F & T Questionnaire:
F & T is happy to present our next artist, the vivacious and keenly observant Maureen St. Vincent. Her work is a thoughtful concoction of humor, cultural commentary, and a rhapsodic exploration of excess, the superficial, and the ridiculous. She allows her paintings to be realms within which oft-demeaned gestures of bad taste are foregrounded, played with, and are allowed to misbehave. Through a collection of everyday images, colors, textures, and signs-- from the seductive yet violent manicured hand to the sinuous gesture of a braided hair extension-- she continues to build a painterly language that isn't afraid to curse or speak out of turn. Read below to get a glimpse into what impulses drive her work, and allow yourself to take part in her personal mantra, "indulge."
Maureen st. vincent
Describe a place in the world where you have felt most alive:
Without a question, it is Big Sur in the northern California coastline. The collision of mountains, fog and the Pacific dwarf me and I feel peace.
The other side of me feels alive when dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. My love for his beat is so great that I once channeled it by painfully dancing on my tiptoes the entire time.
Share an image that you return to often:
I often return to Matisse’s paintings of dead fish on a Normandy beach. When I first saw the paintings, they appeared to misbehave in terms of spatial and color relationships. As time went on, I started to understand their fugitive qualities and muddy colors as a representation of conflict between the abject pile and the infamous coastline. This work has a powerful synesthetic effect on me.
What is the last thing you read that mattered to you? What will you read next?
The last thing I read was “Painting in the Grotto” by Jean Luc Tracey. I was hooked after reading this excerpt:
“The schema of man is the monstration of this marvel: self outside of self, the outside standing for self, and he being surprised in face of self. Painting paints this surprise. This surprise is painting.”
Next, I will read all of my mom’s post-it notes from the last couple months, in preparation for my next series of paintings.
Describe an object that intrigues you:
I have an artificial ponytail that I hang in different formations on my studio wall. I’m interested in the braid as a disembodied entity and stand-in for the body. Recently, I have been thinking about the braid as a gesture or something that functions as line in my paintings.
What must change?
What must change is the binary system that we live in. I’m interested in what happens between the endpoints.
How can we heal?
I don’t know about others, but I try to heal by being present and accepting myself.
If you could instantly have any skill or ability what would it be?
I would like to have the ability to remember titles of books and authors after hearing them once. I would also like to go back in time and observe my grandma delivering babies in rural Andes.
What makes you laugh until you cry?
Bill Murray’s face. When I lived in San Francisco, I made a doll representation of him that would regularly make appearances at dance parties.
As a member of the global community, what is your greatest concern?
Global warming is something that occupies my thoughts every day. My home state of California is suffering from a four-year long drought. It’s alarming to go home and see the landscape that has shaped me, transform into something unfamiliar.
Describe a non-human being you’ve interacted with.
I have an ongoing love affair with sunsets and one of the most memorable ones was in Lake Tahoe, when I was a teenager. Something shifted in me and my perception of color was permanently affected.
What is your mantra?
What can art do?
Art can bring us closer to effective communication.