“I don’t know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower.” -Banksy
We live in a time when oversharing has become the norm. Whether it’s the daily motion of our lives, our celebrations, our defeats, our good deeds and even our dinner plates, sharing seems to validate our actions in a way that simply experiencing them does not. The consequences of this compulsion to broadcast a curated version of our lives are widely debated. The questions become, is it necessary to expose our innermost lives, and is it perhaps harmful to carefully choose the angles from which we share them?
Dona Nelson discussed her show, ReFiguring, One Painting at a Time (1977-2022), which ran until December 17 at Thomas Erben Gallery in Chelsea. The title refers in some ways to Nelson’s process and to the idea that abstraction eliminates the figure. ReFiguring speaks to the idea that there are figures in the paintings and that figures look at the painting. There is a sculptural element to Nelson’s paintings, which can be viewed on two sides. Nelson finds that by making one side, something happens on the other, obligating her as the artist to respond to that. To hear more about this, listen to the complete interview.
Chason Matthams joined us about a month after his show, Glimpse, closed at Magenta Plains Gallery. The subject matter jumps around, but one connecting thread is that each work tries to catch an ephemeral moment, capturing the quality of a moment passing. We discussed the pandemic period, which Matthams says didn’t affect his day-to-day like it did many others. A naturally solitary individual, he also, like many artists, spends much of his time alone in the studio. To hear more about this and about his recent exhibition, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket
Perhaps there is something to be said for simply doing rather than also sharing.
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. Dona Nelson recently re-read Landscape and Power edited by W.J Thomas Mitchell. Chason Matthams The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist.
The World of WearableArt Awards Show is back again. New Zealand’s largest theatrical production is accepting submissions for this event that reaches over 60,000 people each year. Learn more about eligibility and details at the website. Deadline for submissions is March 2.
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.