The Rapidian

Interview With Artist Deanna Bowdish, Art Prize 2013

Interview With Deanna Bowdish, regarding her installation and artistic prespective.
Deanna Bowdish, Cascading Colors

Deanna Bowdish, Cascading Colors /LazaroLopez

Detail, Deanna Bowdish

Detail, Deanna Bowdish /Deanna Bowdish


Deanna Bowdish’s colorful suspended sculptural work titled, Cascading Colors, is located in the Tower-Pinkster at 4 E Fulton.  The work is visible from outside the building, at the Division Avenue entrance.

So you’d rather be abstract?

Deanna: Ohh, a hundred percent! I’m fully trained, I could do portraits just like those across the room, but I find it unexciting, and not challenging, stifling.

Not original?

Deanna: No, you know, I could take a photo and do much more fun with it. Not that it isn’t skilled, talented, and beautiful work. I just find it boring. I am much more beyond what the eye perceives. I want to; also as a creator, I tend toward the abstract because I don’t want to give the viewer the whole story. I don’t want to give you the exact idea of what you’re suppose to perceive, or take away from that. I want to give you some play; I want to give you some freedom. If I wanted to duplicate the world it could be done in many mediums. I don’t find that exciting, so the abstract form to me is much more exciting. I think it is much more difficult to produce successful abstract. That there it is a successful representational piece. One, because people are always trying to find out what it is. It’s got to be something? It doesn’t have to be something, it could be line, it could be movement, it could be color, and it could be form and shape. When we look at the basic elements of principle of design they’re so basic. All those elements together, and yes it could create a recognizable object, or form in an image, but they don’t have to, and I find that much more exciting.

What would you call beautiful, what would you call the sublime? Could you give me your interpretation of those?

Deanna:  I would have a very warped sense of what those are. That idea changes on a daily basis…beautiful: color, line, movement, excitement, seeing something unusual, seeing something three-dimensional form, filling the right kind of space, that to me is beautiful! Sublime, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s sublime.

Would it be the feeling you get when you do it? Would you call that sublime?

Deanna: Certainly, could be, yeah! When I first started this process, I started playing, and experimenting, certainly some of that sublime experience of seeing what was going to come out of this, and hoping that, what I had envisioned in my head was what I actually could be able to produce. I feel like I’ve seen a lot and experienced a lot, and to really capture my eye, as a viewer its gotta be pretty extraordinary. Aesthetically, we make choices everyday from the socks we choose, to the shoes we put on, to the glasses we choose to wear. Um, and I feel I make those choices creating my work. When I think of the thickness of the line, the intensity of the color, the saturation of the pigment, the reflection of light, the movement of color throughout the piece, all of those are aesthetic choices that I’m making on a daily basis. I’m making when I install it, it may not be apparent to anyone else that I am making those aesthetic choices, but I am the one making those aesthetic choices.

Is this what I would actually see…because I know it varies showing something in Art Prize? Showing something that the masses can appreciate.

Deanna: Sometimes.

Is this what you do all the time? That’s what I am trying to get at.

Deanna: I am an artist 24/7, I own an art gallery, I make my living as an artist, I make my entire existence selling my own artwork, or other artists’ work. This is brand new for me…

Is there art you wouldn’t call art? It doesn’t appeal to you as art?

Deanna: There’s a lot of stuff I don’t like, I wouldn’t say that… No, who am I to judge somebody else’s creative expression. Certainly there’s a lot of things I don’t like, there’s a lot of things that I think are bad or done poorly, but as far as one particular medium, no. The one thing I would call none art is art reproductions, it’s one thing if you’re a photographer and that is the medium you produce. As a visual artist, I have no respect for anybody that makes reproductions of their work. Unless it is a medium like photography, where reproductions are part of that environment. That’s my biggest pet-peeve is artist that make one piece, they think its fabulous, and they don’t want to sell it because “it’s the best thing I’ve ever done”, and will go make a thousand prints of that mediocre piece. If you’ve done it once, you’re going to be able to do it again, and be able to do it better. So don’t make prints, do more originals. That’s my big pet-peeve.

Following last, last, question. Do you think abstraction is revolutionary…?

Deanna: No, its something that’s been around for over a hundred years, a hundred and fifty years, or something like that. Is it revolutionary? No. Is any art revolutionary?

Everything’s been made.

Deanna: I think that’s the hardest thing as a creator is to try to do something nobody’s ever done. It’s almost impossible. I don’t know what the next big wave is, I don’t know if there is going to be a next big wave. I think one of the greatest things about being a creator, in this current time period is that there are no rules. You get to dictate the rules…You get to say what it means to you. You get to work with whatever materials. Its not 1950’s, we don’t have to be a white American, male doing Abstract Expressionism to be successful as an artist. You can do anything you want, its all about marketing yourself, and putting yourself out there and… and…

The rest will come?

Deanna: Yeah the rest will come, exactly.

Note:  In the interest of space, this is the shortened version of the interview, if you wish to listen to the interview in its entirety, click on the link above. If you want to read the full version click on this link.

Read the full article here, and dont forget to histen to the audio version.


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