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

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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.  
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           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.
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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.
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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?

 

Indulge.

 

What can art do? 

 

Art can bring us closer to effective communication.