Monday, December 24, 2012

Maker Extraordinaire and Christmas Birthday Girl, Luisa Caldwell

Luisa Caldwell has been a New York City artist for over 20 years.  She was among the first artists to colonize the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg.  I've long been impressed by Luisa's drive--not only her compulsion to create, but for her ability to support herself through her art.  Luisa is not only a working artist, but a mom and gal who takes full advantage of New York City's arts, culture and entertainment scene.  (One of my best nights in New York was dancing with her at TV on the Radio's Prospect Park gig, several years ago.)

Luisa's work is extensive and varied.  She works small and large in a variety of media--most notably non-traditional, like the detritus of our culture--fruit stickers and candy wrappers.  She's done a plethora of site-specific installations locally here in New York:  the subway system, Randall's Island, The Sculpture Center, DUMBO and in Europe and as far away as Siberia (not even kidding).  She always seems to be working, always thinking.  She is one of the most vibrant and interesting people I've ever met.   Read more about her work here.

GITP wishes Luisa a very happy birthday (yesterday, December 23rd)!

Are you in a tight place? If so, what are you doing about it?
My jeans are too tight, my apartment is tight, and my purse strings are tight. Am I in a tight spot? Hell no! Not that I haven’t ever been. But right now all the imperfections of my life hardly bother me. I'm constantly having to make modifications and compromises in my life in order to keep working as an artist. I moved to a smaller less expensive apartment (now I love my new neighborhood even better than my previous one).

I was beginning to stress over not making enough money through my artwork following the completion of a large public commission, so I got a job (and now I have new friends in my coworkers). The way I look at it, even a day job (that I like) that takes up way too much of my week, contributes to paying my studio rent and materials. So whatever keeps me in the long term focused on my work is an asset. Things have become easier for me and I don’t procrastinate nearly as much, which contributed to making things seem difficult. Too much thinking about stuff rather that "just do it."

Last Call, 2010, fruit stickers, acrylic paint on paper
What inspires you?
Right now I am finding old hippy music, the music from when I was a kid so inspiring Crosby Stills and Nash, Carol King and Joni Mitchell : "Well maybe it is just the time of year, Or maybe it's the time of man. I don't know who I am, But you know life is for learning." Who writes lyrics like that anymore! I haven’t seen the Matisse show at The Met but am excited about going, knowing I will be blown away, because I always am by Matisse. I like some rainy days, my son practicing the guitar, a glance from an attractive man…And you know what else inspires me? The unexpected- When I like something I thought I didn’t like, Like bromances, I love those kind of stupid funny movies now! I never did!

What do you want to get done this year?  (Or next?)
I really want to take singing lessons, but I am self conscious and afraid. I really cannot carry a tune and I feel I am missing out, so I guess I am in a bit of a tight spot about that one. Can anyone recommend a voice teacher?

What's your favorite legwear?
Gotta say I am so happy they invented the legging, not as ugly as sweats, and as fun as tights, but can be worn on their own unlike the true tight. I am wearing my new American Apparel deep blue velour leggings, holiday festive and oh so comfy!

Running Fence:  Scenic Route 10' x 44' x 6'

Umbrella Organization, 2011, 500 umbrellas, zip ties

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