5 podcasts about the world of art you’ll love

We know that finding loveable podcast series and episodes can be a challenge. So we’ve done the work for you. Below you can find a list of wonderful podcasts related to the world of art. The first two explore specific Mexican paintings/painters (Remedios Varo, Frida Kahlo), ‘Colors’ (clue in the title) explores the world of color and HablemosArte and A Piece of Work are broad-ranging and engaging series which explore many of the questions about art you didn’t know you had (e.g. does art have to be beautiful?). We hope you enjoy them and if you have other suggestions, let us know!

“Remedios Varo,” Arte Compacto (Spanish)

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In this episode, Juanra Sanza and Bernardo Pajares discuss the life and art of Remedios Varo, a Spanish artist who spent much of her life in Mexico and whom they describe as “the shaman of Surrealism.” 

The episode discusses the role of women in Surrealism, initially as muses and later as active members of the movement and Vero’s desire for freedom and escape from limitations as well as Remedios’ personal unconventional experience of not fitting into the traditional surrealist group in Paris but eventually becoming recognised as a member of the surrealist group in Barcelona. It also discusses her unique artistic style, which combines geometry with dreams creating a sense of enchantment for viewers, as well as taking a closer look at the presence of recurring symbols in Remedios’ works.

“Frida Kahlo’s “Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia)” (1928),” The Lonely Palette (English)

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Through The Lonely Palette, host Tamar Avishai aims to “return art history to the masses, one painting at a time.” Each episode focuses on one object – a painting, a sculpture, an installation – and tells its story in tantalizing detail. 

In this episode, Tamar takes a closer look at “Dos Mujeres,” which features two women against a background of lush foliage and provides various observations and interpretations. Tamar discusses the significance of the subjects’ gaze and facial expressions as well as the background, and suggests that their possibly-held roles as maids might be a tribute to the people who had helped Frida in her life.

Tamar also touches upon the problematic portrayal of Frida in the media, particularly a headline from 1933 describing her as “the wife of master mural painter gleefully dabbles in works of art” and her relationship with Diego Rivera.

“Colors,” Radiolab (English)

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Radiolab never disappoints, every week deep-diving on interesting topics and sharing them in a beautiful, captivating, fun and very slightly chaotic way. In this firm-favorite episode from 2012, hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich ask age-old questions such as “what are colors?” “where do they come from?” and “to what extent is color a physical thing in the physical world, and to what extent is it created in our minds?” 

Starting with Sir Isaac Newton, who was so eager to solve these very mysteries that he stuck a knife in his eye to pinpoint the answer, Radiolab explores butterflies and sea creatures that see a rainbow way beyond anything humans can experience and hired a choir to illustrate their learnings. They go on to ask “why is the sky blue?”

HablemosArte (Spanish)

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HablemosArte is a podcast from Roberta Villarreal, who has dedicated herself to making Art History more accessible for people who know who Van Gosh is but don’t necessarily understand Post-Impressionism perfectly. She speaks in a friendly and easy-to-follow way and topics are wide-ranging, including: the power of the Church in art, how to understand the work of Mark Rothko and deep dives on the likes of Edward Munch.  

A Piece of Work (English)

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In ten twenty-minute episodes, Abbi Jacobson, a crew of art experts and her celebrity friends talk us through a sampling of the greatest artworks in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. MoMA has influenced the contemporary art world since its founding in 1929 by a group,better known then as “the daring ladies.”

The result – a light art history lesson on the likes of Marcel Duchamp’s porcelain urinal and Andy Warhol and James Turrell. Discussions take place around; what does it all mean? does art have to be beautiful? when you look at abstract art, what are you supposed to see among all those splatters and blobs? Discussions all enhanced by the delicious comments of drag queen RuPaul (“If it’s [the art’s] got naked people and big, fat asses, I’m in”).

“A Piece of Work” touches on many ideas with its main goal being to make art fun.