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Shawn Kolodny: The Installation Artist Creating Spheres of Influence
Episode 21228th March 2023 • Not Real Art • Crewest Studio
00:00:00 00:57:50

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“When you take weird risks and opportunities, weird shit presents itself,” says Shawn Kolodny, whose large-scale installations are strange in all the right ways. Using polished steel as his primary medium, the Miami artist is known for his “balls,” reflective sculptures that exist somewhere between the realms of art, science, and magic. 

On this week’s podcast episode, host and NOT REAL ART founder Scott “Sourdough” Power sits down with Shawn to discuss the artist’s winding journey from business to industrial design to fine art. With an MBA under his belt, Shawn approaches his fine art career with an entrepreneur’s mindset, explaining that he sees himself as the CEO of his own small venture. “I always look at the artist as an entrepreneur,” he tells Scott. “You’re basically a small business where [you’re] in charge of marketing, [you’re] in charge of social outreach, [you’re] in charge of inventory, [you’re] in charge of general finances. Oh, by the way, [you’re] also creating the stuff.”

Realizing that many creatives lack basic business skills, Shawn created Ballsy, a podcast that investigates the habits and growth hacks of profitable artists. As the host, Shawn interviews financially successful artists to find out how they “got the balls” to sell their work and make art their career. “I look at every artist as a small business,” he says. “Whether that means [they’re in the] Gagosian or whether that means they’re on Etsy, every artist is a small business.” 

Tuning in, you’ll learn more about Shawn’s thought-provoking work and his nonlinear path into the art world. Shawn and Scott talk about the inherent value of constraints, the difference between a job, a career, and a calling, and how artists can get out of their own way by “falling forward.” Find out how you can grow the balls to sell your work by hitting the play button on our episode with Shawn Kolodny below. 

In Today’s Podcast Episode

Shawn Kolodny discusses…

  • How he became known for his “balls”
  • The essential role of the sphere in his installation work
  • A technical overview of his creative process and materials
  • The evolving iterations of his art practice over the years
  • His unique journey into the arts and how he learned to “problem-solve with purpose”
  • Tips for structuring your workflow and scheduling your responsibilities
  • The power of reinventing yourself while still making money from what you’re known for
  • Why branding and audience are inherent parts of an artist’s business
  • The myth of “overnight success” and promoting the value of the hard slog

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