Tuesday, April 30, 2013

the blue locket quiz: aubrey levinthal

Aubrey Levinthal, Coffee Through a Straw

Aubrey Levinthal paints everyday things—her lunch, a still life in her studio, a man's broad back in a dark coat—with great care and beauty. As she puts it, "reality mixes freely with a little whimsy." Her eye for detail is incredibly keen. I love the evocative, emotional shapes and her amazing sense of color. (Look at that yellow, just below.) She thinks deeply and writes eloquently on her blog about her own artistic process and other artists she admires. She lives in a charming Philadelphia rowhouse. And best of all, she was kind enough to complete a Blue Locket quiz. You'll definitely see a link between her own work and her list of favorites. Aubrey, thank you so much.

Aubrey Levinthal, Yellow Through Bottle

1. What inspires you? This great quote comes to mind, I think from Chuck Close, that I heard a long time ago—it goes something like inspiration is for amateurs and the rest of us just show up and get working—or something to that effect. There isn't a specific thing that inspires me except the struggle in my studio to paint a more satisfying picture than I ever have before. Which is actually quite a tall order. The other thing that pushes me to make my best work is looking at other artists work, and feeling the need to go back to my studio and paint.

Aubrey Levinthal, Cheerios

2. Who are your favorite artists? This list is sort of rotating at all times but some of my consistent loves are: Matisse, Bonnard, David Park, Richard Diebenkorn, Fairfield Porter, Biala.

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No. 129
Biala, Portrait of Igouassou
Henri Matisse, Interior With Egyptian Curtain
Fairfield Porter, Under the Elms

3. Can you name some favorite works of art? I love Egyptian Curtain and Blue Still Life by Matisse. Under the Elms by Porter. Amy Sillman's Shade and many pieces in that 2010 show. Kyle Staver's His Turn. Still Life with a Bowl of Fruit by Bonnard. Picnic at Bedford Hills by Florine Stettheimer. Romare Bearden's Woman in the Garden. There are many more but these are all works that I stood in front of, in person, and felt completely weak in the knees.  
Amy Sillman, Shade

4. Where do you do your best work? I do my best work from home. My studio is in our second bedroom and although it is decidedly too small, I am feeling pretty resistant to getting an exterior studio. I am entertaining the idea of a second studio elsewhere but I love working here. The way my paintings are, made of things in my life, I like creating them among my things. That was a real struggle in graduate school, moving into a big, sterile studio and feeling like it was my space—like I had enough ownership of it to create my work inside of it.

Aubrey Levinthal, Banana
5. What scares you? The only thing I feel truly scared of is running out of time—daily I feel I could use another five hours, and long-term I feel I have so many paintings I want to make and things to explore I just hope I can do it all. But it's a good thing to be scared of, because an even scarier reality would be to feel like I have nothing more I want to do in the studio—but I don't see that happening any time soon.

1 comment:

  1. Ah! That first answer- I needed to hear that today! xx