Cecily Brown on motherhood: “You�re forced to be more conventional”

Cecily Brown, a painter who recently left the Gagosian stable and has a show at Maccarone this month, parents a six-year-old daughter with architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff. In a recent interview on Vulture with Julie Belcove , Brown talks about her experience of being a mother.

lucked out; she�s a good kid. Fingers crossed we don�t screw her up.
She does give me a hard time for working. Of course, I feel incredibly
lucky that I have something that absorbs me so much. But my fears were
founded: It is really challenging to do both well, to feel that you�re
doing both well. There is a lot of conflict, and there is a lot of
guilt. It�s changed my work life utterly, beyond recognition. But I try
not to beat myself up because I feel so many women just spend their time
feeling they�re not doing well enough.

When I last saw you professionally, I was working all the hours. I
could start late; I could work late; I could work weekends. Suddenly,
you�re in the world in a way that you�re not when you�re an artist and
don�t have a family. You�re forced to be more conventional. School
starts at a certain time and finishes. You�re forced to go on vacation
when everyone else goes on vacation � you�re forced to go on vacation! I
mean, I was famous among my friends for never taking one. They would
tease me about it.

And yes, I do begrudgingly admit that I�m probably more focused as
everyone said I would be, but I miss being unfocused. I also know it�s
going to go quickly. In five years, I�ll be lucky if she wants to hang
out with me.

Happy Mothers’ Day everyone. Try not to spend it in the studio!

[Image at top: Brown’s studio near Union Square, courtesy of the artist.]

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Neo-Maternalism: Contemporary artists’ approach to motherhood
DISCUSSION: Owning motherhood
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Toughen up, lady



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One Comment

  1. LOL! I did spend part of it (Mother's Day) in the studio. The rest of the evening was spent with the family. I think I have given up on trying to "balance" everything. Now I am going for fully "integrating "all the things that are important to me in my daily life.

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