Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wanda Pearcy, Part II

One of my favorite questions when interviewing is the straightforward, "Who are your influences?" First, it is often one of the fastest ways to get inside a person to see what makes them tick. Second, it is a great way to lead readers toward vaster horizons for their own future growth and experience. And finally, I myself enjoy the enrichment that comes from learning about new artists or writers or thinkers so I can advance my own education with regard to the arts, for writers are students as well. 

Here is the the rich, detailed reply Wanda Pearcy UMD artist/assistant professor gave when I asked, "Who have been your heroes and why?" 

Andy Goldsworthy
“I respect his commitment to use natural materials and processes to make work, thus having a low impact on the environment. He found a way to make sculpture that is ephemeral. His work is somewhat escapist, and although I love it, how can this work be done without leaving culture is my big concern.”
Robert Smithson and Walter de Maria
“Both affect the land in ways that may be potentially harmful, extracting earth to bring into the gallery may not be the best way to bring about ecological balance, which I really want to work towards. Both of their work is complex and speaks to living in the 20th century, the industrial revolution allows large scale earth works to happen. The Walter de Maria Lightening Rods may be my all time favorite artwork, as a way of harnessing nature in a very organic way.”
Wolfgang Laib
“I respect his use of natural materials to manifest a sense of purity and presence. His work incorporates time in the natural world as a way of spiritual healing that I want to emulate.”
Anna Mendieta
“Her use of the body in nature comes across spiritually and non-sexual. I look to her work when wanting to use my body, in my art, in this way.”
Joseph Bueys
“I was introduced to Joseph Bueys while in grad school. His use of art as a teacher/activist/performer excited me and moved my work from painting towards some type of performance and started an integration of my diverse interests.”
John Cage/Bill T. Jones/Miles Davis
“I spent more time in dance classes than in any other discipline and it really created how I experience my self and my body in the world. I use improvisational choreographed time when I photograph and move in a photograph. I started school with a desire to ‘change the world’ per se via politics. I registered in undergrad as a Political Science student. I moved into art late in my undergraduate time and thus, carried my political intentions with me and J. Bueys was an activist who believed art had the power to change the world, so he inspired that part of myself who still wanted to make change. Bill T. Jones uses his dance performances to highlight diversity and power. Miles Davis and John Cage’s influence was in the use of improvisation to make a connection to authenticity.”
Louise Bourgeois/Joel Peter Witkin/Francesca Woodman
“I loved Louise for her freedom to make work about anything, even taboo. I see her as a pioneer for women who want to make work outside of what is acceptable female subject matter. She made work about intense intimacies, sexual politics and used no standard set of materials and explored installation. She was experimental and brave as was Francesca’s work. I like Joel’s work for that reason as well, his work uses taboo subjects and in doing so suggests that the idea of beauty is deeper than skin deep.”
Eva Hesse/Jasper Johns/Robert Rauchenberg/Jackson Pollock
“All for their freedom in the way they applied materials and in the materials they used. Ultimately I left painting on a search for a more environmentally kind material and process … this search is still on and I still miss painting and have a longing for it. Oil painting was what I loved, so, acrylic didn’t satisfy that desire for texture, glaze and depth.”
"I loved both of their work of the depth of color and meaning. Yet, I found humor and humanity in the Rembrandt work whereas, the Rothko work I found a sense of sorrow and humanity."
Vitto Acconchi
"For his understanding that if art was to change the world, artists had to leave the comfort of their field and join the fields that do the work to change systems. Creative people in the courts, in the food business, in architecture, in city planning etc… Artists in all fields, this is how art changes the world. Shortly after he discovered this way of thinking he left art to start an architecture firm. He is the idea man and the designer, and he hired a team of people who could make it happen."
Roman Signer
"Roman is my more recent inspiration. His work is playful, witty, fully of irony and has a sense of lyricism that is filled with a full understanding of the time we live in and the absurdity that exits with living within the age of technology."

Finally, I thought this thoughtful and thought-provoking excerpt from Pearcy's THE GAME OF ART would make a great note to end on. 

Expect it to nourish player in a way that is theareputic and personal.
Expect to be healed and touched spiritually
Expect it to transcend the personal and document the player’s social and contextual history.
Expect purpose and security
Expect constant experimentation with what art is and art can be. Expect love to change you
Expect content and clarity to be direct while leaving doors open for experimentation.
Expect fluidity and freedom within changes
Expect to disregard all of the above.
Expect to be surprised

Thank you, Wanda, for sharing yourself with us here.

All photos courtesy Wanda Pearcy. Click images to enlarge.

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