This week's interview is with one of the artists who is exhibiting at Marshall Arts tonight, Clare Torina. Clare is studying painting at the University of Memphis and spent last summer studying at Yale. She and her husband Steve also recently installed a show in Belgium. You can find more about Clare and her work at http://www.claretorina.com/
Question 1: How did you guys come up with the idea to do a couple's show?
Clare: Steve and I have been hanging out with Tim Kinard and Elizabeth Owen for a while now and started planning this exhibit over a year ago. We are hoping the show will allow people to think more about the relationships within the arts... to look for connections that may or may not be there. I think artist couples teeter on a line between competition and comradery, which makes for an interesting transference of ideas and influence. A review for a Pollock/Krasner exhibition suggested that "artists as couples" were psychologically volatile and make the Oedipus complex seem like child's play. So it seems Steve and I have a lot to work with.
Question 2: What Memphis restaurant would you tell someone to take their date to this weekend after they see your show?
Clare: Do Sushi. It's so cozy. The bartenders play good music. Wayne Edge's work is all over the place. The BLT roll (+ cream cheese) is crack! And Steve will roll it for you on Fridays and Saturdays.
Question 3: What's the first thing you do when you walk into your studio? What's the last thing you do when you leave?
Clare: I can't make decisions when I'm not looking at what I'm working on. So when I first get in, I stare for a while and make a few notes. Sometimes I'll remember to put music on. I also stare for a while before I leave. It's safe to say there's a good hour of staring and working things out mentally for every 4 hours of painting.
Question 4. Did you meet any unforgettable artists when you were in Belgium? Do you have any plans for shows outside of Memphis in 2009?
Clare: While Steve and I were installing at Forum+, a Gunter Brus exhibit was being put up at the Groeningemuseum. He was one of four artists, including Otto Muehl, that founded Viennese Actionism in the 60s. Till-Holger Borchert curated both shows, so we spent a good deal of time with Brus when he came in for the opening. I'm almost thankful for the language barrier because I was completely star struck. We were floored by his show and I think it had a big impact on the paintings I made when we got back to Memphis. He has used himself and/or his wife in nearly every performance and photograph. To see them doing normal things in the fairytale land of Bruges was odd. I think I would have felt more comfortable if they were nude and bleeding at the dinner table.
For 2009, I don't have anything scheduled outside of Memphis. I've submitted to two residency programs and a slew of galleries in New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta... Hopefully, I'll be busy.
Question 5: Do you have plans for the inauguration next week?
Clare: I'll be in class all day. Surely they'll turn on the television.
Thanks for answering these questions Clare:)
Photo courtesy Sunny Montgomery