Some people are problem-solvers by nature. With 15 years of experience in the tech industry and a background in art business, today’s guest, Badir McCleary, knows how to fix nearly any problem the art world throws at him.
On today’s podcast, host Scott “Sourdough” Power sits down with Badir—a longtime friend of NOT REAL ART—to discuss how the entrepreneur’s problem-solving skills helped him forge a unique, multifaceted career in the arts. Growing up, Badir was “really good at taking things apart and putting them back together,” a skill his parents cultivated at every opportunity. “That gave me the confidence that I could get into something and problem-solve,” he says early in the interview. “That’s where my creativity in tech and also my problem-solving in art comes from.”
Based in Los Angeles, Badir is the founder of Art Above Reality, a full-service art consulting and curatorial firm focused on “vision, history, and people.” In 2015 he co-founded Gallery 38, a contemporary gallery that catered to artists of color, along with the Gallery 38 Mural Program, which brought those same artists into the community. With a background in curating, consulting, and writing, Badir is uniquely positioned to face the challenges of a changing industry. Above all, he champions soft skills, like respect, leadership, and the ability to listen: “I pride myself on being that type of person,” he says. “Always being able to listen. Someone always has something to teach you.”
In today’s episode, Badir elaborates on the skills he learned while earning his MA in art business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. He also shares his thoughts on the distinction between public art and “real art,” the importance of creating opportunities for artists to be seen, and how artist-run spaces allow artists to establish new definitions of art.
While Badir is already a near and dear friend, we’re excited to announce he’ll join us as a collaborator on the production of Video Stories, an upcoming new series from NOT REAL ART. Tune into the episode to find out more about Video Stories and hear our conversation with the always fascinating Badir McCleary.