I have always appreciated the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. In fact, I wrote my undergrad art history thesis about the public perception of his racial identity to his work. At The Broad, it was inspiring to see Basquiat’s work in a dedicated section. Must-see section of their permanent collection gallery!
Phenomenal works by Barbara Chase-Riboud, that honor slain human rights leader Malcolm X, are on view through November 4th at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery. More information can be found here.
1. Tell me about your process as an artist.
The first step of my process, I have an idea and develop it into a concept through brainstorming and thinking. Next, I practice techniques and skills on a surface. This could mean I’m playing around with color combinations using inks, or scribbling in various pens or even testing brushes on scraps of paper or canvas. Once I have practiced, I begin working. I don’t like to work using easels, so I simply lay my paper, canvas or panel flat on floor or table and work. As I’m working, my concept may change and that is perfectly fine. Often times, my work will come out completely different from what I had planned in my mind. If I begin to get frustrated, I will take a break and work on something else. My works of art are never truly finished, and often times I will return to a piece that I had worked on previously.
My process fluctuates between fluid and controlled. I feel as though I have a balance of both
2. Describe your artistic practice in three words.
My artistic practice can be described as therapeutic, fluid, and abstract.
3. Why do you make art?
I make art for several reasons. First, the physical act of making Art for me is at times relaxing and often a way to de-stress. Secondly, art is a way for me to organize my thoughts, or ideas and express them visually.
Like many others, I struggle to explain myself verbally at times and art allows for me to say what I need to say without having to actually say it. Lastly, I make art to stir up conversation. My art allows for an open dialogue between the viewer, myself and the work. I am very open to conversations about my work with anyone.
4. Where do you create art?
I feel most comfortable creating art where I can be alone. If I happen to find myself working around people, to give the illusion that I am alone I will play music as I work.
5. What does it mean to be an artist in the Bronx?
Being an artist in the Bronx and from the Bronx means being a part of the many creative communities here in New York. I feel very honored, and proud to be a practicing artist from the Bronx.
6. How can people get in touch with you and see more of your works?
People are more likely to get in touch with me and see more of my work through my email (Luisacalcano23@gmail.com), my instagram account (@marialuisaart).
7. Who is your greatest inspiration?
My inspiration for the work I do stems from my personal experiences, observations, and books that I have read. However, my greatest inspirations are people such my mentors, family, friends and significant other.
One of my sculpture idols is Martin Puryear. It was with joy and excitement I viewed his exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago. Entitled Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions, the exhibition shows over 100 drawings and 12 sculptures, many of which has never been seen before. His transformative works show mastery of craft and creative exploration across many ideas. Through May 1, 2016 it is a must-see before it closes!