Conducted by Alicia Ciambrone, summer 2012
Do you listen to music in the studio, if so, what?
Lately, I’ve been listening to dance mix tapes because they are nice chunks of time when I don’t have to think about changing music. And then sometimes instrumental bands like “Explosions in the Sky”. I listen to “Grimes” a lot and things that are similar to that. I guess that’s all electronic music. My husband is a DJ by night, he is super into electronic music so I like really upbeat, harder-hitting dance music, but sometimes it’s not the right mood for the studio, sometimes I need something more mellow.
What is your favorite color?
Jeez, that’s really hard. I’m gonna say red. That’s it. It’s such a power color! [Amy is wearing a vibrant red lace tank top].
Visually speaking, what kinds of resources do you draw inspiration from?
I look at a lot of tribal and African, Native American Culture, and 1970’s tapestries and wall hangings. [She brings over a few books.] I feel like the people who made the “Star Wars” costumes were looking at this. I’m interested in ritual and ceremonial things... Chinese New Year, Day of the Dead. I like the idea of non-art people making visual expre
ssion for social purpose, so it is beautiful and really interesting and well made, and great to look at, but it is not meant to be ‘art.’ Things like religious shrines or even a breast plate-something that signifies an elder in a tribe. They’re so ornate and wonderfully made.
The whole idea of decoration in general I really like. I like when the lines are blurred between Martha Stewart party set up and contemporary art. And I’m very interested in aesthetics. A lot of people aren’t or don’t like to say that they are, but I am!
I do genuinely like watching runways shows. I also really like interior design. When I look at a well-orchestrated room I think, “It’s just a painting. It’s layered, there’s color, composition, and all of the design elements are there, but it’s in a room not a canvas.”
How do these inspirations get integrated into your artistic process?
I think some direct things would be the totem and the whole idea of a wall hanging. I like to make forms that allude to maybe something that could be functional, so I guess that’s kind of how it manifests. It looks that it could be used or has been... like it could be important in that way.
[Amy turns her attention to the flurry of images pinned to her studio walls: A scene of a cave covered in giant crystals, a group of adorable, uncannily human-looking monkeys, and a few others from National Geographic, a few
of her own drawings, examples of pattern and decoration.]
This plays such a large role in everything that I do. When I first moved into my studio I had to hang up these pictures first. It’s weird but I just had to.
Where do the titles for your pieces come from?
“Jumping Thunder” is from one of the Native American names in this book. They’re all photographs from a show in Smithsonian...I was thinking about how decoration usually goes hand in hand with social hierarchy, so the higher you are in any given social situation, you tend to be more frivolous, or more free with idea of design and decoration, and the lower end is strictly function in a way. I had just been to Versailles in France, and thinking about the time period and the rest of the people at that time. I think I might start using tribal names as well, although I have no ties to tribal art outside of aesthetics. It’s a weird and scary thing for me, but my work is only meant to complimentary.
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
Either a lion or a deer, they’re my favorites. I see the lion as being the top of the food chain even though I know it’s technically not. I also love the way they look- the male lion’s mane. They’re power... just like the color red! The deer because for me they are the most precious, innocent, and untouched. I think of them as fragile in a way. So kind of opposites.
I guess when I think about it, I’d rather be the lion.
[Alicia Ciambrone is an artist and writer currently pursuing her BFA in Painting with a Creative Writing minor from the Maryland Institute College of Art. When she’s not in her studio, Alicia enjoys studying cognitive science, foraging for wild edibles, and riding her beloved 1964 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, which waits patiently in her hometown of Naperville, Illinois.]
Amy Boone-McCreesh solo exhibition, Heritage Aesthetic, at Hamiltonian Gallery will be on view until October 13th, 2012.
Please join us for an artist’s talk on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, at 7:00 pm.