Wednesday, December 6, 2023


“Art is the child of nature in whom we trace the features of the mother’s face.”

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Art reflects the facets of life, letting them gleam forth into the world where their inspiration may be ignored or unseen. The artist acts as a mirror holder, giving us a view of the world that we may otherwise miss. This can be enlightening – or jarring – always having the effect of changing viewers’ perspectives. Art is powerful, meek, boisterously loud and whispering in the background. It is everything at once and nothing at all.

m burgess spoke to us in mid-March from their studio at the Elizabeth Foundation. They are presently at work on a piece that began about seven years ago that is just reaching a point where it can be edited into a whole. They have been spending as much time in studio as possible, and while there they attempt to achieve presence. Some days this is tremendously difficult. m watches pigeons swoop from the roof of the studio building. They have built something of a relationship with the birds, offering them chickpeas at the window. This act of noticing the pigeons and communicating with them in a way has been a profound act of presence. To hear more about m’s work and pursuit of presence, listen to the complete interview.

Cynthia Daignault joined us from Baltimore. She recently closed a show at Kasmin Gallery as well as maintaining another at the New Museum Triennial. She created pieces for both shows knowing they would be up at the same time, so she felt strongly they should each stand on their own. The show at Kasmin, titled As I Lay Dying, explores the subject of Gettysburg National Military Park. This show simultaneously speaks to all the work she’s made before while touching on her experience of the last few years of pandemic. To hear more about this and Daignault’s other work, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Artists distill life.

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.


Camera Austria and Kulturvermittlung Steiermark invite photographers to apply for a scholarship aimed at allowing for concentrated work in the city of Graz, Austria. Selected artist should be prepared to reside in Graz between mid-September and mid-October 2022 and have an interest in connecting with the vibrant local art scene. 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.


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