“Why should you live in a world without feeling its weight?” -Karl Ove Knausgaard
Although we are most often disconnected in Western society from the natural world, dwelling largely indoors and making our way through life without a view to the reality of nature that surrounds us, occasionally we are afforded a glimpse. This may be in the mountains or a forest, or it could be when we are confronted with the colossal power of a storm front or, indeed, the far-reaching consequences of a virus we cannot see. These things have a way of letting in the light, reminding us in no uncertain terms of our place within the world, of our own insignificance where the big picture is concerned.
Will Corwin recently closed an exhibit at Geary Contemporary. He spoke to us at the end of March when the show was still running and explained that the work was taken from art created over the previous ten months. His art dealers visited his studio in Governor’s Island and selected work to include in the exhibition. He describes this show as the most thematically obsessive show he’s ever put up in that he has been working with ladder imagery for some time now. While he allows that the pandemic most assuredly must have had some effect on his work, the work he made during this period was not a direct response to this. Rather, Corwin says that lockdown gave him the space to take up things that he had long put off for lack of time. To hear more about his work, the meaning of ladders and his experience over the months of the pandemic, listen to the complete interview.
Jim Torok spoke to us from Brooklyn near the anniversary of the pandemic. Torok spent most of the last year in upstate New York with his wife at their second home. They left the city in mid-March just as the frenzy of grocery store pillaging was beginning. They spent their time in upstate quite isolated, leaving the house only to get groceries every few weeks. During this time, Torok was working on the two kinds of art he produces, hyper-realistic portraiture and cartoon work. He posts the cartoons to his Instagram account. These cover a wide range of topics and are vastly different from is portrait work. To hear more about Jim Torok’s art and his experiences over the last year or so, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
Open yourself to the reality of the world, if only for a moment.
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 here.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Will Corwin is reading Daniel Deronda by George Eliot. Jim Torok is reading the the last book in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s epic series, My Struggle.
Artists age 21 and over who are working to intentionally better their communities and/or address community challenges through their work are invited to apply for the Artwork Archive Art Business Accelerator Grant. Ten artists will receive grants of $2500 each to help them build a sustainable art career. Winners also receive a lifetime membership at Art Archive valued at $1000. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Deadline for applications is May 14.
Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis Center for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius, and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius. His forthcoming book, Making it in the Art World, is available for pre-order with bonus content here.
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