February 9, 2023

Artist Interview – Grace Aza-Selinger

Name: Grace Aza-Selinger
Location: Queens Park, London
Website: www.graceaza-selinger.com 

Brief artists statement:
I am an intermedia artist using photography, installation, found objects and canvas. My work focuses on the Macrocosm. It looks at the need to re-evaluate our relationship with the world around us and the disconnection that can be felt living in this modern world. 

How did you become an artist? Did you always dream of a life in the art-world?
I remember as a five year old girl being shocked to discover that someone in my year didn’t own colouring pencils or paper. For me it was an intrinsic part of existing; documenting my early experiences with a pen and paper.

How has your education helped your career?
It was my foundation degree at Falmouth that really inspired a new way of working, a detachment to the physical in order to free the creative mind.

Do you work as an artist full-time? Describe your typical day. Do you have a routine?
I most recently had my first solo show; SPACE at The Biscuit Factory. This was a task that required my full attention. When not putting on a show however, I also teach life-drawing and work as a private tutor.

Which historical and contemporary artists do you refer to most often? How are you influenced by their work?
I love the work of Yayoi Kusama because she is a free-thinker and at ease with her sexuality as a female, in what can be a very male dominated art-world. She doesn’t let conventions or expectations dictate her style. I also love Klimt, Modigliani and the Pre-Raphelite era for their fluid lines and expressive faces.

What are the other influences on your work?
Grunewald Forest in Berlin was a major influence for my last show. I fell in love with the trees and the wildlife there. It re-kindled a life-long love of Nature and focus on the natural organism in my work.

What was the last exhibition you visited?
David Hockney at The Royal Academy. A force of Nature!

What is your favourite art gallery?
The White Cube in Bermondsey has produced some fantastic exhibitions. The space feels really fresh and genuine.

What are your experiences of the ‘art-world’ and the business of art?
The business of art is a contradiction in terms. People like to feel that in order for art to be legitimate it mustn’t be tainted by a desire for money. The truth is balance. We need one in order to make the other. The artist decides what exactly it is they are making.

Do you have any tips or advice you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Don’t judge the process. Constructive criticism is one thing but judgement only stops you from pursuing your dreams.

Do you have a quotation that you keep coming back to and that keep you going? Have you a motto that gets you through?
Why not do something you love. I would much prefer to be a struggling artist than a struggling office-worker.

Which historical artist do you think is over-rated? Why?
Art History is westernised. It tells a very specific story. We are sometimes guilty of heralding artists simply because they happened to collide with a celebrated movement rather than because their work has any intrinsic value.

Do you or would you use assistants to make your work?
I don’t but I wouldn’t rule it out for the future.

Do you use social networks? if so, how and which ones do you find most useful?
I use most of the social network sites because they are a useful tool to spread the word about your work. Nothing beats face to face communication though of course!

Which artist should we all look up immediately? What art magazines, blogs or sites should art lovers be looking at?
Maurizio Cattelan is a really wonderful artist for his tongue in cheek approach to art and his humour. Art Rabbit is a great site as the events are registered by the artists so you don’t miss anything.

Finish this limerick: There once was an artist from… London, who knew life was a conundrum. She looked in bottles of paint and tried to re-create something (hopefully) a little great!

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