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Cut & Paste podcast: Talkin’ baseball, art and racism with artist Ryan Doyle

Make no mistake. As a white man, artist Ryan Doyle does not try to "explain" racism to anyone.

Doyle’s work is a way to explore his own experiences and the racist environment we all live in. Take his recent work using baseball caps. It features molds of the caps’ home team letters, spelling out "spookd."

He first heard the reference while growing up in Florissant in the 1990s, about a noise on the porch. Later, the memory made him question the meaning of the word, and indeed, what’s behind much of what he took in about race as a child.

In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talked with Doyle about his use of America’s favorite sport to grapple with our country’s most sinister side.


Here’s a bit of what you’ll hear from Doyle in the podcast:

  • About how the baseball hats represent multiple cities: "It’s not just St. Louis and it’s not just Ferguson; it’s everywhere." Tweet #cutpastestl
  • About working in tricky territory: "It’s very racially sensitive work, very racially charged work, so it takes a certain amount of framing and timing and nuance to talk about it." Tweet #cutpastestl
  • Of a white man making work around racism: "I hope very quickly people understand that I’m talking about imagination and a critique of racism and not that I’m perpetuating anything or hijacking the conversation." Tweet #cutpastestl
Cut & Paste

Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcastsevery few weeks on our website. You can also view all previous podcasts, which focus on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link.

Follow Willis and Nancy on Twitter: @WillisRArnoldand @NancyFowlerSTL

Please help St. Louis Public Radio find artists to feature on Cut & Paste. Tell us which artists and cultural themes deserve a closer look.

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.