Abbi Jacobson, better known as a comedian star of Comedy Central series Broad City, now makes people get into art. Have you ever walked around modern art galleries with this “What the hell is going on?!” face? From this very moment, Jacobson’s new podcast A Piece of Work is being promised to see the world!

And now, together with WNYC Studios and MoMA, Abbi’s 10-part podcast called A Piece of Work debuted on July 10. During the podcast Jacobson goes around MoMA‘s collection with special guests and tries to solve a mystery of the ways that art influences our mind.

Hardly any of Broad City watchers knows that Abbi tried to start her creative career as an artist. She is surrounded by creative people from very childhood, her parents were artists too. No doubt that art runs through her life like a golden thread: before getting into comedy and acting, Jacobson studied fine arts at Maryland Institute College of Art, what made a great help for her art podcast project at the end.

Abbi Jacobson at MoMa

Abbi Jacobson at MoMa

A Piece of Work is a good example of how it’s possible to show people the other side of modern art without really showing it. While people can only listen it, the whole idea of art podcast hosting was initially an innate challenge for Abbi. “I think it’s a way in that is not only entertaining but really insightful” Abbi says. “It’ll make you want to go and see art, which is what I hope that people take away from it.”

Talking about unstoppable creativity that comes out from Abbi we can assume that there is no the only one right shape for art. With huge artistic background and doubtless charisma Abbi makes a great person to answer millions of questions constantly coming from people, who already joined a MoMa community, and to engage new visitors to modern galleries too.

How she supposed to attract more people?

The first goal is to break the wall of fear, raised between a visitor and a modern art object. She also wants to show people how to be open for not only asking more questions, but letting the art affect you (even if you don’t have answers). “Sometimes it can feel inaccessible and it can feel pretentious and it can make you feel like you don’t know and you will never know – and I think that that’s ok,” Jacobson says. “We’re open to not knowing – that’s how I like to go into museums, anyway.”

Abbi Jacobson at MoMa

Jacobson at MoMaWhy a person fences off from Modern Art?

Well, if you’ve ever seen any Art History coursebook or movie, you would probably confirm that nobody talks this gobbledygook language in real life. That’s why A Piece of Work is about talking unpretentious and absolutely understandable language. It is not only to entertain listeners but to involve them to educational process at the same time. The question of language leads to the one of the most important phenomenon in human nature: to establish communication, to level it.


Don’t we need at least two people to make a dialogue?

So, studying never alone! Abbi’s special guests are people taken from comedian scene to museum for a day of her podcast. She invites such people as Hannibal Buress, Questlove, RuPaul, and Tavi Gevinsom. While they are not only actors, but Abbi’s friends, this relax and fun atmosphere makes listeners feel like in a company of their own friends, where nobody will judge each other. “Sometimes I really want to know the artist’s full intentions before looking at the art and sometimes I just wanted to look at the art and think about what it made me think about,”Jacobson says.

Abbi Jacobson at OZY FEST 2016

Abbi Jacobson and Hannibal Burress

The most curious part of having friends around while attending galleries is that it’s different to watch the same art object with someone else: “I had watched the video works by myself, but then watching them with RuPaul was totally different and way more fun. It just exemplifies the point that there are so many different ways to view art, and that’s exciting to me.” This comment says a lot about importance of communication and discussion in case of Modern Art. Setting up a connection between a human and an inanimate art object becomes decisive today. It helps to create a dialogue between many real people in the real world.

Now you can listen to A Piece of Work in the shape of podcast with new episodes released every Monday and Wednesday through August 9. The podcast is also available for download on WNYC’s website, MoMA’s website or Apple Podcasts. Three of them are already out there!

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