Sunday, June 16, 2024
HomePraxis Center for AestheticsHave Things Worked Out the Way You Imagined They Would?

Have Things Worked Out the Way You Imagined They Would?

“After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?”

-Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day

Often, things do not turn out the way we imagine or plan. Life has a way of taking turns on its own, altering our path in ways we could never imagine. For some, this uncertainty can be jarring and hard to take. We cling to our original blueprint, desperately trying to salvage what’s left of a tattered goal. But what if we learned to embrace these unforeseen changes and treat them as opportunities rather than hindrances? Could we perhaps begin to shift the way we approach all things in life, accepting that, ultimately, we are not in control?

Mickalene Thomas talked with us about her show, je t’adore, which ran through November 11 at Yancey Richardson Gallery. The title, a French phrase meaning, I love you, speaks to the adoration depicted in the images as well as the artist’s relationship to the work. Additionally, the title nods to the origin of the images themselves, which depict women who were featured in the Jet magazine calendars. To learn more, listen to the complete interview.

Jonathan Herbert discussed his life as an artist, which he says began in 1954 in a stroller in the Museum of Modern Art. A native New Yorker, he grew up in a family of art collectors. In 1972, he attended summer school followed by night school at the Boston Museum School where he eventually became a fully matriculated student. Herbert never looked back, diving headlong into his art. To hear more, listen to the complete interview.


Join me at Nara Roesler Gallery to view the first solo exhibition of artist José Patrício.

A few words to keep in your pocket

How do you come to terms with the unexpected in life? Talk to me about it in the comments.

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.

More books to read

Ours is a community of readers. Add your titles to our reading list here. Praxis user Jane has been reading The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne.


The MAP Fund invites applications for its 2024 grant cycle to fund live performance projects across the U.S. including its territories and indigenous tribal nations. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Deadline for applications is December 9.


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.



  1. Brainard, I want to thank you for interviewing me and the publication of it. I appreciate what you do on behalf of helping artists navigate the depths and shoals of having been Called. I don’t remember our chat; you know that the raft of neurodivergent issue, not least of which is the chemotherapeutically-induced cognitive impairment results in my memory having a will of its own. I am often amazed by what I have forgtten, by what I do remember,

    I will give it a listen and perhaps comment further.

    • It was my pleasure to hear of your vibrant past and colorful present, thank you for being the person/artist that you are – you have enriched my life on mnay levels.


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