“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” -Maya Angelou
When presented with the true nature of existence – that we are insignificant life forms on a large, verdant rock filled with other life forms, hurtling through the endless vacuum of space while orbiting a fireball at relatively close range and a massive black hole further off – it is important that we are able to laugh. One must never fall into the trap of taking life too seriously. There are, of course, times and places in which it is important to adopt a serious tone, but in the grand scheme, a long and happy life can often be attributed to the ability to laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Hugo McCloud spoke to us in early March from Mexico where he built a home and studios. He was asked by the Art Production Fund to join an installation opening in mid-April of vinyl cut images that will be displayed throughout Rockefeller Center. The themes of the pieces are labor, social economics, materials and environment. McCloud recently returned from Africa where he collected a number of polyethylene woven sacks from coal distributors, which are covered in coal dust. These he will use to illustrate the complexities of the coal industry. To hear more about his work, listen to the complete interview.
Brandi Twilley joined us from Brooklyn where she is at work on multiple series. One of these centers on her time at work at a grocery store in Oklahoma when she was in her early 20s and had recently dropped out of college. The series includes portraits of her brothers who also worked there and some interior scenes of the store depicting her time spent working there. Additionally, she is collaborating with her younger sister, also an artist, on a series of self-portraits. In the past, the sisters have collaborated on work with Twilley painting background and her sister adding figures, usually in the fantasy genre. To hear more about these series and other aspects of Twilley’s work, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
Allow yourself to see the humor.
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. I am currently on book #3 of the series My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard. Praxis user Hanna Solin is reading Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad.
Fire Island Artist Residency is currently accepting applications. This was the first residency in the U.S. exclusively for artists who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, intersex, two-spirit or queer. Selected emerging artists will share a live/work space for four weeks and have access to studio visits and lecturs with renowned leaders in contemporary art, scholarship, activism and curation. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Deadline for applications is April 15.
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.