martedì 12 febbraio 2008

Interview with Eve Wood

q) Well, first of all please tell us a little about yourself.

a) I’m an artist based in Los Angeles. I show at Western Project in Culver City. I am also a writer and a critic and have written for magazines including Tema Celeste, Flash Art,, ArtUS, Artillery and Bridge. I graduated from the visual arts program at Cal Arts.

q) Had you always planned on being an artist [or had you other hopes]?

a) I started out as a filmmaker and first attended Cal Arts as a film student, but found that I had to rely heavily on others to get things done, and I tend to be a loner, so I started painting. I’ve always made art and had my first show in NY when I was fifteen years old on Fifth Avenue at a photo gallery called Images, so it seemed natural to transfer into the art department. I was always making art of some sort since I was very young, and since I have relativly little common sense and am not good with numbers, art was my way of communicating first and foremost with myself.

q) Do you have a preferred medium to work on? Why?

a) I’ve worked in oils and acrylic, but began using gouache literally because my studio is a live/work space and I have two birds and little ventilation, and the fumes from the oil paint can kill them. Kind of a strange reason to switch mediums I know, however, gouache has tremendous viscosity and presence, much like oil paint in many ways although it is a water based medium. It also depends on how you use your materials. I approach gouache as a big, sprawling medium, and I think that attitude is absorbed and reflected within the gestures of the paint.

q) How would you describe your style?

a)My style is probably most akin to that of Alice Neel, and she is defiantly an influence. I suppose my “style” could be described as metaphoric, gestural, representational, narrative, though rarely do I reveal the whole of any story in my work, but give only hints, reprisals, moments of personal relfection.

q) Do you go through any certain processes while trying to produce your work?

a)Not really. Nothing romantic happens, kind of pedestrian actually. I sit down and see what happens. Sometimes nothing happens. Other times, I have an idea or a moment that has stayed with me that I feel I wish to interpret, or an image of someone that I want to investigate.

q) What are you working on at present?
a)My show just opened on Feb 9th at Western Project, so I’m taking a short break to enjoy having completed the work for that exhibition. Will start the engine back up in a week or two.

q) What about recent sources of inspirations?

a)Yoga inspires me daily to be a better person and really listen to the people who matter in my life. I find a lot of artists are selfish and get caught up in the hype of being “an Artist” when really what it’s all about is connection. Hope this doesn’t sound too granola laden, but I really believe that John Lennon was right when he said that the “The love you take is equal to the love you make” and unfortunately it took me a long time to recognize this, but making art is far different than the “art world” would have you believe. The impulse to create anything true derives from love, not money.

q) What are some of your obsessions?

a)Riding horses, love, speaking the truth, good friends, yoga, Mexican food, Chihuahuas, (mine I’m particularly fond of course) birds, (I own two parrots named Delilah and Manana), Gruyere cheese, antique VW bugs.

q) Which galleries have you shown at and which galleries would you like to show at?

a)I’ve shown primarily in Los Angeles and at the fairs in Europe and New York. I had a solo show at Susanne Vielmetter; Los Angeles Projects in 2001, The Weatherspoon Museum, Angles Gallery and Southern Exposure in San Francisco as well as my current gallery Western Project. I would love to get a New York Gallery and really love Jeff Bailey’s program, Feature, Rare, and Derek Eller Gallery.

q) If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?

a)You can go to my gallery ( or my website ( and there is an email address.

q) Do you have any suggestions or advice for artists that are just starting out?

a)Find your own vision and stick to it. Don’t be influenced by what sells and what seems hip or in vogue because undoubtedly it will fall out of fashion soon enough, whereas any true artistic impulse stands the test of time and is keenly felt. Look at as much art as you possibly can, and find what you love, what moves you, what keeps you thinking and imagining, and let that be the anchor from which you might launch your own ship.

q) Who are your favorite artists?

a)I tend to love artists who are mavericks in one way or another, artists for whom the endless obsession to make their work is inexhaustible. Artist like Phillip Guston, Ben Shahn, Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Annette Messager, Rebecca Horn, Lucien Freud. I love work that utilizes metaphor as a means of exploration, work that is inclusive of the viewer rather than exclusive. Frida Kahlo, despite all the hype around her work and all the people who treat her art like the newest fad, is in my mind one of the bravest artists ever, and this bravery is evident in everything she made. No gesture is wasted, superfluous or self-conscious.

q) What books are on your nightstand?

a) The Kite Runner, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly and Orlando by Virginia Woolf

q) To what weaknesses are you most indulgent?

a)That depends on how you define “weaknesses.” If your talking about sweets for example, Godiva chocolate ranks pretty high, also lost puppies and any creature hold up at the local pound, elegant blond women (Helen Mirren springs to mind) or sexy men with brains and leftist leanings (George Clooney can contact me directly anytime) but in terms of more esoteric or psychological concerns I suppose as with many artists, I am most susceptible to my own neurosis, though I believe good work rarely derives from weakness or neurosis, but generates instead from strength and a brave and willing heart. I try to keep my heart and eyes open as best I can.

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