News: Interview

Studio Visit with Diane Goldstein

By Ashley L. Voss

Art Attack SF interviews Diane Goldstein about her work included in the SFOS Hub Exhibition! View the collection on our website and join us Saturday, November 11th from 
6:00-9:00pm for the SFOS Hub Exhibition Reception.

Where does most of your creative inspiration come from?
Well, I am inspired by nature, or by an idea that I want to explore or the work of other artists. For example, late last year, I wanted to explore the feeling of groundlessness that I had after the election.  In this series, I translated that feeling onto the canvas abstracting root balls from trees that fell down in Golden Gate Park after severe storms.  They fell during the same time frame of the election.

Can you tell us more about your Lemon Aid Out of Lemons works?
I wanted to explore the idea of juxtaposing boldness (the large black lines) with a soft subject.  The bold black lines came first and then I worked with collage papers and paint to create a softer feeling using the lemon shapes.  I like working on wood panels because I can layer paint and collage and then sand it down and then layer more.  I can do archeology, if you will, because the board will take a lot deconstruction.

What is an average day in the studio like for you?
My studio is at Yosemite Place in the Bayview district of San Francisco. The building was an old Sealy Posturepedic Mattress Factory, very industrial with high ceilings. There are many artist in this building and my studio is on the top floor with great light and partial view of the Bay. I arrive around 11:00 after I exercise in Golden Gate Park.  When I first come in, I take time to just sit and look at the paintings I am working on.  I think the first few minutes are important because there is less judgement. Often, I turn on music or listen to NPR and start to work on several paintings at once. That way, I do not get too stuck in overworking one painting. After an hour or so, I stop and eat my lunch and then go back to painting.  I have a library in the studio; so I might look up a certain painter to stimulate ideas. I am usually very absorbed in my process so the time goes by very fast. I might have a brief conversation with another artist. Generally, I leave around 4:00 after I clean up so the studio it will be fresh for the next day.

What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
Several items are indispensable - a chunky graphite water soluble crayon, a long twig with a piece of charcoal taped onto the tip and titanium white paint.

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Studio Visit with Joe Kowalczyk

By Ashley L. Voss

Art Attack SF interviews Joe Kowalczyk about his Skull Rattles that
are on display at the gallery! View the collection on our website.

How did the Skull Rattles come to be?
At some point in 2003 I began making ceramic skulls to use as surface experiments for glazes. I found I could experiment as much as I wanted on an object such as the skull, in some cases even ruin, and the skull would still look interesting.  It liberated me, and gave me permission to experiment with multiple firings, alternative surface treatments, and glaze application of various thickness and colors. When sculpting these skulls, nothing is planned, adding to the element of experimentation.  The skulls become more like three-dimensional sketches, as I play with proportions, facial features, and expressions. Years later I began making them rattle, which gave a voice to each skull depending on the thickness and type of clay used.  Each skull is a one-of-a-kind celebration of fun and spontaneity; the result being permanent glimpses of ugliness and beauty captured in this fine medium of ceramics.

What is inside the skulls to make them rattle?
Broken dreams.

Is there any significance in the works rattle/sound component?
I do like the idea that sound can either invite in or scare away spirits from the material world.  Making that association and even pretending that the skull possess such abilities, I find exciting.  I've been experimenting with a variety of ways to manipulate the sounds of each rattle.  Although I'm not certain the rattle may influence the spiritual world, I've found that the sound can influence the overall look and feel of the skull, whether a lighter or denser sound is produced.

What is an average day in the studio like for you?
Average day in the studio begins with a meditation piece.  A meditation piece is a project in my studio which doesn't have a deadline and doesn't require too much thought or decision making; I can sit down and just make at a relaxed pace.  This has been a helpful practice as the meditation piece allows me to separate myself from my daily life and submerge into studio time.  At the moment my meditational piece is a 18in x 24in pen and ink drawing which has been in the works for a few months now.  After 30 - 60min of working on my meditation piece I'll begin working on one of my priority deadline projects, whatever that might be at the time.

What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
With sculpting, my most indispensable item is my kiln, since I use buy hands to sculpt.  In terms of drawing, my most indispensable item would be my set of Micron pens.

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