Wednesday, December 6, 2023


“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

There is wisdom that can only be gained through living. Growth and change may shorten our time here on earth, but they offer us the gift of a better understanding of ourselves, the world around us and how to incorporate the two. This is the hard-earned gift given to those who are fortunate enough to spend long years ambling through this life. We cannot know when we are young and fresh, all that we may understand when that youth has faded into age. Therein lies the trade-off of living.

Gabriel de la Mora joined us to speak about his many recent and upcoming exhibitions, including one he completed in December 2021 at Perrotin Gallery in New York titled Lepidoptera. For the pieces in this show, de la Mora worked with butterfly wings. He spent more than two years in the studio creating work that incorporates colors and patterns from nature using the wings. The iridescence of the wings gives the hues of these pieces a uniqueness that would be difficult to reproduce with any other material. As viewers move, the colors in each work shift and change. To hear more about this and other exhibitions and works by Gabriel de la Mora, listen to the complete interview.

Scott Lyall has recently been adjusting to the end of the last few years of lockdown and personal retrospection. Reflection has been a major theme of his recent work. Lyall works with paint that uses nano-particles of gold as a pigmenting dimension. A nano-scale paint suggests the idea of a sub-visible pixelated space. In other words, the material does not “announce itself” but can be used to create an effect. In the case of Lyall’s gold-based work, the paint creates a slight blur. To hear more about this fascinating medium and more, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Embrace the wisdom that comes with age.

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 is here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Gabriel de la More relied on Josef Albers’ Interaction of Color throughout the creation of his work for Lepidoptera. I encourage you to read From “The Surface of Design” to the Poet-Engineer? an essay by Scott Lyall.


Creative Time invites artists to apply to a program that believes in supporting artists to dream without bounds. For almost 50 years, CT has commissioned and presented public art with thousands of artists from NYC and across the U.S. and the world. For more information, visit the website. Deadline for applications is May 17, but due to high volume, artists are encouraged to submit all application materials 48 hours prior to this deadline time.

Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists, most recently Making it in the Art World.


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