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venerdì 20 aprile 2012

Interview with Amanda Baron

q)Introduce yourself, name,age, location.

a)My name is Amanda Baron, I am 21 years old, currently residing in Toronto, Ontario, finishing my BFA in Drawing and Painting at OCAD University.

q) Can you describe your path to being an artist? When did you really get into it?

a)My mother is an artist herself and has been my greatest influence as I grew up doing crafts with her almost every afternoon. However I had the ambition to become a writer and lost touch with the visual arts for a long time.  In my final years of highschool I spent a lot of my time drawing in my sketchbook and became more and more invested in art.  Although, it wasn’t until I heard about OCAD University that I actually considered going to school for art rather than for my writing.

q) Describe your ideals and how they manifest in your work.

a)I believe in art as a source of self-therapy, as a playing ground in which errors can be made and overcome in a creative fashion.  I personally am invested in art based in process, intuiton and experimentation.

q) Is music a part of your studio time? What do you listen to?

a)Music is definitely important to my studio time.  I love being in a studio with other people and sharing music, or even just putting on my headphones and going at it.  I mostly like to listen to pyschedelic rock, krautrock, alternative and prog rock when I am making art and listening to my headphones.  However the past few weeks I have been really into Parov Stelar, which is a dance, jazz and swing mix, great for painting.  Usually, it depends on what I am working on, and the environment I am in, but music always has to be available.

q) How would you describe your work to someone?

a)It’s really hard for me to describe my work to someone who has never seen it.  Usually I describe my process with collage and recently, with digital painting.  However, I will relate myself to Francis Bacon, Daniel Richter, Picasso or Munch, because many people have described my work in relation to them before.

q) Influences?

a)Besides Bacon, Richter, Picasso and Munch, my favorite artist is Max Ernst.  His explorations in collage and frottage are hughly influential to my work. Although, I have many influences that are not necessarily art related.  I am mostly interested in theories stemming from pyschology and existentialism.  Jean-Paul Sartre and his “Being and Nothingness” has been highly influential to me as of late.  As well as science fiction and alien folklore, I enjoy the mystery of the unknown, the neon qualities of sci-fi and the manifestation of myth in our everyday world.  But I love poetry, fictional stories and strange films, with a hint of macabre. 

Above all, my artistic peers are probably my greatest influence. I love being surrounded by interesting and passionate people who want to create beautiful and insightful art and music.  The Toronto art scene is fantadtic because there are so many artists working with ideas of hybridity and digitalism, collage and multi-media explorations.  I feel very privaledged to be in the community I am in.

q) Describe your process for creating new work.

a)My process has always been a variation of collaging and drawing/painting.  Lately I have been working digitally and using images I have found in old magazines and from youtube, I collage these images together on the computer, and manipulate colour hues and paint with the image using various distortion tools.  I enjoy this process because it feels like the image is always in a liquid state, and can constantly be manipulated.  After the work is printed I like to use my hands to draw or paint into it, it gives the work a human quality the computer cannot reproduce.

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

a)Easiest thing to do is start a blog, it allows you to show your work freely and keep people up to date with what you are doing.  Also, find other artists whome you feel you relate to or compliment your work and start group shows in your area.  Attend as many art openings as possible, look at what these galleries are interested in and see where your art fits in relationship to theirs.  Make connections and stay public.

q) What are you really excited about right now?

a)I have just finished my thesis year at OCAD University, so I am most excited about showing the work I have made over the past year.   But I am also really excited about creating new work, influenced by what I have learned from my thesis.  Amongst all this I want to show my work as much as possible over the coming summer, and invest in the artistic community outside of school.

q) What do you love most about where you live?

a)Toronto is a multi-cultural hub, and it shows greatly in the artistic community.  There are so many people making great, thought provoking work, that you would not see together in any other part of the world.  There are also amazing digital experimentations happening at the moment.  People are excited about using the digital technology and referencing gaming and Internet culture, as well as exploring the past. Toronto art seems very much to be in a state of hybridity, anything goes, and that is what makes it so interesting.

q) Best way to spend a day off?

a)Catching up on some sleep!

q) Upcoming shows/ projects?

a)I will be in the OCAD University Graduation Exhibition on May 3rd to 6th; it will be amazing to see all of our hard work in one place.  Other than that I am working on being involved in various group shows with my peers over the summer.

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

a)I update my blog frequently, amandabaron.blogspot.ca, also on facebook my art page is Amanda e. Baron.  But I also like to use the Saatchi Online gallery.