Photo: Fidget, detail. ©Liz Jaff Click to view the full work.
I respond to pretty basic things – a smell, feeling, and an overall impression of a place. Often the materials themselves suggest what they want to be.
BY LIZ JAFF
I am a native of New York City and received my BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. I live and work in New York City and Southampton, NY. A show of some of my recent work is currently on view at RHV Fine Art in Brooklyn, NY and continues through November 20th.
Paper’s versatility is what attracted me to it as my primary medium. Its structural and aesthetic possibilities reveal themselves through my continuous experimentation. I am in love with paper.
I have been folding paper for 12 years. I like repetition and rhythm. My first paper piece was conceived during a stay in Las Vegas and made with hotel stationary: The project folded up and stowed away in the bottom of my suitcase.
At that time I began working more abstractly as a way of representing my impressions of places and recollections. Paper became the perfect material to convey ephemeral experience and the ultimate intangibility of memory.
Transforming a two-dimensional surface into a three dimensional shape offers a variety of arrangements for the play of light and shadow on different flat planes.
I use folding to investigate these opportunities, and the circle acts as a character to reveal and conceal form. When repeated, these forms are my substitute for the geometric grid.
Artist’s web site LizJaff.com
Artist’s Gallery RHV Fine Art New York
Current exhibition October 20th – November 20th
RHV 683 6th Ave Brooklyn, NY 11215 (718) 473-0819
Gallery Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 2 – 7pm
Photo: Shuck, detail. ©Liz Jaff Click to view the full work.
The Magazine of Yoga Six of 1: The Arts Interview
Is being in a flow or a particular kind of space part of creating or part of working for you? Can you describe anything about it – how you get it, what it feels like?
Clarity is important. Mental confusion or physical clutter makes it difficult to work. This does not mean I have a defined program or always know exactly what I want to make, but I do need a clean workspace and an open mind.
My goal is to balance spontaneity with specificity, which may seem difficult given the labor intensity and repetition in my work.
T.S. Eliot famously said, “There is no method except to be very intelligent.”
Yes, no? Maybe so?
I suppose this depends in what one means by “intelligent”. One aspect of it to me is recognizing the relationships in nature and amongst living things. A professor of mine in college described one of the roles of the artist is to use oneself as a representative for mankind. That seemed grandiose to me at the time, but I am beginning to understand how that may be possible in a humble way.
Is there some place or attitude you begin from in yourself when you look
at art by other people?
I try to be as open as possible when approaching other people’s work. It is an opportunity to allow oneself to be surprised by what is possible. This is one of art’s rewards.
Photo: Diagramming A Fold, detail. ©Liz Jaff Click to view the full work.
Does anything (consistently/ frequently/ randomly) move you to make art? How did you find yourself making the kind of art or the particular work you are involved in now?
I respond to pretty basic things – a smell, feeling, and an overall impression of a place. Often the materials themselves suggest how they want to be manipulated, what they want to be. My goal has been to develop a visual language, which I can use to talk about anything, and simultaneously encourages the viewers to have their own unique experience.
Favorite overheard remark
“Are you kidding?! It is definitely better to be a vampire than a zombie.”
I’d rather be…
I get to do what I love in a nurturing environment.
I cannot imagine anything better than that.
Half a Dozen of One/ Six of the Other
Six words my gallerist/ artist’s statement/ mother use to describe my work:
pure, timeless, soothing, whimsical, optimistic, compassionate (My mother really likes my work.)
Six words my best friend would use to describe me:
Committed, focused, precise, pragmatic, passionate, resourceful
Six words to repeat:
welcome, thank you, yes, success, passion, lunch
Six words to ignore:
hate, hurry, terror, never, worry, wrong
Six artists to look at:
Agnes Martin, Man Ray, Sonia Delaunay, Constantine Brancusi, Leslie Hewitt, Mark Rothko
Six places to find yourself in:
home, the ocean, peace, a warm bed, the monkey cage, a state of grace
Photo: Fidget. ©Liz Jaff
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.