Interview with visual artist Rebecca Tennenbaum

June 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

AR-L: Would you describe your work as intentional or processual ? Is there a specific method to your most recent work, that is, do you predetermine the pattern it results in, or is it spontaneous parsimony that results in your wall installations?

RT: Each painting begins with very specific intentions, as they are each reflections of a once happened experience. As I go through each day, certain alignments of sensory experiences occur and are stored. I try to break down the experience by its separate elements, minimizing them into their basic forms and presence of color. Once I have those ideas solidified, the process of applying the paint straight from the can engages time directly, and I lose the ability to manipulate the paint as it releases itself.

The final step in assembling a painting comes when the layers of mylar are each dry. This alignment is undetermined beforehand, and I regain control of the situation by playing choreographer to their revealing. The most exciting part of making the pieces rest in this step, as the feeling of attaining the “right” alignment secures the re-created sensation as a physical fact of the world. The feeling I experience when my mind is triggered to store an experience is brought back in the acknowledgement of the correct alignment of layers making the painting, and I feel as though I have marked time through their creation.

AR-L: What can you tell us about your latest work @Goldilocks in Philadelphia, PA?

RT: My latest works at Goldilocks are new in the sense that I’ve been investigating more of the directional mapping of a situation as part of the separated components. For example, a painting that describes the sensation of being in the shower and having water run over my ears; the gravity of standing and having the water pour vertically down would be as equally important as the elements of the water, skin and plugging of the separately. This results in harsher angles and pulls in the marks that were not as prominent before.

AR-L: Where and how do you source your materials?

RT: My materials are mostly plastic and fabric. The plastic, latex paint and mylar, are store bought materials which aid in the artificiality of the recreated sensation. The fabric, however, grounds the painting in the real, as I use materials we encounter in both our clothing and our environments everyday. My primary fabrics are cotton and polyester, usually found but sometimes purchased. The fabric grounds the viewer in the familiarity of the senses and as well as providing even color fields for base layers.

AR-L: Anything you want preview with us know about the work you’ll be exhibiting at the LAb @ the Malkovich in Crane Arts Old School after July 2012?

RT: I plan on continuing with the investigation of “directional pulls” for sometime, and seeing where I go once I’ve further discovered them. The only way to see where to go from there is to keep making, so we’ll have to see!

AR-L: Three major influences in your work are…

 RT: The three deepest influences in my work would be Helen Frankenthaler, David Reed and Joan Miro. Miro’s “Blue II” from 1961 is one of my favorite paintings I look at everyday. Frankenthaler’s “Canyon” as well as her works on paper continues to inspire me regularly, as well.

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