Sunday, June 16, 2024


“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are still alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them.”

-George Eliot

The universe is replete with mystery. Every day we have the chance to witness a million little miracles. It is easy to forget the splendor of the every day, to fall into listless longing for something new. The very air we breathe is so unlikely that we have yet – in all our searching with the most sensitive and futuristic instruments – to discover its equal anywhere else. Our mere existence seems to defy all else that we so far understand. When we sit with these kinds of truths, we cannot help but be moved by the power of it all.

Daniel Handal joined us to discuss his show, Engaños, which ran until September 9 at CLAMP in NYC. The title is a Spanish word meaning deception or illusion. Handal thought considerably about what to call his show, drawing from a chapter in the book À rebours. In the chapter, the protagonist is obsessed with flowers, and there is a current of what’s real and what’s not running throughout the narrative. To learn more, listen to the complete interview

Joel-Peter Witkin spoke to us for a second time this year. In our first conversation, we discussed early work through 2012. This time, he sat down to continue this chat about some of his more difficult images, including Corpus Medius, in which he photographed the lower half of a human corpse in Paris at the office of the medical investigator. This is one in a series of images of human remains. To hear more, listen to the complete interview.

A few words to keep in your pocket

Take time to consider the near impossibility of you.

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. Learn more about À rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans (translated into English). And to explore the works of George Eliot, click here

Artists are invited to apply for a one-month residency at Dry Tortugas National Park. Spend your days and nights in a historical lighthouse keeper’s house surrounded by tropical environs including a Loggerhead turtle nesting ground. Stipend included. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Deadline for applications is September 30.


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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