What first interested you in art?
This is a question that sounds like it should be really clear cut and well defined, but for me it’s so fuzzy. “Art” is so clumsy and too broad a word for what people involved in cultural production do…maybe I think of it as approach to processing and being a human participant in the world rather than as a separate thing, so all that is to say I think the things that interest me have evolved more than they have made one big entrance. Sometimes that evolution has had moments in which things shift more dramatically than others, and sometimes it folds back in on itself.
What was your first approach to art?
Definitely painting. But I suspect that is fairly normal, especially when you start getting interested in art at a young age…more so if you draw representationally painting is the natural progression. And if the adults that surround you don’t have much in the way of arts education they just start throwing plein air and impressionism and sometimes Dale Chihuly (if you happen to be on a family vacation that involves passing through in Las Vegas) at you because for them that’s what art is. Even at the university where I went to undergrad the program was so stuck in a “traditional” approach to art making it was all figure drawing and plein air painting, which was fun at the time but never felt like it was going anywhere. I tried going the theory route which also felt a bit dead-endy in so far as production process…it seemed like my classmates were just illustrating our assigned reading. It wasn’t until after college that I started looking at the process of how I was problem solving constructing paintings and ended up finding that process more interesting. I haven’t painted in years, but I really miss it, and still when I look at the works of other artists that I tend to gravitate toward they are frequently paintings.
What is the importance of art history in your work?
For me it is important, and I always feel like I should know more and that I am always behind in building that mental rolodex of work especially with contemporary artists. Though I also I find it can be a tough balance between being well educated about what you are doing, why, and the tradition it comes from and keeping other’s voices out of your own head.
Do you admire works or artists that influenced your ideas about art?
Of course. I think this is a parallel life’s work that feeds one’s own practice. I often feel so much cynicism when I see new work so it’s very exciting to discover works, writing, music whatever that really makes you stop and say “oh wow”. Of course the ones that tend to be stickier are the slow burn ones…the works that makes you think “yeah ok”, and then three months later you’ve read everything you can find about them without realizing it.
What is the relationship between art and civilization?
They are definitely related but I think it’s complicated, messy, ambivalent, awkward, sticky, hairy, incendiary, sublime, seductive and sometimes boring…like most things that are related.
What is the process in the development of your work?
Usually it starts with reading and ends with writing. In the middle I find deadlines very helpfully motivating and there is usually a lot of unmedicated anxiety and sometimes a good cathartic shower cry. I make a lot of diagrams and have started using photoshop as a kind of drawing process and a lot of youtube instructional videos are usually present in the process as well. Terrible 80’s and 90’s movies are becoming reoccurring references. I have no justification for this. Maybe this is early warning that I will turn into a post internet artist?
How would you define the work that you do?
I struggle very clumsily with this. My process is very collage and appropriation based, but the work itself is about the culture of business and finance and it ends up being resolved formally in many different mediums and strategies. I’ll probably be very embarrassed by this answer and want to change it later.
Tags: Kimberlee Cordova