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Six of the Best, Part 8

Part 8 of an interview series in which I invite artists to respond to six questions about art, process, and creativity (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7).Today's artist is Kari Cholnoky, currently doing her MFA at Cranbrook and already finding deserved recognition for her work, with upcoming exhibitions in New York and a forthcoming residency in Singapore.

"Twisted My Guts, "expanding insulation foam, spray paint, house paint, Sharpie and collage on drop cloth, 2011 

Philip Hartigan: What medium/media do you chiefly use, and why?

Kari Cholnoky: My media change according to my working limitations and my environment. Currently, they're mostly house paint, Sharpies, Krink marker, drop cloths, oil stick and collage elements, as well as the introduction of video as a collage element. And, to be clear, I make "paintings", but I'm not sure that the division of media is a thing anymore, and my paintings may not universally be viewed as paintings though I view myself to be a painter. 

Philip Hartigan: What piece are you currently working on? 

Kari Cholnoky: I make a lot of work, and I work all the time. So the piece I'm working on right now, which I'll finish in the next three hours, will be different from the piece I work on three hours from now, which will be different from the piece I will work on tomorrow. I make a lot of shit. Some of it's good, some of it's bad. But I believe it's important to make all of it. 

Mustard Cone, 2011, mustard and spray paint on snow, dimensions variable

Philip Hartigan: What creative surprises are happening in the current work? 

Kari Cholnoky: In the traditional sense, I haven't really made a painting in about five years. While I'm not REALLY making paintings, I have this feeling that I'm going to start painting things, instead of drawing them with paint. Additionally, the works' visual complication is only just starting to keep up to pace with the intellectual or conceptual complication. 

Philip Hartigan: What other artistic medium (or non-artistic activity) feeds your creative process? 

Kari Cholnoky: Music (the influence of dubstep has made some weird paintings), art-toys (Ferg, Shawnimal, Tokidoki, Mori Chak), my friends, irrational anxieties, and living in a closet. 

Philip Hartigan: What's the first ever piece of art you remember making? 

Kari Cholnoky: I can't honestly say that I remember that. I don't remember a time when I wasn't making things. I do remember that in second grade I wore a beret to school because I believed I was a French painter, and that I sold my grandfather's throw-away watercolor paintings for a mean profit in my portable classroom. Maybe that's a better story: my first hustle. 

Breakfast, 2011, collage and acrylic on paper, 28 X 40"

Philip Hartigan: Finally, and you can answer this in any way that's meaningful to you: why are you an artist?

Kari Cholnoky: don't really think I had a choice in the matter. Sometimes I feel self conscious about being involved in such a narcissistic pursuit, but then I think if I was a physicist I would be a physicist. I'm an artist because I'm an artist. If I was working in banking I'd still be an artist. I'd be really upset all the time and would hate everything, but I'd still be an artist. This is the hand I've been dealt, and it's pretty cool. I feel fortunate to be so fulfilled by my work, and to be excited to paint every day. That doesn't suck.

If you liked this interview, and you'd like to keep up to date with the series, why not Subscribe, or sign-up via Google Connect, using one of the options over on the right? Thanks, and keep creating.

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