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Art & Life with Daisy Patton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daisy Patton.

Daisy, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I am a multidisciplinary artist born in Los Angeles, spending half my childhood in the Silverlake/Hollywood area. The city’ always has a special place in my heart and still is a great influence on my work. I lived in Oklahoma for the other half of my youth, where I completed my BFA at the University of Oklahoma, My MFA is from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University. The last six years have been spent in Colorado, but I try coming back to LA as often as I can, whether through a residency program (Eastside International), showing at the LA Art Show, or other projects that involve the city and region. I’m currently based in Denver, CO and am finishing upcoming shows in Colorado before I move to Seattle later this summer.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My work is focused in history and memory, and the ideas around the series determine what kind of medium I choose. At heart, I am a painter, so even when I’m working in other media like embroidery or even photography, I am thinking of it through that viewpoint. Research and reading are crucial and often inspire different bodies of work. I am continually fascinated by the relationship between painting and photography—I like to say they’re dysfunctional siblings because they both declare each other irrelevant but also are so intertwined historically and otherwise. In one series, “Forgetting is so long,” I take abandoned family photographs, enlarge them to life size, mount them to panel, and paint over the prints with oil paint as a way to explore concepts around memory, identity, and loss. We all have family photographs and understand what they mean to us, and I hope that this series provokes conversations around our own feelings around family, past relatives, and other people that may not be related to us but that we can find commonalities with. With other artwork, I’m interested in social activism and how art can be another tool for change, such as a couple of recent series on reproductive justice.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
I think so many artists think there’s one defined path to being a professional artist and become discouraged when their journey doesn’t quite match that experience. There are many paths and timelines, and it helps not to compare yourself to others. Making general five-year plans is useful, since it helps guide what decisions you make in your career. Also, every artist should be supporting their fellow artists and communities, whether that’s studio visit swaps, helping promote other artists you respect, and generally avoiding the cut-throat competitiveness that many can fall prey to. Be thoughtful about your role as an artist and how you might be able to engage in advocating for social change. Finally, I always highly recommend reading Sharon Louden’s “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists” and her other books because it’s all the information I wish I had known when I was younger!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
2018 has been a busy year so far! I have my first museum solo at the CU Art Museum at the University of Colorado, Boulder that will run July 19th to November 17th; titled “This Is Not Goodbye,” the show focuses on funerary photographs as a series-within-series of “Forgetting is so long.” From July 12th to August 3rd, I’ll be showing a new body of work on women who died because abortion was illegal at the Art Gym in Denver, CO; all proceeds from that show will be donated to reproductive justice organizations.

In October, I’ll have a solo with my Denver gallery K Contemporary ( focused on gardens, other series-within-series for “Forgetting is so long.” In November, essays written about my work will be published as part of a residency I recently completed called Minerva Projects, created by artist/writer/curator extraordinaire Yasmeen Siddiqui. Finally, I am planning for some potential art fairs at the of this year, which will be announced once confirmed on social media and my website.

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