“I hate men who are afraid of women’s strength.” -Anais Nin
Theft of power, though seen by some as a method to exert one’s strength, in fact, is deeply rooted in fear. It is fear that drives hate, fear that drives violence, fear that keeps us locked in eternal battle. When we refuse to learn or try to see the world through another’s eyes, we lose the empathy from which kindness blossoms. Removing ourselves from the comfort of the familiar, from the security of well-worn paths, from the confidence we draw from the mistaken knowledge that ours is the correct perspective – this is the only way to begin to truly understand the world around us and to love those in it, however different their experiences may be from our own.
April Bey spoke to us from Los Angeles in late February. She was anticipating receiving her first vaccine later in the week. Her role as an educator made her eligible at the time. Bey is a full-time art educator at Glendale College, though this semester she has opted to teach half-time and work on curriculum work. Bey is also busy getting ready for her first show at the California African American Museum. This will be her largest installation to date. The show, titled Welcome to Atlantica, depicts a fictitious planet where Bey has been sent from another planet to report. There are themes of Afrofuturism and Afrosurrealism as well as a tourist attraction theme. Bey grew up on a small island in the Bahamas and there is a distinct nod to this as well. To hear more about this work and more, listen to the complete interview.
Michael Bevilacqua spoke to us from New York City in early March. At the beginning of the pandemic, he was unable to get to his studio so he brought as much art material home as he could to work there. He immediately began creating works on paper based on a figure emerging from the water. This spoke to how he felt at the time having to suddenly change course. As the pandemic went on, he moved to his home on Long Island where he set up a makeshift studio. The figure in the water is based on a meme and rendered primarily in green tones. To hear more about this work, his upcoming show in Korea, and how Bevilacqua adjusted to working on paper when he was unable to get canvases, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
Open your eyes – and your heart – and let the world in.
Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. April Bey recently finished her third reading of The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemison. Michael Bevilacqua is reading The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto by Charles M Blow.
Digital America publishes an array of art ranging across many media. Selected work is published in either the fall or spring editions of the journal. Artists who are interested but are not sure whether their work is right for Digital America are encouraged to familiarize themselves with past issues in order to determine whether this is the opportunity for them. For more information, visit the website. Submissions are rolling.
Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis Center for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius, and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius.