Friday, December 8, 2023


“It is possible to thwart the plans of mortal men, but never those of the gods.”

Medusa’s Head – retold by Olivia Coolidge

In reading Greek Mythology of late, I’m drawn to consider the human condition – as well as our hubris. According to the Greeks, both were inextricably linked to the gods. Our plans and happiness, our very existence, were completely at the mercy of the benevolence – or otherwise – of the deities who ruled. In turn, to fly in the face of those deities was to thwart your own chances, to ring down the curtain on your own story by purporting to be as elevated or even above the station of the gods. Although the Greek pantheon has diminished, these qualities remain ever present in our daily lives though the influences have new monikers.

Jonathan Casella joined us to talk about his recent show, Doublestar at Harper’s Gallery in Chelsea, NYC. To Casella, the title of the show sounds perhaps like an old sci-fi film, but it refers, quite literally, to the works, which depict images of double stars. As he developed the images for this show, they took on their own personalities as they became what almost resemble their own life forms. To hear more about the exhibition and other aspects of Casella’s career, listen to the complete interview.

Susan Dory discussed her recent exhibition, Spontaneous Sights, which ran until March 11 at Winston Wächter Fine Art. The title refers mostly to the way in which things come together in moments of clarity in the studio when an artist receives the knowledge they are going in the right direction – part of what keeps them going on the path they have chosen. Among other things, the idea of Indra’s Net, which, in Eastern philosophy, is a way of describing the infinite universe. To hear more, listen to the complete interview.

A few words to keep in your pocket

It is not the gods but ourselves that stand in our way.

Consider your place and take care not to

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. Susan Dory recently read Foster by Claire Keegan while Jonathan Casella recently began reading essays by Peter Halley.


Stochastic Labs, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, in their own words, “awards fully sponsored residencies to exceptional engineers, artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs from around the world. Residencies are of variable length and include a private apartment at the mansion, co-working and/or dedicated work space, shop access (laser cutter, 3D printer etc), a $1k monthly stipend and a budget for materials.” For more information, visit the website. Deadlines are rolling.

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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