sabato 5 marzo 2011

Interview with Vahge

q)Who are you? Where are you from and where do you live now?

a)My name is Vahge. It’s a nickname I’ve had since I was little. I was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs, and spent several years in Santa Fe, NM before moving to Brooklyn, NY, where I am now.

q)What is it that you do? What media do you use?

a)I collage. I mainly use magazine clippings, adhesive, and tiny mustache scissors. I feel most connected to what people are calling the lowbrow, new brow, pop surreal movement. There’s an acceptance within that community of weirdness and imagination, things with which I feel most connected.

q)What do you think sets your work apart?

a)I think being a lowbrow collagist is kind of odd. I’ve also been told that my work is highly detailed.

q)How long have you been showing your work for? Did you have a “big break?”

a)I’ve been showing for about six years. It hasn’t been so much a big break, as many small breaks and a lot of hard work. I’ve definitely had a few exciting moments, jumping up and down on the sofa, and I love those times. But I think most artists would say the same thing, it’s mostly work, work, and more work.

q)What are some things that have inspired you?

a)I recently found a copy of Der Struwwelpeter, an old German children’s book from the 1840s that has inspired a lot of the music and theater I listen to and love. The stories in the book are meant to be lessons for children, but they are all fairly gruesome and depressing. There’s one about a boy who was told not to suck his thumbs or else a man would come out of the wall and cut them off. There’s another about a child who slowly starves to death because he refuses to eat. That book was an amazing find.

q)What have you been working on recently?

a)I’ve been collaging a 40 ounce bottle for a group show in March. I’ve started work on a large piece on wood panel, and have been making more small portraits. One of my friends, an incredible writer, is working with me on a children’s book. And I’m trying to write a grant.

q)Do you listen to music while you create your work? If so, would you give some examples?

a)I definitely listen to music, but I also love NPR, and I’ve recently started putting on episodes of Bones and Lie To Me while I cut out tiny tree branches. If I’m listening to music, it might be Tom Waits, old French pop, Nina Hagen, jazz, or Antony and the Johnsons. It kind of depends on what I’m doing that day.

q)Do you do work in any other media? Other projects not necessarily related to your main body of work?

a)I sometimes make yeti dolls out of clay, wire, paint, and fake fur. I love making homemade gifts for friends and family. I rarely draw, but I’ll occasionally do large portraits of my beau.

q)What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?

a)Work hard and keep sharing.

q)Do you have any upcoming exhibitions of your work that you can mention?

a)I’m in a group show in March at MF Gallery in New York. That’s where the bottle will be.

q)Where can people see more of your work on the internet?


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