This past week Art Mag had the chance to ask artist Lisa Shimko a couple of questions about her work.
AM: Your work is constantly evolving. The one thing that seems constant is the presence of eyes. What’s your fascination with them?
LS: I never sit down and cognitively make a decision to paint eyes a certain way, it’s just something that surfaces. I have had many comments about the eyes in my work, mainly that the way I paint them gives my subjects personality.
AM: What’s the best compliment anyone ever gave your work?
LS: It’s an odd answer, but someone burst into tears at my last show. I’ve never found out why exactly. They were too emotional at the time to want to talk about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have people laugh or feel good, but I have to say it was a compliment that one of my paintings could conjure such an acute emotional reaction.
AM: The original absurdests were reacting to the violence of WWII and the rise of new technologies and political systems. Is your work a similar reaction to something?
LS: For so many years I’ve been quite keen on issues of the environment and how sustainable our lifestyles are in correlation to the limited resources & species available on our planet. My art was much more literal in reflecting these issues. The past year I’ve taken much more of the approach of being intuitive and trying to release boundaries in my own processes of painting letting the research and my experiences ferment a little longer and surface in less structured ways. Maybe the paintings are a cathartic channeling, using the absurdity as a sometimes light, sometimes dark humor.
AM: Do you channel all your absurdity into your art or is your life just chaotic absurdity all the time?
LS: I suppose I’m embracing the absurdity of life, channeling it into my paintings with a sense of humor. The title of my last show Stop Making Fence was a good way to sum up not only how I went about freeing myself from my usual conventions in my process, but also how I hope people will approach viewing my work and intuitively have fun with the experience. Blue Rabbit by Lisa Shimko