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Six of the Best, Part 15

Part 15 of an interview series in which I invite artists to respond to six questions about art, process, and creativity  (Part 1Part 2Part 3,Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12, Part 13, Part 14) . Today's artist is Lisa Beck, who lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Double Burst, 2012, enamel on mirror mounted on painted masonite, each panel 12x12 inches, 12x 24 overall

Double-Double, 2010, acrylic on mirror 96 x 144 inches

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

Lisa Beck: That's a seemingly simple question, but I'm not sure how to answer the "chiefly" part, because I make many different kinds of things with many different kinds of materials. Seeing as I consider myself a painter, I guess the simple answer is paint (oil, acrylic, enamel, ink, gouache). I paint on wood panels, canvases, mylar, walls, and lately, glass mirror. I also make sculptures/ installations, using glass-like acrylic balls, galvanized steel cable, hardware, panels, paintings, stainless steel spheres.

I like to use materials with strong enough personalities so that they can guide me as much as I guide them.

Philip Hartigan: What piece are you currently working on?

Lisa Beck: Lately, mostly painting on mirror, broken mirrors that I put back together after painting each piece. I received the great gift of a 4 ft x 8 ft piece of mirror that broke, so I'm having fun with that. I recently exhibited a 20-year old piece that consists of small painted panels that are joined together with steel cable, connecting the panels hanging on the walls, with others that hang in a sort of tassel from the ceiling. It has inspired me to revive this series and make some more works in this vein.

To Here Knows When, 1992, oil, mylar, acrylic on panels, steel cable, hardware, dimensions variable 

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

Lisa Beck: Working with mirror, it's wonderful how diluted paint pools and dries on it in crazy ways. I often need to leave it overnight to dry before I can see what it's really going to look like.

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

Lisa Beck: Music, gardening, stargazing, cooking. 

(foreground)These I , 2011, stainless steel globes, steel posts, approx 85 x 48 x 28 inches
(background)These V, 2011  stainless steel globes, steel posts, approx 67 x 36 x 24 inches

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

Lisa Beck: A parrot drawn on construction paper with crayon, cut out and mounted on cardboard so I could perch it on my shoulder. As I recall, a lot of tape was involved.

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

Lisa Beck: Because it's the best way I can address and honor the amazing accident of existing.

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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