Carol Es, an LA-based artist, participates in the Artists Interview Artists Project. Below Carol responds to another artist's five questions (James Leonard from New York). In order to participate, Carol had to provide me with five questions for some other artist to answer. The assigning of questions to artists is completely random. If you're an artist and interested in participating, let me know.
1) Why do you make art? And whom do you make it for? Answer as completely as possible.
I am obsessed and can not do anything else but make art. I feel I do not have any choice in the matter as I am much more neurotic and depressed during stints when I don't make it, so I try not to have such spells of non-art activity. I don't know whom I make art for specifically, but It winds up being for those who want to look at it and/or acquire it, including myself. That is my complete and final answer.
2) Do you ever forget or deliberately ignore why you make art? If so, briefly describe the last time you realized you had forgotten or were ignoring why you make art. What did it take for you to return to your core motivation?
The answer to the first part is “no” but I do get caught up in the dynamics of art as a career at times and find I have to ward off the anxiety about strategy and shows, or even a studio visit. When this gets to be too much, I cancel out on that stuff and retreat back into art making and try to ignore the pressures of my peers, rejection, competition, exhibitions and social obligations. For me, staying focused on my ideas is key in keeping sane and getting out of that mud.
3) Given the option of placing a work of art (for the same selling price) in either: A) a happy home of an anonymous collector to be seen only by that collector and their family and friends; B) a public institution (such as a museum) where it would be mothballed for over 90% of its existence; or C) in a high traffic non-art location where it is permanently on display (such as a corporate lobby), which would you choose and why?
Ha! I'm not going to chose one. Neener-neener. I don't see having to make a choice of only one of those things because any artist can have all 3 and have the satisfaction of what all those things produce. They each meet a different need and people in all 3 instances can enjoy the work. Having a piece in a museum may or may not be displayed, but it’s an important step that can lead to more desirable opportunities. That’s not to say it is my selection. I select A, B and C.
4) In your work, do you prefer timeless themes with extended shelf life or issues of the day with maximum impact? How does this preference affect the longevity of your work, the turns of your career, and the relationship with your audience?
My work is totally personal and I am fickle. My audience may not like it when I make sharp turns in my style, but I don't care much for being consistent for other people’s sake. That being said though, I think I have a particularly good relationship with my audience because of this. I prefer to connect on a personal and intimate level through my art and hope that aspect of my approach reveres longevity, but that doesn't mean I don't get sick of my older work. Few pieces have longevity for me, and only because they mark a certain time, not because they are time-less.
5) How does the conceptual interact with the perceptual in your work? And how does this affect longevity of your work, the turns of your career, and the relationship with your audience?
Juno Doran (questions by James W. Bailey)
Josh Feldman (questions by Joseph Barbaccia)
Lisa Stephenson (questions by Whitney Lynn)
Joseph Barbaccia (questions by Josh Feldman)
James W. Bailey (questions by Matt Hollis)
Matt Hollis (questions by Juno Doran)