Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christina Habibi - Painter

Christina Habibi was born in Tehran, Iran and now lives in Saint Paul, MN.
Christina studied Graphic Design at the Art Institutes Twin Cities and is a self-
taught painter.

“My art explores the essence of paradox. Though art I assert that beauty and the
grotesque, serenity and chaos, sensitivity and callousness exist at every moment
in harmony.”

christina habibi


Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this
different from past projects?

I’m gearing up for a series of 16x16 paintings--one a day for 90 days. This project is different from past projects in that I usually paint on whatever is available and whatever I can afford and whenever I have time. I’m also constructing a series of copper table designs.

Copper end Table

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I once asked a friend, “what do I have to do to become a full-time artist?” and he answered, "make art full-time".

Down the Road

Tell me about your working space and your creative process?
I have a big big space in the newly renovated historic Hamm's Brewery Building-now the Everest Arts and Science building in Saint Paul. Lots of large spaces with concrete floors at very inexpensive monthly rates. As for my process, I work on my knees--reminiscent of my 12 years as a tile setter. I arrive at the canvas with rubber kneepads, square-toed boots, a fine tipped brush, quarts and quarts of everyday house paint and a mind full of paradox.

Which Minnesota artists do you enjoy?
To start with:
my mother Catherine Stenhjem.
I also enjoy writer/essayist/chef Emily Noble,

If I were to follow you around on an “art day” in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
First I’d go to Barnes and Noble or Borders and comb the magazines for Art,
Architecture, Interior Design, Graphic Design and Fashion. I may pop into Evla Pottery and Art to see what’s new with Kim’s abstract paintings and Mike’s hand made pottery—sometimes I just do a drive-by on Dale Street, Kimberly Christiansen’s large abstracts will pull you in through the window. I might stop by at Trader Joe’s on Randolph in St Paul and check out the clever sign art that artist Amy McPartlin has conjured up for the week. I could end the day with a drink on the upper patio of Joe’s Garage in hopes of getting a glimpse through the window of artist Scott Seekins at work in his studio—is that stalking?

Last Time you Came

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
Facebook is always a good resource. I check in with Café to see what’s out there for ‘call for artists’. Sometimes I peruse Etsy or Paintings I Love-The online artists community for paintings and drawings, and artist websites.

Do you have any exhibits or any interesting things going on in your life
or coming up in the near future?
There are three twin cities restaurants that have generously given me full-time wall space to exhibit my art, Bar 508 Restaurant in Mpls and The Bulldog Lowertown, where I regularly rotate in new works. I also have a permanent (if there is such a thing) installation at SAJI-YA in Saint Paul-that’s fun to look at over sushi. Restaurants get such heavy foot traffic-I’ve found them to be the perfect place to get high visibility. I’m really looking forward to being in the art publication Studio Visit Magazine this coming spring. In February I’m going to do a show a Nina’s Coffee Café in St Paul. Nina’s is a great place to get visibility.

Portrait of Pickles the Clown

If you were to receive a $2,000 art grant to do anything you want, what
would you do?
I’d buy 90 16x16 canvases for my upcoming project.

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