“If you are going through hell, keep going.” -Winston Churchill
Difficult times have a way of exposing our true selves. We may spend our lives in fear that when our comfort slips sideways we will not be able to handle the chaos. But anyone who has found themselves embroiled in a hard or frightening situation (and that is pretty much all of us) can attest that humans have a way of showing up for the fight. When presented with a challenge, we don’t back down – we call on our deepest reserves and find a way to move forward, to crest the obstacles in our path or, if they are insurmountable at the time, to adapt and live with them for as long as we need to.
Geoffrey Moss, a two-time Pulitzer nominee, spoke to us from his studio in New York City where he was watching some paint dry, feeling isolated and finding himself acutely aware of the burden of time. When the pandemic began, Moss took the extra time he found to begin cleaning his brushes which felt very normal and it became apparent to him that he needed to continue to work as usual to get through this time. Moss is at work on a series of very large drawings that may or may not become paintings. Recently Moss was asked to create collage pieces that are now virtually exhibited at the Robert Berry Gallery. While in college at Yale, Moss began creating black drawings that recalled the work of Seurat but related more to nature than the human figure; he has recently brought back this kind of construction and symbolism in his art. To hear more about Geoffrey Moss’s art and career, listen to the complete interview.
Andre Bogart Szabo spoke to us from Brooklyn where he has had a relatively productive albeit strange summer. He has learned, as many have, quite a lot about instability and impermanence during this time. Andre is based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn but spends the bulk of his time in Red Hook where his studio is located. Even before the pandemic began, Andre was laid up with a bout of sciatica and found himself already social distancing simply out of necessity. But he has remained productive during this time and has recently begun a new series inspired by his recent interest in wall mounted sculpture and painting. He has been working with materials such as gravel, found objects – including things he finds in his refrigerator – creating work using these objects. Andre studied at Emerson College where he received a BA in video post-production before transitioning to visual art. To hear more about his career and how his work has evolved during the pandemic, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
Never doubt your own capacity to be courageous when faced with a difficult time.
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. Geoffrey Moss is reading Art Subjects by Howard Singerman and can also recommend Painting as a Passtime by Winston Churchill which he found a pleasantly surprising read and finally encourages listeners to investigate the cookbooks of Julie Sahni.
The City of Boston announces a call to artists to create public art for a rebuild of the Adams Street Branch of the Boston Public Library, located in Dorchester. There is an informational session scheduled for September 9, interested artists are encouraged to attend. This call is open to all artists both domestic and international. For more information, visit the website. Deadline for proposals is September 16.