Although I’m a San Francisco Native, I LOVE Oakland immensely and believe the Support Oakland Artists organization has set up a great web site to survey the community and create services and increase resources to the art community.

Hello Dear Readers, Art Lovers, Art Makers, Art Writers…well, Everyone…Hello, Hello

I want to follow in the same vein as James Lipton and ask similar questions to artists. I figured it would be a great way for both Art Lovers and those interested in Art a peek into the Artist’s studio life and philosophy. In turn, I want to provide artists with more exposure as well. Making connections for everyone, essentially. It works both ways and I’m really happy talented and funny artist and recent San Francisco Art Institute MFA graduate, Megan Wynne, decided to be my first artist to answer the Art 10 – Inside the Artist’s Studio questions! Thanks again, Megan!

Questions and Comments are certainly welcome! Enjoy this first installment!

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Art 10

1. What is your favorite (art) word?

This may be a boring answer, but I like the word “aesthetic”. I like the sound, the way it rolls off the tongue, and the spelling of it, the “a-e” thing. I also love the word “visceral” even though its not technically an art word alone, I use it a lot when talking about the gut response to a piece of art. It relates to my present body of work, “viscera”.

2. What is your least favorite (art) word?

I’m going to have to go with two words on this one because it ruins one of my favorite words, “relational aesthetics”. I find the term irritating and too esoteric.

3. What keeps you going when you’re in the studio?

Its usually my interest in learning about the subject matter I’m addressing in the work, the research aspect to the process.

4. When do you know you’re done in the studio?

When I start to feel like I’m going to fall asleep or vomit. Its always a physical reaction/symptom that tells me I need a break. As far as completing a piece is concerned, I never really feel like my work is ever finished.

5. What words do you love to hear at an art show (your show or any show)?

Its not so much words, but I often like it the best when people laugh when they look at my work. My work isn’t only supposed to be funny but its nice when they get the joke.

6. What words do you hate to hear at an art show (your show or any show)?

Once I was at the SFMOMA and a father who was holding is little boy came up to Duchamp’s Fountain and loudly said “Now that’s art” as sarcastically as possible. He acted like he was addressing his son, like it was some absurd art lesson he was giving him, but the joke was really intended for me to overhear, as I was also looking at the piece at the same time. He thought he was so funny. I believe we are all entitled to our own opinions about artwork, but it was irritating that the guy presumed that anyone else within hearing range of his voice would obviously have the same opinion as he did.

7. What is your favorite curse word?

The present participle of the “F” word.

8. What profession other than being an artist would you like to attempt?

Surgeon.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

Nurse – they seem to have to do all the hard stuff.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

I’m not mad at you for being an atheist.

You can learn more about Megan’s work by visiting her website.

Some time ago, I was introduced to the work of Sonya Clark. It encapsulates the truth, which resides in our bodies. Hair, for example, contains information about our biology that we often neglect or forget. Our predispositions, if you believe they exist are engrained in every part of the body. Clark explores hair in such a way that brings her understanding and experiences to everyone (not just African-American men and women). One of the many reasons I love Clark’s work is in large part due to use of the body and the tools we use to maintain our bodies. The Combs Series evokes how something so simple and trivial can reflect complexities and intricacies of beauty and self-care. Clark’s utilization of simple materials to create visual complexity contrasts how combs are often seen as cheap, plastic, low quality tools used simply to groom unruliness.

Clark notes on her site, when talking about her projects entailing use of human hair,

“Deep with each strand, the vestiges of our roots resound. In this work hair is formed into markers of chronology, wisdom, and adornment”.

Much of her work resonates with me because in the past few years, I’ve had probably close to a dozen different hairstyles in the past couple of years. Co-workers even rumored that I had shaved my head, which is far from the truth. I merely had an extremely short pixie hairstyle someone misspoke and interpreted as a shaved head. In any case, it dawned on me the importance people hold on hair and beauty. Some women allow such an external characteristic to define their femininity. Yet, Clark doesn’t (only) re-make and re-interpret her body to create beautiful pieces of sculptural work. She believes in showcasing how the body itself can serve as a medium. She profoundly sculpts the truth in our bodies within her work.

Please visit her site here