Meeting with Sara Cwynar was a very eye-opening experience. I liked how approachable Sara was and how she was so open and informative about her work and process. Sara plays with the ideas of nostalgia and kitsch through her works with photography, collage, and video. She discussed the process of collecting items, which was very interesting to me. It was interesting to me how Sara used found objects that she acquired from various places, like flea markets to then inspire her work. She also purchased more of these items on EBay. This made me think of the scope of consumerism, and how while Sara is commenting on issues like this, she is also taking part in the process. There is a sort of paradox within this that I found very appealing and thought-provoking.
Her focus on color was also something that I enjoyed. Her investigation into “rose gold” and what it means in terms of marketing was something I had never thought about prior. I admired how Sara was able to take an idea and explore so many facets of it in a variety of forms. When she was talking about her artistic practice, she had very strongly developed ideas which made me consider my own work. For example, she talked about how we are used to looking at things through our phone and how over time we become accustomed to viewing things in a rectangular format, even beyond the screen. This was really interesting and eye-opening to me and made me consider the shapes around me and the influence outside sources have not only on my artistic practice, but on my life in general.
It was interesting also to consider the commercial side of art, such as when she was discussing how her own photo-shoots are different than ones she had done with large corporations and magazines. It made me realize that it is important to stay true to your own ideas and values, as Sara gave advice about as well. She talked about how important it is to use what is available to you, and to utilize any resources you have. For instance, she said that part of the reason she features herself in videos is because of scheduling and cost. She is very considerate in her process, yet she is willing to experiment vastly which was really inspiring to me.
I thought it was really special to be able to meet Sara in her own studio because we got to see the process of her work and the environment she works in from an insider perspective. Before walking into the studio I had thought that she worked mostly digitally. Being able to see the cut out photos collaged on the wall made me have a different appreciation for the handmade aspect of the work. I think that Sara’s work is relevant to many issues in today’s society and I am very interested to see the evolution of her work.
It was great to visit the Ortega Y Gasset Projects as well. I think what resonated with me the most from the visit was seeing the collaborative side of the art world and how the community of artists in residence here work together to create an environment where they can make and appreciate art. It was really cool to see what can be achieved through collaborative efforts. Eleanna Anaganos’ eagerness and passion in the Ortega Y Gasset Projects was really refreshing and inspiring too.
(image courtesy of https://coopercolegallery.com)