Joanne Greenbaum, a NYC based artist, participates in the Artists Interview Artists Project. Below Joanne responds to another artist's five questions (Timothy McClellan from Richmond, VA). In order to participate, Joanne 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. You have to close down your studio. Your current work is not longer available to you. How do you think your creativity would express itself?
While it would be very uncomfortable for me to close down my studio, I would still find ways to work. I have worked in hotel rooms, trains, planes etc. using notebooks and stuff bought at stationary stores abroad. I get very anxious when I am away from my studio, but can find ways to work when I am away from a studio based routine. Currently, I am working outside of my usual studio, and have found that being away from the comforts and privacy of my painting studio, while at first had me at a loss, accepting that this is the situation I am in, have found new ways of working, without all of the distractions of home.
I am the kind of artist that needs to be working all of the time, and have found that there are lots of ways to get work done, not all based on one's own studio situation. The one thing that is hard is to be separated from the work that comes to define you, so you have to find other ways to do this, with other materials. And not be afraid to do something that is not what you usually do, not look like the thing that is indentified as you.
2. In a world saturated by images and with the speed of communications now, is two dimensional painting relevant?
Yes, more so than ever. I am more convinced that 2-dimensional painting is relevant mostly because of, and an antidote to the barrage of images, sounds, noise, that we are bombarded with every moment of every day. To me, there is nothing more challenging than working with the simple concept of making a two dimensional image have meaning to me and to the outside world. The basic concept of a painting is to be a conduit for the artists one-to-one relationship with the world (whatever that may be). When I am confronted with myself in front of a two-dimensional work in progress, it feels like I am participating in the world, not shutting it out. If this is what my contribution is to the barrage of communications and media saturation, it is my reaction to that is what makes the painting, good reaction or bad as well. I am glad that I make what I make and put it out into the world of media saturation. Also, I work fast, and make decisions fast, so the speed doesn’t bother me. I suggest everybody read Johanna Druckers new book, Sweet Dreams, Contemporary Art and Complicity, there is a whole chapter on this. I have to add, however, that this summer I am making sculptures, and its totally changed my painting, so perhaps it’s a good thing to step away from the 2-dimensional for a while and refresh, and then its all new again.
3. You have been selected to go on all expense paid drinking binge for three days with historical figures, an artist, a writer and one free choice. Who are your drinking buddies?
I always have a hard time with these kind of questions, also when someone asks me who my favorite artists are, I go blank. Some of my favorite artists and writers are not necessarily people I would want to spend time with, let alone drink with. So it may be a cop out, but I just cant think of anyone I would want to go on a drinking binge with, mostly I cannot stand anymore than one glass of anything, sounds like an awful time, not a good question for me really. I am a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to hanging out.
4. Do any of these people influence your work and why?
I am influenced by a lot and nothing. The people who I would NOT go drinking with and who influence my art nonetheless are Fontana, matisse, basquiet, eva zeisel, and a new great artist I just discovered, Sanyu.
5. Do you believe artistic creativity is innate, generally and personally?
I think that it is somewhat innate, but circumstances in one's life facilitates if one is to become an artist or not. I think that in my own case, it was a place to go to. But who is to say that is what made me an artist, I just always knew I was one, at five years old. So in my case, it was just there. I think some people can become artists, like a career decision, but its not the same thing as one who always knew and who cannot do anything else. Sometimes people come to it late, Late bloomers are sometimes the best artists. I think the personality of an artist is innate, it’s the circumstances and drive that allow it to happen.
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)
Carol Es (questions by James Leonard)
Alexandra Silverthorne (questions by Ami Lahoff)
Christine Buckton Tillman (questions by Carol Es)
Douglas Witmer (questions by Alexandra Silverthorne)
Sky Pape (questions by Douglas Witmer)
Whitney Lynn (questions by Lisa Stephenson)
Heather Levy (questions by Joanne Greenbaum)
Heather Lowe (questions by Samantha Wolov)
Samantha Wolov (questions by Heather Levy)
Timothy McClellan (questions by Heather Lowe)
James Leonard (questions by Sky Pape)