20 Questions to Becky Yazdan (http://beckyyazdan.com/)
1: Who are you?
I am a Brooklyn-based painter. I make abstract oil paintings.
2: What is your background?
I grew up in NH, did undergrad in CO then moved to the city. I worked for Hearst for a few years doing Marketing and web jobs. I would draw from the model at The Art Students League in the evenings and paint at night in my tiny bedroom. I eventually went back to school at the NY Studio School and received my MFA from there in 2005. I studied with Graham Nickson, Charles Cajori and Bill Jensen, among others.
3: Where were you born?
4: Explain your work in up to 40 words.
My paintings are a record of my life – snippets of sadness or joy, humor and irony; people and things I see on the subway or in my neighborhood. Things I remember, things I am trying to reconcile or work out.
5: How has your practice changed over time?
Having children organized me and focused me in a lot of ways. It also provided me with a whole new set of emotions, fears and anxieties on which to draw subject matter for my work.
6: Do you have a favourite medium to work in?
I have always been an oil painter. I am currently working on linen stretched over panels then rabbit skin glued and oil primed. I love the old school 1/3 turp, 1/3 linseed, 1/3 varnish medium but got off the toxins when I had kids. Now I use stand oil and OMS mixed at various percentages.
7: Do you pursue any themes? If so what?
Things that are beautiful and sad. The passage of time, the regeneration of materials and ideas. Accumulation and destruction. Loss. Joy. Humor. Beauty. Stillness.
8: What other jobs have you done/do you do other than being an artist?
I am also a web designer and programmer. I work part-time for a small design firm in NYC.
9: What research do you do for your art?
I take pictures on my phone of things that strike me. I walk around the neighborhood looking and listening. I write things down that pop into my head while in the studio or out and about. These often become the titles of my paintings.
10: What makes you angry?
11: What is your favourite colour?
I really love a sticky sweet pink on top of earthy greens.
12: What is your favourite piece that you have produced?
My favorite pieces are those that materialize/ become what they are right in front of my eyes. See – Looking for Diesel, Found Sleeping Coyote (2011) and After Prom (2014).
13: What music/album are you currently listening to?
The National, Beirut, Built to Spill, Youth Lagoon, Interpol, Alt J, Beach House
14: What makes you happy?
Being in the studio. Being in the city. Being surrounded by creative and thoughtful people.
15: What are your favourite films?
American Beauty, To Kill a Mockingbird, Rear Window
16: Favourite place?
Block Island, RI
17: One or more artists you like?
Matisse, Alice Neel, Nozkowksi, Amy Sillman, James Ensor, Forest Bess, Giotto, Katherine Bradford, Chris Martin, Bill Jensen, Late and Middle Guston, Matt Blackwell, Charline von Heyl , Clare Grill, Terry Winters, Shara Hughes, Judy Simonian, Jennifer Wynne Reeves, 1949 Rothko, Joan Mitchell, Trudy Benson, and on and on
18: What is your favourite word?
19: Professionally what is your goal?
Time in the studio free of guilt and obligation, a supportive community to share ideas with and a team of interns to manage every other aspect of my life!
20: What would your dream commission be?
To make whatever I want