Episode #10

Hilton Als

« previous episode

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hilton Als Hilton Als (Sean Pressley)

Hilton Als is an intellectual omnivore who roots his art and criticism in reality and a search for the truth. A writer, New Yorker theater critic, curator, photographer, director and professor, Als’s work gracefully slips between genres to comment on contemporary American politics, pop culture and the African-American experience and to place the current condition in a longer history.

In this tenth and final episode of the first season of Helga, Als and Davis talk about what he learned living next to Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, and how to get comfortable owning your anger and art-making.

"Don’t worry. Don’t be good. Be ruthless in making the most beautiful thing you can do." -Hilton Als

Subscribe to Helga on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and follow Helga Davis on Facebook.

Hosted by:

Helga Davis

Produced by:

Julia Alsop


Alex Ambrose


Curtis Macdonald

Comments [3]

larassa kabel from Des Moines IA

I've loved getting to hear smart accomplished artists share such personal perspectives on creativity and careers and life in general. It is refreshing to see the inner workings of a creative life instead of the cleaned up, hero's journey version we usually hear from journalists. It shows other people that creating is messy and full of failure no matter who you are, and encourages everyone who has considered a life in the arts to just DO. Why not? I was struck by many of the things Hilton had to say and wish there was a transcript of this show. Any possibility of this in the future?

Feb. 03 2017 07:06 AM
Anne Phelan from Brooklyn

Just heard your Hilton Als interview. Fantastic! Particularly heartening for those artists who are not spring chickens. Thank you.

Jan. 25 2017 07:30 PM
Richard Kelso from NYC

Thanks for such an insightful and honest interview. It was fascinating to me to hear Als be so vulnerable in talking about his therapy, his anger, his art--from a man whose writing is so brilliant and (sometimes) august, I couldn't imagine that he had personal fears, doubts, insecurities.
As an African American male myself, I recall reading Douglass' narrative and being nearly in tears as I read how he learned to read and how that transformed his awareness of who he was and what he was born into. Enraging, indeed, but also ennobling--from the depths of vicious oppression to freedom of the mind (notwithstanding the persistence of external oppression and oppression internalized). Being ruthless in achieving excellence echoes advice given by Dr. King in his speech on the three dimensions of life and his address to black Philadelphia high school students in '57.

Jan. 23 2017 08:40 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.