Below interview was initially published by Artospective in March 2019 at https://artospective.blogspot.com/2019/03/mixed-media-art-by-zelene-schlosberg.html
An Interview with Zelene Schlosberg.
Who and where are you from?
Hello, Artospective Readers, my name is Zelene Schlosberg. I am a Chicago based artist working in mixed media, collage and sculpture. I was born in China and moved to the US in 2009, and I think you can see the influence of both cultures in my works.
What brought you to Art?
I have always been intensely interested in art, but the desire to create my own works began in earnest about ten years ago. Art is a mirror, or a profound document, of what it means to live on our planet in our time. Like all of the arts (music, dance, etc), it speaks in a deep way to the human condition. I also feel the physical making of art, while exhausting and time consuming, has tremendous therapeutic value to the practitioner.
What is your driving force?
The more I study the art of both today and the past, the greater my desire and drive to contribute to this unusual record of humanity becomes. I am also constantly listening to contemporary classical music, a genre that also influences me greatly. So, all of the above are the forces that drive me.
What kind of work you do and why?
Before I talk about the work itself, I’d like to discuss my influences, which include traditional Chinese ink paintings and calligraphy, as well as the Buddhist writers that have impacted these artists. This year in particular, I embarked on an in-depth study of these writers. There was a time not too long ago where I was doing mostly thinking and reading, but now I am back to the creating process itself. Another influence has been contemporary classical music, which I have been exposed to quite a bit the last five years. The sheer variety of stylistic approaches, not to mention the technical virtuosity of the musicians, fascinates me. I was lucky to have a painting recently featured as the cover art for composer John Liberatore's debut CD album.The nature of my work these days involves mixed media and collage, and less use of paint, but this could change with the season!
Tell us more about "Interim Landscape" Series.
Some of the specific artist tools that are my favorites include diluted paint, which I often let guide itself. The chance operations of where the paint will go are in line with my study of I Ching notions. I have also used thread for many different series of works. Thread by its very nature creates a sense of line, sometimes ambiguous in its directional confidence, due to its specific texture. I'm always discovering new tools and ways to appropriate seemingly mundane objects into a more rarefied aesthetic context.
I think most artists would say that whatever art they are making at present is what they are most proud of, what they are most invested in, and that is the case with me. I have been reading a lot about art history and criticism, as well as delving deeply into Buddhist texts, and I feel like the current series represents my distillation and combining of these subjects.Landscapes deal with space, and I feel my abstract constructions, while not suggesting a concrete geographical location, suggest elemental qualities that are tangentially relevant to the natural world.
Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?
I haven’t discussed this elsewhere, but one artist I would like to single out here is Franz West. The Adaptives is his series most readily relatable to my own work, in its use of tertiary colors (usually white), simple textures, and a certain playful quality. I also very much love his outdoor sculptures, which are both provocative and playful, and which Peter Schjeledahl rightly described as “maybe the most energetic and affable art for public spaces since Alexander Calder.”
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