“A true work of art is the revelation of a new conception of life arising in the artist’s soul, which, when expressed, lights up the path along which humanity progresses”
-Leo Tolstoy, What is Art
Art speaks. It enlightens and guides. Art reminds us where we’ve been, grounds us to where we are and illuminates the way forward. It breathes truth into a dubious world, questions authority and challenges the status quo. Art heals and art ignites. It breaks down barriers and delineates boundaries.
Erick Antonio Benitez spoke with us in mid-August shortly after closing out a group show at Selenas Mountain titled A Country Made of Ice Cream. When we spoke he was working on completing his thesis installation at CalArts incorporating sculpture and video. Conceptually the show plays with ideas of mythology and ideas of virtual and physical space, examining where that meets identity and culture. To hear more about this and more, listen to the complete interview.
Naomi R. Safran-Hon was in the midst of a solo show titled Soft Power at Bonisson Art Center in the south of France. The work consists of around 15 pieces of different sizes that mix different materials like cement and lace to demonstrate the juxtaposition of softness and power. Safran-Hon creates both abstract and specific works tied together by her personal framework based on her upbringing and the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. She hopes through her work, viewers are able to receive a message that relates to their own homes, pasts, communities, belonging and displacement. To hear more, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket
Art is everything.
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. Erick Antonio Benitez was reading Nam June Paik: Exposition of Music, Electronic Television, Revisited by Nam June Paik et al. Praxis user Virginia Bryant recommends What is Art by Leo Tolstoy.
Allegro Prize is accepting submissions from artists who want the opportunity to present their work to an extremely wide range of Polish and international recipients. This cash prize of 80 000 PLN is intended to support artists in the endeavor to fully devote themselves to artistic growth. For more information and to submit your work, visit the website. Deadline is September 27.
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.