Monday, June 13, 2011

Artist Interview: Chelsea Coon

What is your name: Chelsea Coon

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I am currently pursing my BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I will graduate in May 2012.

What is the style of your pieces: I see my work as both abstract and representational painting depicting
the formation of stars, the origins of our existence.

What is the medium in which you work: Painting. I use acrylic and enamel paints mixed with whatever is in my studio.

What started you on your path as an artist: I was strongly affected by the natural world around me, especially the night sky. The vastness of it caused me to question every little thing I had ever known. In my pursuit to find a beginning origin of our existence, I began reading space theory. Carl Sagan said "we are all stardust". The idea impacted me greatly which lead me to paint the birth of star formations.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Art has helped me to understand myself and the world around me with a clarity I would not have achieved without it. A sense of perspective and purpose are the most important things art has given me.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Film. I really want to learn how to work in this genre someday.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: I have shown my work in group exhibitions where there is a lot of diversity in ideas and techniques. I currently have an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts entitled "Imaginary Active". Stephen St. Francis Decky and I co-curated the show including 3 other artists as
well as ourselves. Here is link to the website for the exhibition to get a better idea of what the show is like:

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: No. I paint in whatever I am wearing that day, so as you can imagine all my clothes have paint on them somewhere.

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? I use to be more frustrated by the skepticism people have towards the idea of someone making a living through selling their artwork but I have come to realize you can't let small things like that hang over you head. There are more important things to focus attention on.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: It would have to be the local deli's bacon, egg and cheese on a french toast bagel.

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: Yes. I have started incorporating my paintings into a more sculptural form to bring them from their flat existence as a painting so the work can function as installation pieces.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Chuck Close. I am fascinated with his intricate process and execution of his work as well as the person he is.

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: Picasso's La Vie. I saw it in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts a few years ago. It was brought there in a traveling exhibition. The piece is massive, and when I came to face the piece I could not hold back my tears and began to cry. You can literally feel the sadness of Picasso in the eyes of the figures he has painted. It was completely overwhelming. I have never been so emotionally affected by a painting since.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work:  have a dog, and I'm not sure what he would think of my work. Maybe he likes it because he has never destroyed it.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us:I am doing an installation entitled "Alternate Worlds" with Emily Bowser at Space 1026 in Philadelphia. The opening reception will be Friday July 1st from 7-10pm. Here is the website:

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