. Pretty amazing.‬‬


yes i like the two-dimensionality to the composition (hence Matisse)‬‬

everything works on the same plane


Def uses Matisse and Magritte references.‬‬


some of the facial expressions in other works have a Modigliani-sh sort of stare‬‬


and the boobs for some reason remind me of Botero




You know your art history.


‪although this particular piece has no face and no boobs...  ‬‬


this piece seems scholarly


as if sitting at school dreaming of my nightstand and what i get to wear later at night


I know.‬‬


so i love the way you love the work you purchase‬‬


‪and how you don't set strict standards in terms of typologies‬‬


No I've always bought with my eyes and not with my ears.‬‬


If I like an artist I buy that artist. That's what I love about my collection.


is that what it feels like?‬‬


when you own a piece... does it feel like you own a bit of a person?


i never thought of it that way


‪Absolutely in fact I'm a big fan of meeting the artists I collect because I have a piece of that person in my house and I'm big on energy so I like to know there is positive energy in the painting when I bring it into my house.‬‬


I've become good friends with several of the artists I collect and they are all amazing people in their day to day lives as well


‪i'll tell you this... as an artist, i've never thought of my work as a piece of me, in fact i am quite detached from them as they seem more like a piece of my intellect, at least the more recent things‬‬


but it is refreshing to think that way


and makes me want to put more soul into it


Well I think now a days people sell art when they buy it so much you have to probably detach from it when it leaves your studio. But for me as a collector and I've only really been collecting for the last 5 years I want to make sure I live with and enjoy the art I buy. I've never bought art to make money off it. That is never my intention. I buy art to give my house life and joy to those who come over and say wow that's amazing whose that artist and it brings up good conversation.‬‬


‪In my professional life I am a Producer, and I look at first time directors a lot and it's funny how I never noticed until now that I probably do that with art as well. I like to buy young artists as if I'm making their first film in the hopes of continuing to make movies with them for the remainder of our lives.‬‬