Words to Live By with Valerie Hegarty

By | October 20, 2012 at 1:19 am | No comments | ART, Featured Post, Fine Art, Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Valerie Hegarty interview by Erin Leigh

You would normally never see the words ‘alluring corruption’ next to each other, especially these days, but an alluring corruption is exactly what draws us to this weeks artist Valerie Hegarty. Hegarty’s art is in the recreation of historical and important works followed by their carefully planned demise and destruction leaving them to look as if the caretakers of society had vanished and all the works of fine art were left solely into the hands of nature. She sees the opposite of stereo typical beauty, her work is romantic, evocative and represents a perversion of an old school idea of what fine art integrity ‘should’ be and we are loving her perspective. She first caught our attention with a piece from her 2011 collection ‘Perfectly Damaged‘ called George Washington Melted 2, it literally looks exactly how it sounds. The piece is totally unexpected, a little haunting, and wide open to the perception of controversial which of course leads to many opinions and discussions about its own integrity, in other words true art shaking things up a bit.

Hegarty currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has exhibited all over the world including Museum 52, London, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and Bronx Museum of Art, New York. Her latest exhibition, ‘Figures, Flowers and Fruit’, opened last weekend at Nichelle Beauchene Gallery, New York. She took some time to talk with us about inspirations, dream collaborations and her words to live by.

ISM: If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I’m not good with favorites or absolutes, there are so many people it would be amazing to work with but here’s what I’m saying today. So today I will say Duchamp and maybe we would just play chess and the collaboration is our moment in time together. I would want to collaborate with someone whose media and work is different than mine, so I’d almost prefer a writer or a film-maker, like Hitchcock or Edgar Allen Poe. I don’t know what the final result would be, I think that is the specialness of collaboration, that it is something completely unexpected brought about by conversation. Maybe if Poe were alive he would write a story about a painting that kills people when they look at it, maybe someone has already written this story. Then I try to make the painting which Poe looks at and then rewrites the story to include me and the new painting and then that influences how I change the painting and somehow I get caught in his story and can only get out by destroying the painting or killing Poe. Then Hitchock makes a movie about it. Or maybe that is more of a collaboration to do with Italo Calvino and Charlie Kaufman.

ISM: A famous piece of art you’re dying to see.

I would love to take a trip to see Smithson’s Spiral Jetty or visit James Turrell’s work with Roden Crater. and while I’m out there I would love to see Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch. I’d like to view some work out of a city and embedded in the American landscape, see where the artist lived/lives and the landscape that influenced/es them.

ISM: Biggest inspiration to date.

I am always inspired by my artist peers. That despite how hard it is to be an artist, how unpractical it can be financially and all the extra problems it adds to our lives, that it is how we all find our joy and inspiration to live. When we aren’t thinking about changing careers, moving to the country and becoming gardeners.

ISM: Your hours of operation.

It changes, when I am on deadline I could work 8am until midnight. A day without pressure might be 9am-5pm with a visit to a museum or reading a book included in the workday.

ISM: Background while you work, TV, Music or Silence?

Much of the time is silence, maybe a little talk radio if I’m doing some production labor. If I’m working on something new I like to be a lone in the quiet. If I’m doing some repetitive manual labor, I like to chat with my assistant or listen to music.

ISM: Favorite spot you love hanging at.

I live right next to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and it’s a great place for a walk and to take a little break from the city, especially if I go early.

Something happening right now in our history you would change if you could.

Put an end to racial and religious hatred.

ISM: Any upcoming shows in LA?

No, my next upcoming group show in a few weeks is at University of Santa Barbara in CA, so close by!

ISM: Words to live by.

Be more curious than afraid. That is a Native American saying about how to approach death. I think it’s a good saying for how to approach life also.

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