Artist Statement

This weekend has been BUSY.  Sunday I completed “Adventures in Bunderland”, and Monday I dropped my stuff off at Alchemy where it’s now Actually Really On Display For Reals.

Adventures in Bunderland – acrylic, 14″x18″

I’m excited about that one.  It came out much cleaner than I anticipated.  Note to self: using 7428948932 washes and layers really DOES make a difference.

Ended up with 14 paintings to display.  The scariest feeling ever was when the staff there was helping me organize/hang everything, and at one point they were all just standing there, looking.

Looking at my stuff.  That I made.

I suddenly felt this overwhelming need to apologize and simultaneously burst into tears.  I was scared, which might sound silly, but it was just so … so much.  The other day, my husband was talking about how his niece (who’s 9ish) pointed out the psoriasis on his elbow.  She asked – as only little kids can – “What happened to your arm?”  He gave her a dismissive answer and tried to change the subject, but was still in that mental state where you kind of just want to pull the covers over your head until it all goes away.

That feeling of overwhelming self consciousness, that’s what it felt like.  Scary.  The display area was larger than I anticipated so my stuff looked very small, but we used binder clips and twine to hang the work (all on canvas panel board), and it turned out alright.

I think they liked it.  I hope they liked it.  Hell, I hope EVERYONE likes it and I hope they buy something.  I’ve got to research making prints as well, in case more than one person wants the same painting.  The owner was saying that if I am able to (or want to), if something gets purchased I can bring in a new piece to replace it.  That might be doable.

Anyway, last night I had another crappy episode of nausea, which actually might have been from dinner but whatever.  It resulted in very little sleep which didn’t even start until 5AM (when the meds kicked in), so I called off work.  Slept until around noon, then just spent some time finishing up the “Artist’s Statement” that they wanted from me. Thinking it might be time to go back to sleep; still feeling crummy.

Here it is.

——

DRUNKBUNNY: the art of larissa horvath
A lifetime ago, in a time zone far, far away, a little girl was drawing a helicopter scene on the side of a paper bag. Later that year, she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her answer was “An artist, a teacher, a dentist, or a garbage truck driver.”
I’ve always liked multiple choice answers.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————
I started getting excited about art somewhere around the pre-internet heyday of Glo Worms, Fluppy Dogs, and Teddy Ruxpin, and painted along with Bob Ross in the afternoons (right after Fantasy Island).  I had a lot of imaginary friends, talked to myself often, and made elaborate stories for my Barbies to act out.

I moved out of Pittsburgh & into San Diego in 2001, where I spent my days at coffee houses, hockey games, dance classes and yoga classes.  There was also a lot of World of Warcraft.  Bought a house in 2009, got married in 2011, & promptly was diagnosed with labyrinthitis (an inner-ear problem that causes a balance disorder & makes you feel carsick all the time).  I’m recovering, but things are better.  I appreciate the constant patience (& entertainment) of my husband and our cat.

This is probably the part where people would talk about how they had formal training from age five, or classes at night between full-time jobs, or how some Great Old Master took them under their wing during some that sabbatical to Italy last winter.  Maybe they just like wearing berets.

When my work comes up in conversation, people say: “I didn’t know you were an artist!”  I typically don’t wear my Artist Nametag, so it’s understandable.  I’m not here to debate the meaning of what makes someone an artist (that’s what blogs are for); I’m here to show you the things I made.  For the curious: I finished a major in Multimedia (in 2001), which included a focus on graphic design, courtesy of Pittsburgh Technical Institute.  (This means I am a fan of most things Internet, good typography, and pushing paint around until it makes a shape I like.)

San Diego – and the adventures of me in it – has been the cause of most of my work.  The novelty of palm trees, ocean landscapes, amazing cuisine choices, incredible local stuff, over the top weather and all that represents the California Dream… that’s what keeps me going, and that stuff will never lose its shine.  While there are days that it feels like a tiny town, San Diego is mostly everything I ever wanted it to be.  It changes; it ebbs and flows.  I appreciate that I am close enough to LA to soak up the cultural tide, but I also appreciate not living there.  Same with Vegas.

In the past eleven years of life in this state, I’ve met people that astound me in both good ways and bad; people that have changed my life and my way of thinking.  I’ve made and lost fantastic friends, been to places and done things that always seemed like something in the movies.  Things you never even consider when you grow up in a steel mill town.  Living here, still feeling like a transplant… from all this comes the feeling of being a little kid in a candy store, reaching for the top shelf.

I’m learning how to find the shape of my own feelings and put them down on canvas, and my feelings are teaching me how to share headspace with them.  I like getting lost in a book and am trying to figure out how to get the adventures in my mind onto canvas.  I’m one of those quietly bipolar people who uses art as a form of medication because I didn’t want to take Zoloft.  The manic swings are great, the other side… not so much.  I’m learning to balance on that pendulum but still fall off most of the time.  Art is my coping mechanism; whether it’s sketching on Post-It’s during a phone call, finding the right font, or roping my emotions into a tube of paint… it works for me.

I’m inspired by a lot of the artists in Juxtapoz (especially Craola), and hope to one day find my own work between their covers.  That’s why I took the baby step of asking if I could have my work on display here at Alchemy.  Putting my artwork out for people to look at (and hopefully be inspired by) is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.
I feel very fragile and very exposed by all this, but am taking deep breaths and crossing my fingers that people like it and ask for more.  I promise to keep learning, keep growing, and keep trying.

If you buy some of my art, 10% of the proceeds will go to The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), which in turn can donate to the Stupack Lab for Cancer Research at the USCD Moores Cancer Center.

Drop me a line at Larissa.R.Horvath@gmail.com or find me at  facebook.com/drnkbnny.

Thank you for looking.

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