Ideas & Influences

Ideas and influences: Joy Garnett

Fig. 1: NY Studio (1990)

Joy Garnett is an artist and writer who, for the past ten years has served as the arts editor at Cultural Politics, a contemporary culture, politics and media journal published by Duke University Press. She also publishes the venerable art blog NEWSgrist. On the occasion of her solo exhibition of new paintings at Slag Gallery in Bushwick, I invited Garnett to put together a list of the things that she’s been thinking about. –-Sharon Butler

Fig. 1 (at top of post): I like this photograph of me and my furry friend. Here we are, collaborating on a backdrop for a theatre troupe. It was my first New York studio out of grad school and it had a lot of light and a big cage of doves. It smelled of cats.

Fig 2: Night vision (source image).

I keep many night vision images stashed for a rainy day to use as a springboard for painting scruffy-yet-mysterious landscapes.

Fig 3: Unmonumental (Ingraham St).

I take long walks and shoot photographs of discarded objects, then post the photos to Instagram (etc). Walking is good for my head, and my finds are often poetic. For instance, in this image, the reflection of the nearby landscape produces an unexpected point of view. The ritual often leads to a day well-spent in the painting studio. I’ve been doing this for eight years.

Fig 4: Unmonumental (Nolita) 446.

Sometimes my finds are jewel-like.

Fig 5: Unmonumental (Greenwich Village) 295.

Sometimes they are abject.

Fig 6: Ridgewood studio (2015)

Speaking of abject: I like the location of my new studio on the border of Bushwick and Ridgewood. The building is cinnamon-colored, like the walls of a 19th century painting gallery. It is situated between two truck routes, adjacent to an active freight train track. Right next to the tracks, a giant rose bush grows.

Fig 7: Sea of Love, 2015, oil on canvas, 38 x 44 inches.

“Sea of Love” (Cat Power)

Come with me my love
To the sea
The sea of love
I want to tell you
How much I love you

Fig 8: Lemon Ghost, 2015, oil on canvas, 16×20 inches. A lemony ghost ship.
Fig 9: Glacial Unrest, 2015, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches. The unrest of melting ice caps.
Fig 10: “Ends of the Earth,” Slag Contemporary 2016.

My friends are rad.

Joy Garnett: The Ends of the Earth,” Slag Gallery, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. Through April 24, 2016.

Related posts:
Blast Radius

Joy Garnett stops the passing glance


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