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Installation view of Deborah Kass’s “OY/YO” (2015) sculpture, which is part of Something to Say: Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine, Deborah Kass, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Hank Willis Thomas, at the Brooklyn Museum, October 3, 2018 – June 30, 2019. (Photo by Jonathan Dorado)

After decades in the art world, Deborah Kass has a hit. A major one. The type of beloved public artwork that you see endlessly on your social feeds, and brings a smile to your face whenever you encounter it. I’m talking about “OY/YO” (2015), the eight-foot-tall yellow sculpture that just landed at the Brooklyn Museum for an exhibition titled Something to Say.

I took the opportunity to invite Kass into the studio to talk about her work, her thoughts on the art world (she’s a pessimist), the role of art today, and more. I also got to ask her something I’ve always wanted to ask her, particularly since she’s so well known for her Warhol-inspired Barbra Streisand series: Does she have a favorite song by Streisand?

And a special thanks to sound artist Bradford Reed, who performed this past weekend as part of the 24-hour Sonic Transmission Archive event at the Newburgh Open Studios in Newburgh, New York. I was able to attend the Sunday portion of the event, which is a Wave Farm Partner Transmit project organized by Ethan Primason and Caroline Partamian, and got to hear and record his performance myself. Thanks to the artist and organizers for allowing us to use the sound work.


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