Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A visit to Monica Carrier's Home Studio

On a sweltering summer day, I arrived at Monica's apartment where she has carved out just enough space for herself to make room for art making.  The hand made organizational structures in her small railroad apartment are impressive, as are the fresh concord grapes sitting on the table brought in moments ago from her Brooklyn backyard.

Coincidentally, space is an issue that arises in all of Monica's work, more specifically- the break down of space and the growth that occurs when given just enough room. What is also vital in her process is the letting go of oneself once a structure is decided.

This can be seen in her large works which begin within an architectural framework and then break down as seen here:

This process of letting go within a specific framework is even more apparent within her small ink blot drawings which are incredible. Monica looks at these works as spirits revealing themselves. Since her Mother's incredibly sad passing this past summer, Monica has felt stronger ties to the spiritual world. She has been exploring the readings of Joseph Campbell and has been occupied with studies of myth, shamanism, and the subconscious. These Ink blot drawings are direct results of this developing interest. She creates a structure, as she always has done, but then lets the portrait reveal itself to her within the process of drawing and blotting. Here are a few of my favorites of this work:

Her process reminds me of cloud gazing/shaping, a most entertaining pastime, and I am a bit jealous of her amazing organic process, one which is very different from my own more planned out and rigid methods of art making.  I think we can all learn from Monica's studio practice. I find that it is vital to all artists to learn to let go within our"planned" framework," for that is when the real magic can happen.

Fortunately, Monica also let me make my own shamanic drawing. I am scared to death of a blank piece of paper so it was challenging, and strangely enough I ended up drawing a large swirl which ended up looking like one big phallus, which made sense since I was just beginning to believe that the baby I am carrying is a boy. Monica, finished my drawing for me, and found amazing imagery hidden in it's blots and lines. Here she is working away....

Thank you Monica for an inspiring visit (and for the delicious grapes)!