What is your earliest memory of art making?
I have always been making art, ever since I was a little kid with a ton of crayons. Spin art was one of my favorite things to do, because it essentially gave you permission to make a mess, which I did regardless. The same was true of sand art – remember how much fun those were? I did some “spin art” a few years ago as an adult and still proudly display that work to this day! I also remember becoming obsessed with those geometric coloring books as a kid, where you meticulously colored in each shape until a kind of mosaic was formed. It was awesome.
You recently graduated from Pratt and still live and work in Brooklyn, NY. What’s it like to be immersed in such an awesome art community?
I DID just finish my MFA from Pratt recently, and have since moved into a studio in Bushwick. It’s a treat to be living and working in Brooklyn with so much creativity and positive energy flowing. Everyone seems to be some sort of artist, and it is really interesting to keep finding different, alternative art spaces that just seem to pop up all the time. I’m amazed at how many places I am still discovering! It really is inspiring to see so much different work being made.
Describe your process.
I am very much a process-based artist. The process of making art, whether painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, or screen printing, has always been very fascinating to me, and it eventually became one of the guiding forces behind my work. I usually work simultaneously in two modes of practice. My work on paper and such is usually very immediate: decisions are made within seconds, and the work becomes a sort of event based on material, process and chance operations, influenced by color and the form that emerges. Usually I am covered in paint. The other mode I work in is more time consuming, i.e. my screen prints, which are influenced (for the most part) by my paintings on paper. Unintentional splotches of paint that I discovered in my studio, which may or may not have taken seconds to reveal themselves, become transformed into work in which every color is pulled apart and identified. These works are like little rotating globes, if that makes any sense. I see them as constantly in motion and shifting. It’s interesting to work in the different modes, although I find myself more often than not covered in paint – the unpredictability is what really excites me.
Fireworks #542 & Blue Tan Brain
available at OCHI SHOP
Tell us about your “balancing works.”
My balancing work developed out of boredom in my studio one night: I was working on some paintings on canvas and was becoming increasingly frustrated. To take a break from painting, I began to balance brushes, tubes of paint, and other tools on top of each other for hours on end, until they either fell down or I realized it was super late in the morning and that I just spent hours playing my own form of “Jenga.” Usually it was a combination of both. I have always been fascinated with childhood games and playing, and began to incorporate those ideas, as well and the idea of impermanence in relation to painting, in my own work. The balancing work are a kind of three-dimensional painting, self-made challenges and object investigation. Also, the idea of failure as its own intention is a guiding force behind the work, because it is only a matter a time (especially once I started building the structures room-size) that they would collapse and fall down.
Two of my favorite working artists right now are Sarah Sze and Franklin Evans. They are doing completely different work, but both interest me in the grandness and virtuosity of their installations. Sze’s installations are a wonder to discover, like modern artifacts and technological ruins or what not. And walking into (yes, into) one of Evans’ “paintings” is quite an experience of color, line and form. I am attracted to the unfinished quality of his work, that the work could grow and develop at any moment, or in an instance just vanish with only traces of tape left over.
Tell me about some recent, or upcoming projects.
Right now I am working on both works on paper and my balancing structures. I have started using tape more and more in my paintings as a form of paint in its own right, and as a way to juxtapose the random, organic forms that emerge via my process with more of a conscientious mark. Humor is an important element in my work, which I think is achieved via my choice of color and mixing of materials. I am also working on a structure in my studio that connects every single piece of material and tool that I own; hopefully it will be turn into some sort of bridge to connect one end of the studio with another, and a tunnel to walk underneath it to get to my works on paper on the wall. I’ve started it a few times and it keeps falling over. The last incarnation of the work (one 6 foot tower) was standing for a few weeks (it never makes it that long, ever) but I was painting on paper and tape the other night and accidentally walked into it. Oops. It happens, and it’s so much fun to watch and hear them fall, as heartbreaking as it kind of is (not that heartbreaking really though).