Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “art”

The Love of Life in the Face of Death: Keith Haring on Self-Doubt, the Fragility of Being, and Creativity as the Antidote to Our Mortal Anxiety
The Love of Life in the Face of Death: Keith Haring on Self-Doubt, the Fragility of Being, and Creativity as the Antidote to Our Mortal Anxiety

“It is very important to be in love with life… Life is very fragile and always elusive. As soon as we think we ‘understand,’ there is another mystery. I don’t understand anything. That is, I think, the key to understand everything.”

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Psychedelic Fishes from the World’s First Natural History Encyclopedia of Marine Creatures Illustrated in Color
Psychedelic Fishes from the World’s First Natural History Encyclopedia of Marine Creatures Illustrated in Color

An explosion of wonder at the borderline of science and the ecstatic imagination.

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Chinua Achebe on Art as a Form of Citizenship: Lessons in Creativity as “Collective Communal Enterprise” from the Igbo Tradition of Mbari
Chinua Achebe on Art as a Form of Citizenship: Lessons in Creativity as “Collective Communal Enterprise” from the Igbo Tradition of Mbari

“There is no rigid barrier between makers of culture and its consumers. Art belongs to all and is a ‘function’ of society.”

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The Science and Splendor of Australian Butterflies: How Two 19th-Century Teenage Sisters’ Forgotten Paintings Sparked a Triumph of Modern Conservation
The Science and Splendor of Australian Butterflies: How Two 19th-Century Teenage Sisters’ Forgotten Paintings Sparked a Triumph of Modern Conservation

A bittersweet story of staggering talent, obsessive curiosity, countercultural courage, and posthumous redemption.

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The Stuff of Stars: A Stunning Marbled Serenade to the Native Poetry of Science and the Cosmic Interleaving of Life
The Stuff of Stars: A Stunning Marbled Serenade to the Native Poetry of Science and the Cosmic Interleaving of Life

A consummate celebration of the improbable loveliness of life amid the edgeless panorama of cosmic being.

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Artist Maira Kalman Illustrates the Extraordinary Love Story of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
Artist Maira Kalman Illustrates the Extraordinary Love Story of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas

“This is a love story. You know. How two people, joined together, become themselves.”

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Creativity in the Time of COVID: Zadie Smith on Writing, Love, and What Echoes Through the Hallway of Time Suddenly Emptied of Habit
Creativity in the Time of COVID: Zadie Smith on Writing, Love, and What Echoes Through the Hallway of Time Suddenly Emptied of Habit

“There is no great difference between novels and banana bread. They are both just something to do. They are no substitute for love… Love is not something to do, but… something to go through — that must be why it frightens so many of us and why we so often approach it indirectly.”

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A Cat: Leonard Michaels’s Playful and Poignant Meditations on the Enigma of Our Feline Companions and How They Reveal Us to Ourselves
A Cat: Leonard Michaels’s Playful and Poignant Meditations on the Enigma of Our Feline Companions and How They Reveal Us to Ourselves

“If you think long enough about what you see in a cat, you begin to suppose you will understand everything, but its eyes tell you there is nothing to understand, there is only life.”

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An Illustrated Love Letter to Gardening
An Illustrated Love Letter to Gardening

A lush serenade to the patience and fortitude of living with uncertainty and letting life unfold on its own terms.

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Snakes, Dragons, and the Power of Music: Strange and Wondrous 18th-Century Illustrations of Real and Mythic Serpents
Snakes, Dragons, and the Power of Music: Strange and Wondrous 18th-Century Illustrations of Real and Mythic Serpents

“That there is not a wise Purpose in every thing that is made because we do not understand it, is as absurd as for a Man to say, there is no such thing as Light, because he is blind and has no Eyes to see it.”

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