Briefly describe the work you do.
I’m interested some of the challenges that have become part of living in the twenty-first century in relation to art, spirituality, and pop culture.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I grew up in rural Ohio. When I was very young my family was somewhat isolated in our home, but when I was about seven years old, Armstrong cable company installed a line down our street. This altered my very quiet childhood and I became infatuated with pop culture. I was a fast convert to early MTV and still love music videos. Both of those viewpoints are given equal weight in my work. These two characters: the hermit and the pop culture fanatic are duking it out. One is still living in the woods looking for truth, and the other craves pop culture references.
The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
I have a studio space that I enjoy being in. It’s important for me to be around other artists and hear about their work and ideas. Right now my studio space is shared with five other artists. I became used to sharing space while I was in a large graduate school program and I discovered that I prefer activity around me at times. Teaching, curating, and other jobs are facets of my art practice as well. The vast majority of my work is done in various locations: at my desk at home, right before bed, and while I’m getting paid to do other jobs. I am obsessive and my projects permeate most of my day to day activities.
What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
I am collaborating much more then I ever thought I would. It’s a wonderful surprise to find people to work closely with.
When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?
I wish I had a schedule, it seems like such a good idea! Yet, I know that I would immediately rebel from it. Over the years I have discovered that I need room for whim in my practice. I need rewards, and I need other people involved. All of this has become the unruly standard for me.
How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
Stylistically the work looks very different, yet it is about the same things. I’m still chasing the same things, trying to figure it out. Matthew McConaughey would relate.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
For Sure! The short list is: My parents are wonderful weirdos (a big help when choosing a career for the love, not the money), Future Idea Group (FIG), Marla Greenman, Andrea Champlin, Bug Davidson, Jonathan Franzen’s essay ‘Liking Is For Cowards. Go For What Hurts.’, Beth Ditto’s ‘Coal to Diamonds’, Roseanne Barr, Piers Anthony, Tig Notaro, Kanye West, Chuck Klosterman, J. Jack Halberstam, and Tina Fey.
I am a bit of a sponge and my work traffics in pop culture references so I have to show some restraint here, yet I should mention that I became a painter because in 2001 I came across Vitamin P : New Perspectives in Painting by Barry Schwabsky. I was 21 and had never seen contemporary painting before. It blew me away. I am grateful to have found that resource at a pivotal moment in my life.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
Magician’s assistant, I already know the job.
Coe Lapossy’s work investigates the relationship between how we construct our self-image through popular culture and a yearning to find greater authenticity. Coe Lapossy lives, works, and fights apathy in Boston, MA. She receive her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University. In 2012 she co-curated the “Liking Is For Cowards. Go For What Hurts” show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her current project looks at her relationship to imagery taken from movies that she watched repeatedly growing up. High Spirits, Prelude To A Kiss, and The Last Unicorn all focus on telling the story of romantic love outside the confines and limits of the human body. Lapossy reinterprets these images with a new cast of characters, through painting and sculpture.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.