Interview with Nava Lubelski
q)YOU IN 1-2-3… IN HOW MANY WORDS YOU WANT…
a)I'm an artist. I grew up in New York City, but am trying a different life for the time being in the mountains of North Carolina. I didn't study art when I was in school, but instead got a degree in Russian Literature and History. My artwork right now is going in several directions at once: I make stitched paintings which mimic abstractions, but are in fact repairs of stains, either naturally occurring stains or those created by me through an act of impulse - this is by best-known work. I'm also working on several other projects, hovering again around this theme of destruction/repair. A current series of sculptures are made from shredded groups of paper, which are compressed, through rolling and gluing, back into a slab like a tree cross-section.
a)The earliest drawing that I can remember the experience of making, was of two people playing tennis and is from when I was around 7 or 8. I made a girl holding a tennis racquet, drew a net across the middle of the page, and then turned the whole drawing upside-down to place the other player, so the two opponents are feet-to-feet. I knew it didn't look "right" when it was done but wasn't sure why. I also wasn't sure why my father seemed to think it was so great and hung it on the wall, though now I understand that.
a)I draw mostly "ideas", which appear as abstractions. It's an interesting challenge to try to draw something that isn't inherently visual.
a)I don't like to pick from all the amazing artists, past and present, but I mention dozens of my favorites in my book: "The Starving Artist's Way" - I'll refer your readers there.
q)WHO AND/OR …WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES?
a)My biggest influence is the everyday response I have to the sense of something as being "failed", "useless", "wrong" and the impulse to intervene. I've been influenced by artists like Tim Hawkinson who layer complexity in their work, but maintain a simple point of approach for viewers.
a)I am doing a paper piece constructed from a box of love letters, emails and other ephemera donated to me by an investment banker who had his heart broken and stashed all the evidence in a box for 5 years. I have a few more projects waiting until this one is complete.
a)I love music, but I don't listen to music while I work because I find it too distracting and too emotionally insistent. I often listen to "books on tape" - really on cd - that I take out of the library. The monotone of the voice reading and the fact that the books go on for 10-20 hours without a break suits me better when I'm working.
a)Creativity is a normal responsive instinct. I always find it sad and stupid when people say "I'm not creative" as I think that is never true, even if people don't know how to recognize that instinct in themselves. This is not to say that I don't admire and enjoy some types of creativity more than others. I make judgements about what is interesting to me, because you can't spend your time with everybody's ideas.
a)I have a real love for "War & Peace" from the Russian Literature days, as well as "Pale Fire", but I am reading contemporary English-language fiction more often now - I just started on "Cloud Atlas".
a)This is in flux right now. Most of my art career it has been thread, but I am more into paper right now. Or really glue. I love glue.
a)Languages, plants, animals, humans, what will happen after the end of civilization as we know it.
a)I'm in the planning stages of a narrative installation work combining elements of many of my previous projects.
q)HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ART TO SOMEONE WHO COULD NOT SEE IT?
a)A blind person could touch it and everyone else has the internet. For someone who can't see and can't touch I would say that it's crude and detailed. Impatient and patient. Careless and careful.
a)To be a person that I like.
a)To have a career as an artist you need to let people know you exist - & that's always true in all lines of work. But subtlety is important too.
q)A MESSAGE FOR THE READERS FROM YOUR HEART…