Saturday, April 11, 2009

Knight / Beach

Last night, a meeting of two giants of the art world rocked our little gallery, as Philae Knight of Phillips Art Expert and Rachel Beach, sculptor/painter extraordinaire faced off in a sizzling exchange of Q's and A's. Rachel, who's solo exhibition "Towers and Portals" is closing tomorrow night, delved into portals to wonderland, bandsaws, and much, much more. Enjoy this excerpt from the most dramatic interview of our century.

Philae Knight: What is the process? Do you do a drawing or a maquette?

Rachel Beach: I make bazillions of sketches, all the time, again and again. So, little rawings, I sort of do them in bulk where I’ll project a lot of drawings onto brown paper, that I can see right away what’s happening, and then I trace them in black marker and cut them all out, sort of like sewing templates, then I use chalk pastel to map out the oil paint. So I have like 2000 drawings and that makes about 10 paper templates, which makes about 3 objects. I have them all over my studio.

PK: Do you use architectural drawings or photographs of cornices or details, because the details create such an illusion.

RB: I do have a background in architecture. When I was doing my major in painting I worked with a guru of architectural ornament, he was this lone voice in a very contemporary oriented staff. That’s where I got the idea of the cyclical nature of value, and how something is important and then not. So I worked with him, then I worked for an architectural company as well. It got filtered back in.
I can talk about why I’m interested in ornament - particularly as a painter. Painting is a window into space- when you look at a painting and you sort of enter it. It has a real sharp edge between the reality and the scene. It’s that idea of the transition. The portal is tied to that. Image is tied to painting, and object is tied to sculpture. Paintings are tied to walls, Sculptures are tied to floor and space. These are trying to be everything at once. (pointing to a piece) This seam is where the reality and the border converge, like this point is where it’s a portal that you can enter.

PK: Are there some works that are more important to you?
RB. No, some of them illustrate different ideas more than others. I like to follow different ideas, otherwise I get bored.

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