Stuart Shils

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Philadelphia artist Stuart Shils is my guest today.

You may remember in episode 20 William Wray mentioned how much of an influence Stuart was on his work. I reached out to Stuart and he graciously agreed to speak with me.

Its an honor to have him on the show. Stuart  is an explorer. It’s too easy to categorize his work as urban or abstract. Those subjects play a role, but his work is more about perception and exploration.

We talk about the role of influence in creating your art. And we discuss the evolution of the artist: how we begin with the voices of mentors and teachers chattering away in our heads and then develop a voice.

Stuart shares a great story about a chance encounter with Julia Auerbach, the wife of Frank Auerbach and how that pushed his resolve.

Stuart talks about the visual kiss – which is what we make of our contact with our subject- its our subjective interpretation. What we create reflects just how present we are in that moment. And what happens in the interval between looking at your subject and making a mark on the canvas-  Is that interval a second? A week? A month?

While we talk about the barrage of information and distraction artists today deal with- Stuart sits in a cafe in Philadelphia waiting to pick up his work from the framer, I am on the other side of the equator in my studio in Argentina. We joke about maybe needing a glass of wine and a few more hours or days for parts of the discussion but I’m grateful to Stuart for graciously indulging my sometimes bumbling questions and to William Wray for pointing me his way.

Stuart explores that question in his work which you can see on his website – – or on his tumblr page.

Artists Mentioned in this episode:


Photo of Stuart Shils by Nikolai Fox


See Stuart’s art at:

Rothschild Fine Art

Davis & Langdale Co.


That Place I've Been Trying to Remember, Where We Sat Before Dinner

that afternoon still sitting in my head - Version 2
recent window photograph recent wall photograph recent wall near girard ave recent street photograph recent still life recent oils 3 recent oil 3, 2012 recent oil 2, 2012 recent oil 1, 2012 painted photograph north philadelphia L1110884 itlaian oill approx 2009 itlaian oil 2 approx 2009 italian oil, 2010 italian oil 2010 collalge 1, 2013 collage 3, 2013 collage 2, 2013 another late itlian oil 2 recent monotype _DSC1342B, sRGB _DSC1324B, sRGB _DSC1313B copy _DSC1311B, sRGB

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  • Hey Antrese, wanted to say how much I am really happy to have found your archived podcasts! Fills my studio with other artists and new friends…espesially while the world is locked down. Hope you get set back up soon, and are surviving well. Of many favorites, i have to say this interview with Stuart was one of my favorite, as was this artist who mentioned Stuart back in episode 20. It was so much more about their struggle with art and vision and direction – not how successful they are, which sometimes leaves me like stuart in that gallery in england, champagne bubbles of fear and unworthiness. This didn’t. I appreciate your work to bring us these voices. We are connected and there is always hope. Thanks! When i have some money coming in, i will remember your podcast!

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