Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Artist Interview: Laura Tack

What is your name: Laura Tack

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I obtained a bachelordegree in Graphic Design and a masterdegree in Visual Arts in Belgium. In a way I am a self taught artist. I had to teach myself how to use photoshop even though we had a teacher for that. Nobody learned me how to draw, except for one teacher who led me to where I am standing now, even without giving notice.

What is the style of your pieces: I'm a collector of notes, photos, books, ... (usually found in the streets or fleemarkets). It is for a reason called: mixed media. 

What is the medium in which you work: I work with found material and books with photos of the sixties, seventies. Also I use oilpastels, pencil, acrylic and tape. O I'm so into tape. 'Collage' is a perfect word for my artwork. 

What started you on your path as an artist: I don't think it started at one point. That is something which grew and is still growing in me. I'm still struggling to call myself an artist. Sometimes people misuse the term 'artist' to get something done. I noticed it a few times in New York.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Freedom. But not always. Sometimes you are stuck with a limited budget to buy art materials or with a small room where you can't paint as big as you like. Another important thing is the change of how you see the world, literally. If you make art you have an other point of view on people, colors, shapes, .... Your brain works differently.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: I don't have one favorite. There are several hightlights in different art genres. But to give a clear answer on your question; environmental art (and for me, this even can be in a painting of Jheronimus Bosch) 

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: I had 5 or 6 groupshows in Belgium. And two in New York. People in New York are honest, give more criticism. They also show interest, even if it's fake. I like that. They take time to look at a work. In Belgium, people are walking with their glass of alcohol in their hand and they prefer to drink than to criticize.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: All my clothes are clothes from second hand shops and somehow they are blank canvases. On most of my clothes you can find paint. But there is one t-shirt that hangs from a nail in the wall that I wear 'bra-less' when i'm in the mood. It's a yellow, mexican t-shirt with stripes. Somehow the stripes make me creative.

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? For the moment it is the fact that recently my bag with all my artsupplies AND sketchbook was stolen on the train between Woodside and Penn Station. This bad experience is messing with my mind.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: I rarely eat sandwiches. But if I do it's one with tempeh or with pecan, brie and apple. 

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: Off course; I recently moved from Belgium to New York. And it's interesting to see how your environment can change your art.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: For the moment it is John Baldessari. Before it was Christo, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Benjamin Verdonck. Those things are changing all the time. 

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: That was Jheronimus Bosch' "Tuin der lusten" (The Garden of Earthly Delights) I saw it in Museum del Prado in Madrid in 2008. There was a guided group of Chinese people who blocked my view. And I tried everything to see what they were seeing, but I couldn't see anything. And suddenly the guide took the group to the other room and I was standing there alone in the room with this work for me. I was so overwhelmed that I even felt a little bit sick.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: No. I'm not interested in house animals even though I don't eat animal products. 

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: Maybe there is one at the end of June, but I'm not sure yet. But soon, very soon. Hopefully.


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