Studio Visit: Michelle Weinberg
Michelle Weinberg is an artist living and working in New York City and Miami. Her work can be seen in PLEAT's January 2018 exhibition as well as michelleweinberg.com.
Please describe your work.
My work takes many forms - drawing, painting on paper and walls, collage of found images, papier mache objects. I’m not bonded to any particular technique. Although painting is where all my projects begin, I frequently find myself in the realms of architecture, theater, decor and applied arts. From the intimate architecture of the medicine cabinet to large scale shop windows and public art installations, my spaces are populated with stylized forms, eccentric perspectives, flickering patterns, and pastel and hothouse hues. My personal engagement with geometry is inspired by observing how human social behavior penetrates and activates all sorts of surfaces and veneers.
What internal and external factors motivate your conceptual choices?
When I dream, I may make purely conceptual choices, but when I’m working with materials I’m always marrying concepts to the limitations of the materials at hand. Those limitations provide the arena within which any “ideas” occur. Often it’s simply practical concerns, or restlessness with one material or technique, that impels me to pick up another thing or a new thing. I generally gravitate towards rich experiences using economic means.
For me, it operates like a play, on a stage set. I’m not sure what my meaning or intentions are at the outset. But things always start to happen!
Who are your artistic influences and what have you learned from them?
Too numerous to mention, however I can always boil my art influences down to the seminal art experiences of my childhood, which endure to this day - Matisse, for his spaces structured from color and pattern, miniature paintings from the ancient near east and India - for actually, the same thing! And I can include early tv cartoon watching, Warner Brothers in particular, for their blend of color, plasticity, the right amount of detail, black graphic outlines - and of course, humor.
How has social media affected your studio practice?
Visual references of all sorts inspire me. As an avid magazine reader, Instagram gives me a similar experience. So easy to connect with amazing things made by other artists, images of crafted and designed objects and interiors - these really stoke my imagination. I use social media as a window to open for others into my creative process. My website is the main base, and the Instagram is such a great portfolio to open up and show, share, follow others, etc.