OP FIGURATIVE ART + INTERVIEW

by Alex Garant

Toronto artist Alex Garant was cool enough to talk to us about 2019 shows, careers past and finding her voice. Enjoy!

How would you describe your current work? Have you ever explored other styles/mediums of art?

I was in art school over 15 years ago. I experienced pretty much all mediums, acrylic, gouache, mixed media, even 3D mediums like clay and metal. But oils have always been the medium that made me happy or made me feel satisfied. As per what I call OP figurative art, it is a style I developed over the years. For a long time, I was painting more conventional and traditional portraits but I was still on my quest to find my own voice. Once I was able to visually conceptualize what was my deepest inspirations, I completely devoted myself to it. 

Did you want to be an artist growing up? If not, what did you want to be?

Art was always part of my life, my mother is an artist and writer, and we spent a lot of time painting and drawing when I was a child. But I did get lost for a few years and tried a few different careers, nanny, flight attendant, makeup artist, marketing, sales executive. I did it all! hahaha but there is never been a morning I didn't wake up thinking I wanted to be an artist.

Who/What inspires your work currently?

I try to shield myself from external inspiration, I do not want to be influenced by other artists on social media or wherever. I try to focus on internal elements as inspiration such as mood, colours I like, a texture I appreciate, etc.

What are your favorite things to watch or search for on Youtube/Reddit/TV/Movies…?

OOhh I haven’t had cable in 14 years so I am a huge Netflix fan. I tend to binge on Bob Ross, The Office, Criminal Minds, Black List and cooking shows. 

What do you have going on in 2019?

So much!
UPCOMING  SHOWS

January, University of Texas, Rubin Center for the Visual Arts

Feb 9- March 3, 2019 Solo Show, BeinArt Gallery 

Feb 21-24, The Artist Project, Toronto

April, 8th Annual Supersonic Invitational, Hashimoto Gallery, San Francisco

April, Winderkin, WxW Gallery, www.wowxwow.com

June, Feature show, ArchEnemy Arts Gallery, Philadelphia

June, Painting the Figure Now 2, Wausau Museum Of Contemporary Art

June, Thinkspace presents 12x12 Showcase, Heron Arts, San Francisco

July, Thinkspace presents 12x12 Showcase, Red Truck, New Orleans

Sept, Thinkspace presents 12x12 Showcase, Vertical Gallery, Chicago

October 31st, Duo Exhibit, Talon Gallery, Portland, Oregon

November 9th, Esprit de Corps  Group Show, Haven x Modern Eden 

Dec, Thinkspace presents 12x12 Showcase, SCOPE Miami

Feb 2020, Feature Show, Haven, New York

SQUISHYS + INTERVIEW

by Daisy Collingridge

I talked to London artist Daisy Collingridge about the limits of the human form, cat videos and her ‘Squishys’ characters. Enjoy!

How would you describe your current work? Have you ever explored other styles/mediums of art?

I like to call them the ‘Squishys’ although I doubt that is a recognised art movement. They are characters that I make on impulse. For me they are a joy to make, a joy to inhabit and my hope is to bring others a small dose of joy too. If you had to place the ‘Squishys’ in a category it could be ‘performance sculpture’.

My education is in fashion design so I have had experience handling textiles and fabric manipulation. We were encouraged to think more as artists than designers at college so this step in to ‘art’ is not so surprising. My main medium has been fabric for a long time.

However, I’m also an illustrator. I use pen and watercolour for that, but it’s a very different vibe!

Did you want to be an artist growing up? If not, what did you want to be?

A vet as a kid, toyed with being a body builder then an athlete. But no one is surprised I've ended up this way!

Who/What inspires your work currently?

My work is derived from experimenting with different fabrics. I have a big collection, which I like to get out and play with. Manipulating and handling fabrics tends to spark new ideas that I will run with to see where they take me.

However, what with it being the time of year for resolutions about being a better person. I’m going to be a better artist. I’m reimagining day one of art school. I’m revisiting the old sculptures at the British museum and the Tate. I’ve been looking at the dynamic sculptures of muscular men fighting snakes, fighting each other etc. (e.g. A man wrestling a python by Frederic Lord Leighton). I hope to capture the dynamism and movement in my next body of work. Studying anatomy is also a valuable lesson as well. Dance performance and life drawing are ongoing inspirations.

We, as a species have always been fascinated by the body in which we inhabit. The idea of what the ‘body beautiful’ is changes over and time and through different cultures. I’m curious about the limits a human form can take. Whether that is from training and control or the opposite or something out of control.

What are your favorite things to watch or search for on YouTube/Reddit/TV/Movies...?

Does cat videos sound like too much of a cliche? In truth I really do love an animal documentary. David Attenborough is a hero.

What do you have going on in 2019?

I am going to be exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitching Show in London, Harrogate and Dublin in the autumn. Hoping to make some fresh work for that, along side running my fledgling illustration company! It’s going to be busy! Eek!