Austyn Weiner is an American born artist who’s practice has ranges from photography, paint, and the deconstruction of these mediums. Having recently moved her studio from New York to Los Angeles, she has embarked on a new body of work that focuses on the expansive idea of self; mass, movement, form, and color. As Austyn’s life remains fluid and evolutionary, we see this reflected in her work and exploration.
An Interview with Austyn Weiner:
What inspires you to make work? Can you name any particular artists that you look up to?
An uncontrollable need to share my experience on this earth is what drives me to create. I dont really think its a choice. The work ethic is a choice, but I think anyone who shares their experience of life does it out of necessity. In order to keep going, in order to understand, in order to decipher myself and the world around me, I must regurgitate what I am feeling, and move forward.
My inspirations change as I do, although there are some staples in there that will always remain: Lucas Samaras, Matisse, Richard Prince, Keith Haring, Cindy Sherman, Janine Antoni, Louis Burgoise… a lot of times its the actual artist i am inspired by, not even so much the work.
What are you investigating through your work? How would you describe your relationship to the work?
My process is a way for me catalog what im feeling, what im seeing, and what i am touching. In my most recent works, it is a way for me to make light of whats around me, and to sort of depict the humerous way in which I see myself, both internally and externally. The introverted experience vs the extroverted experience, and how vastly different those can be.
While I was living in New York I was inspired by superficiality, materialism, and an extroverted experience of those things… and so I think the relationship to my work was somewhat surface. Some people take that with a negative connotation. I dont at all. That is just what I was honestly inspired by. Upon moving to the west coast, my own experience is what is fueling the work vs my experience of others, and so naturally the work seems to be more of a complete sentence, more truthful, and more honest.
You frequently illustrate private moments in your work. What draws you to reveal these moments?
I spend a lot of time alone at this point in my life. and the one thing I promised myself when I started really painting, is that I would always be honest in what I was depicting. I want to tell the complete story, not part of it…. and some of the most romantic, raw, beautiful and painful moments of my life happen in solitude. I find there to be an incredible comparison between sex with yourself and sex with another, and I am interested in exploring that amonst so many other things.
Are you working on anything right now that you feel is going in a new direction?
I think everything for me right now feels fresh and new. I feel like i just got on the train, so i plan on riding it to some incredible places.
How do you find the art scene in Los Angeles?
I love it. I think there is a plethora of opportunity here for all artists. Something I ironically did not feel in New York. I think whatever you are looking for, you can find out here. and most importantly, there is just good energy all around. thats what actually makes the magic happen.
What advise could you give to someone starting their creative career?
I feel like im just starting my career! but, my advice would be to grow thick skin, learn how to listen to advice and opinions with a grain of salt. Learn how to filter it and use what you need, but dont take it all to heart. and most importantly, never stop. if you dont stop, no one can stop you, not even yourself. oh also! dont think too much… im working on that last one. well, all of them really.
Can you describe any habits/rituals etc. that you do before you start working?
Before I begin a series I usually have an epic anxiety attack, then I begin writing. I write whatever inspires me, things people say, things I say, plays on words, all of it. Then during that time a song usually strikes me. Something I have to listen to and listen to and listen over and over again until it makes me sick. Once I find that song, its on repeat, with my journal out, and my photographs spread across the floor, and an exacto knife in hand, and i begin making forms and tiny collages that eventually inspire the paintings.