Saturday, December 3, 2011

Carolyn Swiszcz - Painting - Printmaking

Hallway, 28 X 19, 2011
Carolyn Swiszcz

Name: Carolyn Swiszcz
City/State: West St. Paul, MN profile: Carolyn Swiszcz
Facebook page: (Optional)
I was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts and moved to Minnesota to attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I studied printmaking and illustration there and earned a BFA in 1994. In the late 90’s I had a fellowship in Miami Beach from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. I’ve shown with Miyako Yoshinaga Art Prospects in New York for almost ten years. 

My work has also been exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. I’ve received grants from the Jerome, Bush, and McKnight Foundations and the Minnesota State Arts Board. I’ve lived in West St. Paul for a decade. 

Food Court, Santa Fe, 48 X 73

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I am attracted to subjects with patterns and text, especially as they appear in architecture. I'm a painter but I am not interested in making "painterly paintings"  - I work in a flat, graphic manner inspired by printmaking. My subjects, and the ways I work through them, are chosen somewhat intuitively. I would describe the feeling in most of my works as a pleasant kind of dread.
I'm currently expanding my architectural subjects to include interiors and people, with a more personal bent. I hope to tweak my work a bit so I am able to draw from a broader range of ideas and experiences.

"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?
I hope that my work motivates other people to paint and write.

Shidoni Sculpture Park, Tesque, NM 36 X 73, 2011
What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
The best advice on creativity I heard was from a friend’s child who was struggling to work with some clay. After some initial frustration he kept at it, eventually becoming happy with his creation. He told his friend his secret: “you have to not care.” I find I have to alternate between a playful kind of not caring and then some serious thought - caring very much. This kind of works on a personal level as well.
Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
I begin by taking photos and making thumbnail sketches. I don't do many studies before I start a work - I have a vision of what I want in my head. I usually begin with techniques that leave a lot to chance such as monotype and rubber stamp. The rest of the time I'm sort of corralling the chaotic aspects of the work into something more coherent. Often things have to get wrecked or started again if they aren't working. The last third of a painting is the hardest for me to finish. It is a long process of either determining exactly what small thing is needed, or coming to terms with the fact that the work might be done the way it is.
Much of my process involves putting work away for long periods. I often feel as if the only chance I have to see one of my paintings painting clearly is within the first second or two of looking at it. I work at home in a small, somewhat inadequate studio space. However, its proximity allows me to steal moments during the day to paint and look while I care for our small child. I distract her and then I run up to the studio for a minute to check in with something in progress hoping I will be able to diagnose its flaws. 
Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 

Bridget Beck
Bruce Tapola
Wyatt McDill
Melba Price
David Lefkowitz

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?

MAEP Gallery at the MIA, Franconia Sculpture Park, the Walker Art Center. I don't get out as often as I want to but I’m trying to change that. 

 Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, Austin TX 48 X 73, 2011
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? 

New American Paintings Blog. It's not just about the artists who appear in the publication. There's lots of good interviews and videos.
Whitney Lobby #1 36 X 48, 2011

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?

I have some work from 2005/2006 (this is the first time it's being shown in Minnesota) up at Bethel College. I am giving a lecture on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 5 PM. 
I have a show in New York at Miyako Yoshinaga Art Prospects through November.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I just bought a press - some new work on paper? A book? Another video? I am not sure. I have to clean my studio first.

No comments: