Mia Bergeron, July 2013
July 5 5:00 - 8:00 pm
In her first solo show, Gradual Thaw, Mia Bergeron has created a series of paintings that will take viewers on a visual journey of what drives, motivates and inspires her creative process.
Gradual Thaw Questions with the Artist:
1. What inspires you?
A lot of things inspire me. I’m drawn to everyday abstractions I see in nature… subtle variances in shades of lights and colors, big, unusual compositions. People are a huge source of inspiration for me, both strangers and close friends.
2.What are three words that describe both you and your work?
Introspective, Experimental, Inquisitive. (And some would say moody! Ha!)
3.When you look around your studio, what do you see?
A lot of paintings I have worked on and destroyed, and worked on again. I probably painted double the paintings I have in this exhibit, but destroyed half of them over the course of time. And books. I’m addicted to art books. I have books that range in subjects from John Singer Sargent to the Alexander McQueen retrospective at the Metropolitan. I have little pieces of paper in all of these to remind me of ideas for paintings. I also have a huge amount of printed images in my studio…paintings of other peoples’ work, photos that inspire me, even scraps of textiles that remind me about a particular color harmony.
4.What project are you currently working on?
Mostly I’ve been working on paintings for my solo show at Robert Lange Studios, and a few paintings for a Women Painting Women show I will be involved with in September.
5.What was the impelling force for the current subject matter and show?
I think I’m in a natural evolution with my work. Mostly, I have been focused on two ideas for this show. One is to really dive into my fears as a painter, and my strengths. When I was in school in Italy, I was constantly told I was better at getting an effect than achieving details. This was said to me as a weakness I had in my painting skills. I was also told I was a temperamental painter. For years, I thought these two “defects” would hurt my work. In the past year, I’ve really dug into making my vulnerabilities my strengths. I think it’s sort of creative problem solving and simply being curious. Instead of denying that I am a erratic painter and that I like big, overall effects in a painting (like mood, for instance), I decided to accept those parts of me and even play them up in these paintings. I think the work looks like it could change at any moment, and the moods are very purposeful. The other idea I have been exploring with in my work is loss of information. The paintings in this show are the results of a bunch of questions I had with paint. I will paint a model for days and days, then slowly start to erase parts of my painting, wiping out entire passages I have worked hard on, making transitions that don’t exist. I will purposefully look to lose areas of a painting that I want to grow into something more.
6.What do you hope people walk away from the show talking about?
I hope they ask questions. I’m not offering any real answers in my work, mostly just posing questions to the viewer.
7. What do you think both visual and conceptually your strengths are as an artist?
Visually, I think I am strong in depicting light and mood. Conceptually, I think I am strong at looking at broader topics that relate to inner feelings.
8. Can you talk about the title of your show, “Gradual Thaw”?
I picked this name because it represents both what happens in spring time, just before plant life blooms, but also as it relates to a mental state. I had all these rules for being a person, a painter, etc. I think I’m in a transitional stage of my life, as many people are, and some of those previous rules and ideas about myself, my work, and my world are melting away to make room for new growth. A lot of the titles of paintings in this show refer to this evolution.
9. How do you choose your models?
Most of the women I paint are artists. There’s this sense of understanding I find with them about poses and intentions. It’s a bit of an unsaid symbiosis. I’m also a huge advocate of women artist visibility, so I think it is a natural choice for me to be drawn to creative females to paint.
10. When do you call a piece finished?
When it no longer seems to have any obvious needs.