Sunday, July 24, 2011

Laura Hallen - Mixed-Media

Laura Hallen

Name: Laura Hallen
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Website: profile:
Facebook page:

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
Currently I am a multi-media artist with a strong background in painting. My primary medium is Plexiglas and Plexiglas boxes, where I play with the internal landscape within the box, and the external fa├žade outside of the box. There is tension and play between 2 and 3 Dimensions of my work. I have been through many phases with my art. I started as an oil painter on canvas, focusing on the figure. I then discovered Plexiglas. I have been exploring the versatility of Plexiglas with paint, photography, multi-media, pigmented shellac, and found objects. I recently went through a phase with my work that involved marshmallows, tutus, streamers, and feather boas.

My work has taken a turn to a deeper look into how we present ourselves to the world, and my boxes have become metaphors for skin. My work engages the contrast between how we present ourselves in the public versus the private interior lives we each have. Much like how we present ourselves to the world with the importance placed on the exterior, I am curious of what is on inside; dazzling, bound up, complex, fantastic messes each of us contain.

Humans are fragile. Humans are vulnerable to pressures and stress, especially in light of social networking and how we put our best face forward. More and more we are asked to present a perfect image of who we are while we become disconnected to the true person we are inside. I represent the balance and tension between what is on the surface and what is in the interior space in my Plexiglas boxes.

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
My art is an expression of where I am in my life at any given moment. My constant practice is to try to be in the moment, and embrace whatever emotions I may be experiencing. The Good and the Bad.
I want to make a bold statement with my work, with images that will grow with time, and have the viewer constantly discover new perspectives on my art.

I’m hoping my art will pique the viewer’s curious and playful side, as well as a thoughtful side, with an appreciation of Beauty.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Don’t judge yourself too much, and it’s ok to make an ass out of your self once in a while.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
I share a studio in the Northrup King Building with Eddie Hamilton and Cody Kiser. I couldn’t have asked for better studio mates. (Check out our spoof advertisement for last year’s Art-A-Whirl. I usually start with an empty Plexiglas box and find inspiration with the size and shape of the box. I work on both sides of the Plexiglas with pigmented shellac and use a lot of silicone while gluing materials down to the background. A lot of my work has elements of framing to it, without the frame. My work involves a lot of assembly and hardware. Some projects take longer than others, and some I can bang out quickly. It depends on how inspired I am, and if the air conditioner is working well in the studio.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
There is so much talent in this city with such amazing resources!
I love:
Josie Lewis for her luminescent resin cubes:
Alison Hiltner for her scientific, botanical installations:
Gregory Euclide for his miniature forest installations:
Casey Opstad for his polyurethane sheets and landscapes:
Cody Kiser for his interior paintings:
Eddie Hamilton for his playful paintings:
Kate Cassanova for her organic sculptures, hermit crab video and photography

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
Northrup King Building:
Gallery 122 @ Hang It
Franklin Art Works
Soo Visual Art Center
Midway Contemporary Art
MCAD Gallery

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?
MN Original is where it’s at!
Plus I’m always checking L’etoile’s blog for current evens and culture:

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I have 2 shows up right now. I am in a group show at the SooVac called Untitled 8 and a solo show at the Spyhouse on Nicollet Both shows run through August 20th, 2011.

Laura Hallen
Image List:
1. “Boom Goes the Dynamite” 33” x 33” x 4”, tutu, pom-poms, marshmallows, Plexiglas Box, July 2010

2. “Synthetic Hairball” 30” x 30”, Acrylic, beeswax and pigmented shellac on Plexiglas, February 2011

3. “Cruel Nature” 47” x 36” Acrylic on Plexiglas, March 2011

4. “Euphoria” 12” x 7” x 2”, pigmented shellac on Plexiglas, May 2011

5. “Sparkle&Snuff” 42” x 42” x 6”, fabric flowers, pigmented shellac, Plexiglas box, June 2011

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