Monday, January 29, 2007

Art Space Talk: Angela Guess

I recently interviewed artist Angela Guess. Angela's work explores the human condition, from the exhilarating heights of anticipation, to acknowledging the vulnerability of the universal fear of having a weakness called frailty.

Through the use of oils, Angela captures the betrayal and ecstasy of emotion that we sometimes become tongue tied in discussing in oral form. In a sense, her work is about communication beyond the spoken word.

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "When I was in the 4th grade, my teacher was assigning everyone a task to do in the classroom. When it was my turn, I attempted to say 'art', but I couldn't say my R's, so she asked the class what I was saying. No one could figure it out."

Q. How has society influenced your art? Are there any social implications in your art?

A. "I believe that society is born in the family. How could it be otherwise? Even an orphan struggles to define their identity; whether or not society has been good to them. In every step I take, whether painting or just breathing, society has huge implications on my every attitude. I am constantly attempting to define, decipher any implications or confusions I run across. It is usually gratifying but sometimes just mystifying."

Q. On average, how long does it take you to create a piece?

A. "Sometimes, I can enter the world immediately, like the wardrobe closet in Narnia, and other times, it's like pulling from dark sanctums that haven't seen light in 30 years."

Q. Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

A. "Absolutely, but I feel like I'm being adulturous if I give it away."

Q. If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who collect your art, what would they be?

A. "Someone who is not afraid to take chances, someone who knows what they are looking for, and are willing to discover what they might find; whatever that may be."

Q. Discuss one of your pieces. What were you thinking when you created it?

A. ""Inferno" (image above) I used to live in San Diego a few years before the devastating fires. I lived across the street from where I found the charred remains of structures, plants and I collected the ash and incorporated them into my paintings. Not all of them, just two. But, it was a profound effect, I had many beautiful, soul wrenching memories in those charred remains."

Q. Do you have a degree or do you plan to attend school for art? If so, how did it help you as an artist?

A. "I graduated from U.C.S.D. in literature/writing; but my first major was visual arts. I changed for personal reasons, but I always had an art class on my roster; I knew that was where I belonged."

Q. Why did you choose the medium(s) that you use?

A. " I chose oil because it is the most fluent. I have a problem in oral fluency myself, so I express myself in oil. I find it to be the most vibrant, spectacular way to get everything out. If someone wants to know what's going on inside of me, it is through my work."

Q.Where can we see more of your art?

A. "My website "

Q. What galleries have you exhibited in? Can you provide links to their sites?

A. "I have exhibited in Slow Art in NYC, and World Contemporary Art in Hollywood, CA."

Q. Can you further discuss the philosophy behind your work?

A. "I create art because it is what I was meant to do. I pick up the world around me, around the cosmos and I create art in order to express what I have deciphered. Sometimes I get lucky and I just know what I am supposed to be doing, and other times I struggle with negativity and confusion. I am one of the lucky ones who get to hear, who get to spar with the spirits. If you look at my website, you will see more eloquently how I work."

Q. Does religion, faith, or the lack thereof play a part in your art?

A. "My art is consumed with the spiritual world. I have a keen sense of the spiritual world around us, but it is not religious."
I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Angela Guess. Feel free to critique or discuss her work.
Take care, Stay true,
Brian Sherwin

No comments: