One to Watch: Christy Powers (USA)

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(Photo Courtesy of Chloe Apple Seldman)

Christy Powers was born in New York, and received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA with distinction from the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales (2007). She works with ink, gouache, and watercolors, and her main subject matter includes girls, social media, and youth culture.

The out-of-focus quality of her artworks metaphorically signifies the effects of fading memories. She has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, including at the Bronx Museum, the Queen Victoria Museum, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, White Box, MadArts Gallery, and Giacobetti Paul Gallery. She has participated in residencies at ILIRI in the Australian Outback, and at the AIM program at the Bronx Museum.

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Christy inside her studio  (Photo Courtesy of Chloe Apple Seldman).

 What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
I have always been interested in the role that photography plays in how we construct our memories and how that is changing with social media. There has always been an element of fiction in our memories. But with the contemporary need to create an online identity, how is that construction going to affect the way we remember things? These online images are so ephemeral and impermanent, and I enjoy capturing that in my paintings. By painting these images, I’m able to capture that ‘just-out-of-reach’ feeling of memories, where some details remain sharp, yet others blur and disappear.

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Working on a drawing (Photo Courtesy of Chloe Apple Seldman).

 What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
In college I had a professor tell me that my rag was just as important of a tool as my brushes, and that I will probably use them both equally. What we remove is just as important as the marks we make. That has always stuck with me.

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On exhibition. 

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
Music always. I get pretty obsessive listening to one album for a piece or even a series of work. There was definitely an entire year where all I listened to was Radiohead’s In Rainbows while I worked, much to the chagrin of people in nearby studios. Since then, I’ve started to wear headphones.

IMG_3541On exhibition. 

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
It’s hard to choose just one, but I guess I’ll go with one of the first paintings that really knocked the wind out of me,  Caspar David Friedrich’s Monk by the Sea.  

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Works in progress  (Photo Courtesy of Chloe Apple Seldman).

Who are your favorite writers?
This list could go on and would probably be different everyday: Susan Sontag, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Joan Didion, Denis Johnson, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Douglas Coupland.

25 Comments

  1. “What we remove is just as important as the marks we make”. I couldn’t agree more.

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  2. Inspiring art, a very interesting mix of different styles, and your results that tell a secret story, some deeper content behind the surface. Love it. Great and positive artworks, Christy.

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    • Thanks, Christian! I love what you said about the secret story, it’s definitely part of what i”m trying to build in my paintings.

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      • Secret stories are important, for each of us, in life the same as in art. Good to know and good to see that you have to tell some of these stories. Go on with your painting storytelling, Christy.

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  3. i have a software app that can make the same pic convertions :P

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  4. Hello Christy!

    You’re definitely the One to Watch!
    I’m writing this as a photographer shooting mostly women portraits, but also as art lover, browsing your beautiful creations. So inspiring for the community!

    Thank you!
    Tom

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  5. Hi Christy,

    Great! Like very much your creations.

    Your various approaches in style, that I favor, are “desconstructivism”.

    Cordially,

    Mikkey.

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  6. very interesting art works, have a luck!

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  7. how wonderful your work is
    im so proud you chose my venue
    for your wedding
    you were a artwork yourself that day
    and i am not surprised how talented you are
    based on your wedding and style
    juat wonderfull
    go girl

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  8. Matt Eaton says:

    Congratulations Christy, really loving your portfolio of work. Matt.

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  9. Alex Anastas says:

    Fantastic write-up / interview about a very hard working artist and educator. So happy for you Christy!

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  10. Bonjour l’Artiste,

    Votre peinture c’est de la poésie, elle nous amène au delà de la Réalité…

    Bonne chance.

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  11. Nuwan Sen says:

    Congrats Christy. Keep up the great work.
    Enjoyed your interview. Love your selection of authors (I only know Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but unfortunately haven’t read either, yet. Would love to).
    Cheers
    Nuwan
    (ex-COFA buddy/batch mate)

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  12. haosum says:

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته لوحاتك جميله جدا اريد ان اطلب منك طلب لو سمحتي اريد ان احمل عملي الخاص ولا استطيع اريد منك ان تساعدينا وشكرا لك

    Reply

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