Wednesday, July 30, 2014

In Conversation: Janine Polak

We Should Speak in Code (2014), white vinyl lettering on glass, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the artist.

Janine Polak was born in 1983 and received a BA in Studio Art and Economics from the University of Virginia in 2005, and was awarded an Aunspaugh Fellowship at UVa the following year. In 2008, she earned an MFA from the Yale University School of Art, Department of Sculpture. Her work, which combines sculpture, photography, drawing, and printmaking, is concerned with the metaphysical experience of human emotion. She has exhibited throughout the US and in China. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and teaches at Purchase College, SUNY.

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Tell us about yourself, where are you from?
I was born in Nebraska, but grew up all over the US, as my dad was a Navy doctor. Virginia, however, feels like home - it's where I went to high school and college, and where my parents still live.

How would you describe your work? What materials do you use?
I work in all sort of materials and in many different ways. I make collages and take photographs, but I really think of myself as a sculptor, working in plaster, wood, fabric, clay, found materials, etc.

If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be and why? 
Maybe Jessica Stockholder or Jim Hodges (both are former teachers of mine who I admire immensely) or Haim Steinbach.


Detail from We Should Speak in Code (2014), white vinyl lettering on glass, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the artist.


What inspires you?
I am constantly looking at things around me in my daily life - the way a broken telephone pole rest on a barrier, or a child's sock falling down their leg, or the condensation on the side of a cold glass of water.

When you’re creating art, do you listen to music or work in silence? If so, what is the soundtrack to your creativity?
It varies from day to day. Sometime I need complete silence, but I mostly go between listening to public radio/podcasts and music.

Where can people find out more about your work?
www.janinepolak.com


Detail from We Should Speak in Code (2014), white vinyl lettering on glass, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the artist.


What’s next for you, any big projects coming up?
Nothing specific that I'm ready to share, but I'm really into ceramics at the moment.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring artist?
Work hard - your work is the most important thing.



We Should Speak in Code (2014), white vinyl lettering on glass, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the artist.


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