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Apr 9, 2010

Interview with Amy Bernays – Artist (Project Ethos)

Tell us about your style and what influences your art?
The series that I am working on now is about consumer culture. Typically, my work is focused on gesture, body language, and line. I sketch from real life. I was hiding under the plastic coat hangers with brightly colored t-shirts trying to commit to paper the tentative hand, the indecisive foot work of the modern shopper. It is funny how self-conscious shopping is for us - how primitive. Drawing people is a very intense gaze. I have found that I have to disguise my stare…lie in wait like a wildlife photographer. Like a lion in the tall grasses I have to crouch and hide my glaring white sketchbook while I look across at the shoppers grazing on sale items and buy-one-get-one-free like gazelles inching closer to the water on the fields of the Serengeti.

Can you tell me a bit about the materials you use?
I am all about the canvas. I love the thick weave like hemp or an eco friendly shopping bag. I am using the corporate brand new feeling of the shoppers target with the earthy, real, painterly feeling of the canvas and the handling. By juxtaposing these themes I create meaning and comment on my subjects. I have been painting for 15 years, mainly in oil, but I have had to re-learn the joy of acrylics as I am pregnant and the smell of turps turns me retched. The thick canvas is hungry for paint, it licks it off my brush like sandpaper, unlike oil that is generous and slick and spreads across canvas like a whore on silk. Acrylic is unashamedly paint. It wants to remain where it has been placed. Oil is the interloper and acrylic is a homesteader. Plus, as Michael Pucak (a friend and fellow exhibiter with ethos) says, “Acrylics have only been around for 50 or 60 years.” We have an ocean of exploring to do with it.

What has being an artist taught you?
There is a fine line between practicing what you do because you are good at it and you know how it is done and trying something new. Art is not craft; it should be trying. If you are not trying then you are practicing a craft. We are visual philosophers illustrating our society. Art is needed more now than ever, as our world changes, as tomorrows gadget becomes yesterday’s way of life, we need artists and philosophers to think about who we are becoming - what Space Age Human Beings are.

How do you feel art, fashion, and music influence each other?
They are all different avenues in the city in the left brain. As each day our culture bends in the winds of fashion branches of expression—art, fashion, and music—tickle one another, influencing where a leaf grows, a blossom flourishes, or a fruit ripens.

What artists do you admire?
Jack Vetrianno http://images.google.com/images?q=jack%20vetriano&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi

Giotto http://images.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=giotto&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=&start=0

Picasso

Sarah Lucas http://images.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=jenny+saville&aq=5&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=jenny+&start=0

What would you like to be remembered for?
Great Art. My paintings, my writing, my installations…You can see some of my writing at the blog at my gallery New Blood Art

Where can people purchase your work?
http://www.newbloodart.com/artist.php?ArtistID=139
http://www.londonart.co.uk/sales/view_art.asp?ArtistID=3941

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/amy-bernays.html

http://www.artamatoria.co.uk/works_for_sale_by_artist.php?id=8

and my site http://www.bernays.net/

Interview by: Nikki Neil

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