Studio Visit: becca van k
becca van k is an artist living and working in New York. Her work can be seen in PLEAT's July 2018 exhibition as well as beccavank.com.
Please describe your work.
My practice is an exploration of sensory experience through touch, sound, and sight. Collage and handcraft traditions (hand sewing, needlepoint, weaving, rug hooking, crochet) provide me with the tools to translate these senses into art works. My work is an amalgam of my deepest passions, drawing from the natural world, 80s graphics, house and techno music, and comforting objects.
What internal and external factors motivate your conceptual choices?
I try to make my work when I am feeling especially tender or emotionally generous. My work is intended to transmit those same feelings towards my viewers, so I think that mindset is key in terms of my choices. I am also always listening to long house/techno music mixes, which put me in a meditative rhythm through which I am able to find my best inspiration.
Who are your artistic influences and what have you learned from them?
I have always been floored by Kandinsky’s series of works from his time in Paris. They feel prophetic or are direct inspiration for 80s graphics, which I assume is partially why I feel so drawn to them. I also do look at a lot of stock 80s graphics for inspiration, especially Patrick Nagel’s portraits, which I am captivated by, for some corny reason. In terms of mood and effect, I might say that James Turrell is my biggest inspiration. Our mediums are incredibly different, but I always seek to emulate the serenity and reverence for nature that his works capture so well. An obvious inspiration is of course Yayoi Kusama, whose repetitions and color choices inform many of my decisions. I also follow dozens of female and gender non-conforming fiber artists on Instagram who inspire me daily.
How has social media affected your studio practice?
Instagram specifically has been an incredible platform to share my work and see what others in my field are doing. I created a studio account after finding so many other female artists who have created a business and practice for themselves. It was inspiring and empowering. In addition, some of my opportunities for exhibitions, meeting like-minded artists, and inspirations come from Instagram. I also greatly value that it is a free platform to display my work so I do my best to show my practice and expand my audience!