The Art of Reinventing Yourself

Sound and Color

Ahmad Dirini (CC0)

July 16, 2017

Every so often life forces you to reinvent yourself. And that’s especially true for certain artists, who discover new ways to express themselves. This hour, we hear the stories of four noted artists who experienced pivotal turns in their own lives: artist Rashid Johnson, writer/photographer Teju Cole, singer Nikka Costa, and musician Michael Nesmith.

  1. Artist Rashid Johnson Explores Race, Yearning and Escape

    Rashid Johnson is a rising star in the art world. Using signature materials like shea butter and black soap, he explores themes of race, yearning and escape, and grapples with what it means to come of age as a black artist and intellectual.

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  2. How Temporary Blindness Taught Teju Cole To See

    Going blind in one eye would unnerve anyone. And for a photographer, it’s especially upsetting. But Teju Cole found that his Big Blind Spot Syndrome taught him a new way to look at the world — and actually changed his photography.

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  3. Why Not Abolish Literary Genres?

    Why do we keep dividing the world of books into different genres - like romance novels, science fiction and literary fiction? Novelist Lauren Beukes says we should simply get rid of the whole idea of genre.

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  4. From Child Pop Star to Jazz Singer

    When Nikka Costa was ten, she was a pop sensation in Europe. Later, she was Britney Spear’s opening act. But she’s left pop music behind and now she’s performing songs by some of the musicians she’s known, including Prince and Frank Sinatra.

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  5. From the Monkees to Country Rock

    If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the Monkees, the pop group with a hit TV show. Michael Nesmith wore the green stocking cap. Since then, he’s reinvented his career several times over. He (sort of) invented country rock. And the music video.

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