Friday, December 8, 2023


“Like madness is the glory of this life.” -William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens

We all receive, upon the moment of our birth, an unpredictable journey through time and space, a collection of experiences -both joyful and excruciating – called life. It is true, many refer to this as a gift, though there are those for whom life feels more a burden than a glory. And yet, as some philosophies will tell us, perhaps there is more privilege in suffering than never having existed at all. Are we truly those lucky enough to have been arbitrarily chosen for the spark of life, or is this all just random chance, chaos with no meaning, a neutral accident through which we must progress now that we are here…

Michael McClard joined us in mid-November to discuss his exhibition, Bizarre Delight at Jennifer Baahng Gallery. The works, rendered in pastels on paper, are indeed rather bizarre and possess a sort of humor. Each image depicts a strange character, making up a sort of community of monsters. McClard says his modality of working is direct and unrehearsed, following wherever gestures happen to lead. This, he says, allows him to open his sub-conscious, leading to all manner of subjects in his work. To hear more about this exhibition and other aspects of Michael McClard’s life and career, listen to the complete interview.

Craig Drennen sat down with us to talk about Merchant, Mistress and T, his exhibition and Freight and Volume Gallery. The title, drawn from Shakespeare, speaks to the work he has been creating for the past 15 years based on Timon of Athens, Shakespeare’s least-known play. Using the play as catalyst, he essentially refracts the material through his studio practice, producing image after image, reflecting the many and varied aspects of the literary work in paint. Listen to the complete interview to hear more about this long-term project.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket

Life’s greatest mystery is truly whether it has meaning at all.

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. Praxis user Barry Katz suggests Art is Life: Icons, Iconoclasts, Visionaries and Vigilantes, and Flashes of Hope in the Night by Jerry Saltz. Meanwhile, Praxis user WG Patrick offers On the New by Boris Groys.


Artists are invited to submit their work for consideration for participation in “location – under the sign of gold,” a biennial in the city of Schwabach since 1999. This 16-day biennial transforms the city into an unmissable art event. For more information and to submit your work, visit the website. Deadline is January 16.

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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