“Play to each element’s strengths: use Salt to enhance, Fat to carry, and Acid to balance flavor.” -Samin Nosrat
Although the words above relate to food and good cooking, this advice can be applied to all facets of life. Play to each element’s strength. We all, within us, have those things at which we excel and those that do not come as easily. Forcing the latter is a mistake made by many in a culture that constantly reminds us that we may not be enough or quite right. Rather than attempt to forget the strengths we already possess and bend to the will of our weaker qualities to suit an unnamed exterior demand, we can all learn to embrace our own rhythms and fortes, becoming the people we were born to be.
Lissa McLure is the executive director of the Woodman Family Foundation. She joined us to discuss the work of Francesca Woodman at Marian Goodman Gallery in a show titled Alternate Stories. The work has not been seen before and the hope is that it will add to the depth and understanding of the work of Francesca Woodman, whose archives are now owned by the Family Foundation. To learn about the foundation, as well as the life and work of Francesca Woodman – some of it in her own words – listen to the complete interview.
Michael Shewmaker spoke to us from California. Throughout the pandemic, he has had quite a lot of time to himself to think and work. While this has been difficult in some ways, it has been a great benefit to his writing practice. He has been at work on two books throughout this time – and is quick to note that for him, this solitary practice works fine while for some of his artist friends it has been a difficult time to produce work. To hear more about his work, including readings from his forthcoming book Leviathan, which is a reimagining of the Book of Job, listen to the complete interview.
Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
Do not qualify or reject your strengths, simply embrace them.
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. More about Michael Shewmaker’s work can be found here. Praxis user Herminio recommends Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat.
Whitstable Bienalle invites emerging artists to submit proposals for new work to be included in the June 2022 event. Two commissions are available – one for a work that will bring audiences through the town of Whitstable and one that will be experienced by passengers on-board boat trips from Whitstable harbor. If you are an artist who is within the first 10 years of establishing practice and has reached an important phase in the development of your career, this might be the opportunity for you. To learn more and to apply, visit the website. Deadline for submissions is January 10.
Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis 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. His book, Making it in the Art World, is available now with bonus content here.