Sunday, June 27, 2010

Artist Interview: Amber Maida

What is your name:   Amber Maida

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:  Formal art education in Dance and as a Licensed Massage Therapist. 

What is the style of your pieces:  The sum of many themes/styles:  Symbolism, expressionistic, surreal… A quote from Anselm Kiefer best describes what I strive for:  I'm interested in reconstructing symbols. It's about connecting with an older knowledge and trying to discover continuities in why we search for heaven.

What is the medium in which you work:  Acrylic and Mixed media:  Pearlescent Inks, egg shells, sand/pumice, string, straw, vintage book pages, antique keys, rose petals, key holes,  door hinges, texture, lavender, feathers… much more

What started you on your path as an artist:  It was ignited when I was 5 or 6 as a dancer, then I began drawing obsessively a year or two later- I am totally taken by speaking without words

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life:  My husband

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in:   I am taken by all genres- sometimes at a quick glance, sometimes after learning the background behind the art/artist.   

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like:  Yes, my art exhibits range in locations from galleries, museums, alternative spaces, design/furniture showrooms, commercial spaces and have been as far reaching as England, California, and locally in CT, NY, VT, The Hamptons and in NYC.  If I have my way with the exhibit, it becomes a fusion of the Visual and Performing arts- with Bowie’s music playing, dancers improve-ing (I even perform with them from time to time if it feels right) and I have done several live Paint-to-the-music performances.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in:  Yes, mainly all white (Especially for performance art), I love white.  But I also have these boots from over 11 years ago that I love to wear and this pair of olive cargos that are too big for me, I’ve had them forever, they are falling apart but they’re comfortable and make me happy. 

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist?  I don’t know

What is your favorite sandwich of all time:   I love soups, not big on sandwiches unless they’re containing a ton of cheese and mushrooms

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they:  I am going to quote Rothko on this one:  The progression of a painter's work as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity.. toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea.. and the idea and the observer.. To achieve this clarity is inevitably to be understood.  – this is my hope each year.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead:  Anselm Kiefer- for many, many reasons. 

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person:  Anselm Kiefer’s exhibit as a whole- “Velimir Chlebnikov” housed in a 1,000 SqFt building that was constructed to house the exhibit of 30 of his mixed media paintings, based on Chlebnikov’s eccentric poetry/thoughts.  I love that the building was custom designed and built for the paintings, not the other way around- it changed my world.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work:  I have 3 cats- 2 of which are Bengals.  They used to run with my paint brushes in their mouths when I worked on ideas at home… they aren’t allowed in my studio because there would be fur everywhere and would leave bits of themselves in my art- literally.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us:  Currently I have a solo exhibit at The Gallery at Black Rock in Bridgeport, CT titled:  “Labyrinth”.  Much of the mixed media paintings are based on my interpretation of David Bowie’s lyrics and inspirations made visible.  I am now working with galleries in different states planning shows to follow that.  Much of my planning revolves around my move to Orange County, CA at the end of the summer. 


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