sabato 5 settembre 2009

Interview with Alana Richards

q)Please introduce yourself.

a)Hey. My name is Alana.

q) Where do you live and work?

a)I live and work in Berlin.

q) How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?

a)My work is figurative. I build the figure with paint by layering, rubbing and scratching out. The figures are no one in particular but fragments of identities I come across. Some are imaginary.

I work with broad concepts, such as the distortion of contemporary culture without referring to logos and brand names. I try to keep it more on a personal level.

q) How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?

a)My grandfather was a painter and I would spend a lot of time at his house. I guess when I

wasn’t running around or climbing trees he would give me some watercolours to shut me

up. He painted ships. I was much more interested in painting cartoon characters.

Career wise though… I don’t think I’m there yet.

q) What are your favorite art materials and why?

a)These days I work mainly with oil on canvas. There’s something very alluring about oil paint.

I like the way you can use it to form your subject over time, which allows time for thought. You can smudge it and it stains. And its messy as hell.

q) What/who influences you most?

a)I’m influenced by people. People are fascinating. I could happily sit and watch people forever.

I’m influenced by popular culture; my studio is filled with crap that I pick up, I have a lot of newspapers, magazines and photographs. Living in Berlin is of course a huge influence on me. The street art here I think is very experimental.

Artists that I admire include Bacon, Basquiat, Caravaggio, Velazquez, Schiele, Kahlo and Van Gogh.

q) Describe a typical day of art making for you.

a)I get up early and eventually make it to the studio. I Look. Sit. Smoke. Paint. Smoke. Sit. Paint. look. smoke.

Paint. Smoke. Paint. Smoke. I smoke a lot of cigarettes while I paint. I’ve no idea why.

How long I spend in the studio varies…sometimes I only paint for half an hour other times ill paint for

hours and hours.

q) Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?

a) To get better and better.

q) What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?

a)I’m always very interested in what’s happening in London. Although, I am not very good at keeping up to date with things. I think the quality of work exhibited in London is very high. To live as an artist there is

like a fight for survival. It must be very tough. Hence filtering out most of the shit.

q) How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?

a)It depends on so much. It depends on deadlines and it depends on mood. Sometimes a piece comes together

straight away, sometimes things are never finished.

q) Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?

a)I’m most definitely not emotionally attached to them. There are one or two pieces that I sold years ago that I would like to have back now but that’s more for sentimental value more than anything.

It’s a huge compliment knowing someone that you don’t know wants something that you made. I would much rather someone else have them and enjoy them. I know that if I had something for a long tome I would end up changing it or covering it altogether.

q) Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?

a)Music is so important to me. My computer recently broke so I have now resorted to listening to the radio non stop. It’s quite heartbreaking.

q) Books?

a)Ive been reading ‘ Zazie dans le metro’ for months now. I cant seem to be able to relax and read anymore.

q) What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity or the creative process?

a)I wouldn’t call it a theory or a belief but I like to approach every piece like its going to be my best ever.

q) What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?

a)I’m probably thinking about painting. I get quite stressed about working and its hard to detatch.

But usually you would find me sitting in a park with a group of friends drinking sternburgs and people watching. Berlin attracts the most insane people.

q) Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?

a)I am currently preparing a show for Gallery-33 here in Berlin. The show starts on the 12th and runs until the

3rd of October.

After that I’m taking a holiday.

q) Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?

a)Wooster collective is the only website that comes to mind that I remember to look at. And that’s when I remember. I like to flick through magazines such as Lowdown and Pigeon. Also Kopfan, but that’s more fashion based. And Art Forum when I can find it.

When I lived in Paris I loved to wander around Palais de Tokyo and the Georges Pompidou. The book shops in those museums were amazing.

q) Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it.

a)Do I have to?

q) Any advice for aspiring artists?

a)100% dedication.

q) Where can we see more of your work online?


I promise I will organise it someday.

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