Thursday, October 04, 2007

Art Space Talk: Svetlana Rabey

Myartspace.com is pleased to announce that Svetlana Rabey is one of the four winners of the Myartspace.com NY, NY, Competition. She and the three other artists were chosen from a group of 50 finalists. The Myartspace.com team would like to thank the jurors-- Jessica Morgan (Tate Modern), James Rondeau (Art Institute of Chicago), and Steven Zevitas (New American Paintings). We would also like to thank everyone who participated in the competition.


Svetlana Rabey creates variably scaled fabric installations in response to the shape and feeling of an architectural environment. The pieces function as architectural shadows, reacting to the shape and dimensions, color, texture and scale of the architecture. Volumes are flattened, multiplied and expanded within the structure. She follows a systematic process based on impulses, in which the geometry unfolds according to a rhythm that she discovers in the architecture, and ends when all possibilities are exhausted. Each piece is a variation on a theme.

Untitled, Detail of felt wall installation, felt, thread, pins


Brian Sherwin: Svetlana, you are one of the Finalists of the Myartspace.com NY, NY, Competition. How does it feel to know that the jurors-- Jessica Morgan (Tate Modern), James Rondeau (Art Institute of Chicago, and Steven Zevitas (New American Paintings) selected you as a winner? Also, why did you decide to enter the NY, NY, Competition in the first place?

Svetlana Rabey: I feel very honored and excited to be part of this opportunity and look forward to meeting the jurors. Since part of my work is installation based, an exhibition offers me the opportunity to interact with a new space and create a new work. A group show in NY under the umbrella of such a great jury was very appealing and challenging to me.
Untitled, Felt wall installation, 15' x 20', felt, thread, pins

BS: Svetlana, tell us about the work you submitted. Why did you decided on those five images?

SR: I chose these five images because they best represent the scope and range of my work in the past year. I create installations from fabric, mostly felt, drawings, and paintings. The installations are inspired by architectural elements in the space I am working in. They can be wall pieces or floor pieces. I also wanted to include a drawing to show the repeated themes in different materials and approach, my attention to detail, the importance of repetition and rhythm.

BS: Svetlana, can you recall when you first decided that you wanted to be an artist? Feel free to share any early memories that have directed you on the path you are on today.

SR: As a child I studied classical piano and then trained professionally as a dancer in NY before going to college. Dancing left me with a sensitivity to the physicality of space. I understand movement and am able to choreograph shapes in space very instinctively. i am also inspired by the structures of music. This informs the sense of rhythm and repetition my drawing.
Untitled, Cut and hand sewn felt installed to wall, 10' x 8', felt, thread, pins

BS: Svetlana, tell us about your educational background. Where did you study art? Who were you mentors?

SR: I studied Art History at American University in Paris and graduated from Parsons school of Design on 1996. Since I started art school in Paris, my education was very academic. Lots of painting and drawing from the model and still lives. I painted in oil from life religiously. It took me many years and a return to dancing to come into my own language.

BS: Svetlana, what artists-- or art movements-- have influenced your work?

SR: The Support Surface Movement in France. Minimalism, including Fred Sandback, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre, and Sol LeWitt. Also Gordon Matta-Clark, Barry Le Va, Diana Cooper, Jessica Stockholder. i appreciate the rigor with which these artists deal with their form and content whether it is conceptual, formal, or intuitive.
Untitled, Detail of thread drawing, 10' x 8', felt, thread, pins

BS: Svetlana, what else has influenced your art?

SR: Looking at and experiencing the architecture n NY from Art Deco to present day. Also Soviet and eastern Block era architecture and Gothic architecture.

BS: Svetlana, can you tell us about your artistic philosophy? What are the motives... the thoughts... behind your work?

SR: When I start a piece, I want to satisfy my impulses. I want to capture a moment or feeling in a piece but also something that feels as if it always existed in the space. Walking the line between fiction and honesty.

BS: Svetlana, tell us about your studio space? Do you work in silence or do you listen to music? Do you follow a routine when you are working on your art? What is it like to be in the studio of Svetlana Rabey?

SR: I have recently moved into a studio space in L.I.C and am still setting up. I like to keep my space empty. I have almost no furniture. I work on the floor.
Untitled, Two 32 inch mirrors- one covered in felt, felt and mirrors

BS: Svetlana, can you tell us more about your artistic process? How do you start a piece?

SR: I spend time in a space, looking for clues and impulses. Then I lay out fabric and think abut the structure of how a piece will unfold. Then I decide where the piece will be installed.

BS: Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your art or the artworld?

SR: I can't wait to see the space for the show.


Thank you reading my interview with Svetlana Rabey. You can read more of my interviews by visiting the following page-- www.myartspace.com/interviews.
Take care, Stay true,
Brian Sherwin

1 comment:

Ol_ga Dmy_trenko said...

Hi Svetlana! First of all, my sincere congrats with the winning! Bravo! Are you still playing piano? If so or just love classical piano music, you are welcome to Juilliard on November 10, at 5 pm - my daughter (she is 15) will give a solo recital in Paul Hall. The program is very interesting, no tickets.