Art Hound, a guide to living with art Art Hound

on the hunt for good art

Catching Up With Caroline Wright

Monday, August 30, 2010 · 3 Comments

Caroline Wright may be best known for her series, Migration, (below) which I featured back in February. These amorphous, dripped paintings are full of chaotic energy and, in my view, illustrate life’s unpredictability. Wright is now back with new work that shows a fascinating transition from her previous work.

It turns out that Caroline experienced a period of artistic ‘stuckness’ but managed to breakthrough this summer with an exciting new series, Desmoiselles. Her new paintings (below) represent some of the same ideas as her previous work but are very different stylistically. This shift signals an exciting new time for the artist, and lucky for us, Caroline agreed to chat with us about her new series, maintaining artistic integrity and advice for emerging artists.

Tell us a bit about your new series and how it came about.

I was feeling a bit stuck earlier this summer, as if every piece of work I was making was an imitation of what I’d done before. It’s easy to get distracted by what people respond to, but ultimately it’s really important to have periods where I block that out and let things get really messy. I was in this process when I discovered some early paintings by Joan Snyder, from the 1970s. The contrast of colorful drips in ordered space and the ugly/beautiful emotive quality of these works was thrilling to me, and I used her painting Demoiselles, which was done with a nod to Picasso’s break-through Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, as a starting place. Once I started painting in this way, I opened up all these old spaces, calling up my previous interest in textile and fashion design, all the way back to the drawings I made as a child. It’s been oddly therapeutic, and very fun.

Hard Sweetness (1971) by Joan Snyder

You “encourage viewers to trust their own reactions, and allow the visual experience to slow down the running mind.” Can you expand on this point of view?

I think a lot of artists and art world people have insecurities about spending all their time on something that could be seen as superfluous or superficial and end up coating that in a veneer of inaccessibility. This is really irritating, because what’s beautiful and utterly necessary about art is its ability to remind us of our infinite potential, our smallness, and our connection to each other. Looking at painting is a visual experience, and people should not feel intimidated to engage with the art and have opinions about it. The other aspect of that statement is that I’m always looking for ways to slow down, to feel fully absorbed in a moment without the nag of impatience and worry. Looking at something that engages you, that is harmonious and rhythmical enough to keep your eyes moving around the surface, allows the mind to sit for a bit.

Your work has been on display all around Austin including City Hall and the Austonian. What advice do you have for other young artists who wish to get their art out there?

I think one of the best things you can have as an emerging artist is a good website. Organized, frequently updated, and with high quality images. This is how most people find my work. It’s also important to engage in your local art community by going to openings, lectures, and other events. Making real-life connections with the people who run galleries, organize events, and place art in larger venues is extremely helpful for getting you art up.

How have you made the creative life (painting, music, fashion) work for you?

I’ve been really lucky to grow up believing it’s possible to have a life in the arts. My dad is a writer who never had a “steady” job while I was growing up, and grew his career by patching together free-lance work while becoming a published author. Both my parents have fervently supported my career path but also tethered me to the reality that it has to work financially. I think I’ve always had an entrepreneurial sense (as a child I decorated envelopes with marker scrawl and sold them door to door), and I don’t mind the book-keeping and publicity sides of the job. I’m also glad that there is an audience for the kind of work I want to make.

What would you like to be doing in 3 years time?

I hope to continue spending my time in the studio, as well as attending art residencies and having conversations with other artists. I’d like to do more collaborations with musicians, dancers and filmmakers, and to bring the art into larger spaces, exposing my work to a greater audience.

Prints of Wright’s work are available on artmuse.

Tags: People

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bonnie // Aug 30, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Great to see Caroline’s new work! Thanks for posting new insights into her work and creative process. Bonnie :))

  • 2 Kate // Sep 1, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    You’re so welcome! Glad you enjoyed it. Caroline is awesome!

  • 3 Caroline Wright – Interview on Art Hound // Sep 14, 2010 at 10:21 am

    […] Read the interview here […]

Leave a Comment