Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Breininger.
Anna, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in Pennsylvania, in a farming town and moved to London then Philadelphia as soon as I could. From there I took a brief detour to Michigan for graduate school then landed here in LA. Class and gender both play a significant role in my work, so I do find certain motifs, blue-collar viewpoints, and materials from my rural upbringing weaving their way into the paintings.
The choice to become an artist really came from not being able to make up my mind. From a young age, I cycled through wanting to be an architect, a psychologist, a decorator (thanks to 90’s television icon Christopher Lowell), and a gardener. I found that by being an artist, I could actually be all of those things in some form or another.
My first real experience with painting was regularly driving by an unsanctioned mural of a bikini-clad lady that my great aunts painted. It was on a bridge in the mountains and would need touched up or repainted every so often after the road workers painted over it, so driving by it could be a real surprise. I remember feeling so much awe toward the painting and admiration for my aunt’s collective talent. Looking back, that might have been the first point that I felt excited looking at art.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My current body of work is airbrushed acrylic on carpet, often framed by interior moldings. The wood moldings serve to both frame the paintings and reference architecture. I am interested in the work functioning as a plane within a plane. I think of them sometimes as slivers of domestic spaces existing on top of the space of the gallery or studio.
I involve imagery I source from domestic surfaces, textiles, and my own memories of interiors. I pull from a lot of places and have a fairly extensive library of images, home improvement books, fabric swatches, and floor plans. Pattern and decor can be great ways to access memory, define one’s place in the world, and create scenarios of aspiration.
Over the past year, my work has become increasing site-specific. This spring, I installed paintings on carpet at Peter Strauss Ranch in Agoura Hills. I was able to pull floral imagery directly from the site and really loved working with the history of the ranch as both an exclusive private park, then later a highly accessible national park site.
How can artists connect with other artists?
Being alone in the studio can be both fulfilling and exhausting all in the same day. I try to make sure I’m in dialogue with the world by exchanging studio visits with friends, reaching out to artists whose work I admire, and scheduling gallery days regularly to get my mind out of studio mode.
I am a true believer that we can create the type of world we want to live in, so if I am finding a lack of connection or opportunity, I try to find ways to make it happen. In 2015 I started an artist-run space called Embassy with Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen and Sarah Manuwal which was an excellent way to engage with artists in LA through curating exhibitions. Most recently artist Kristin Cammermeyer and I have started a monthly still-life drawing club as a way to stay connected and practice drawing outside of our individual studios.
If you have an idea in LA, for a space, publication, group, or anything, this is really a place to go for it. There is a lot of support here.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I will have some paintings on carpet and paper on view at Art Toronto with Lisa Kehler Art + Projects at the end of this month, and my website is definitely the best place to get a comprehensive view of my work.
I also have also been making one of a kind airbrushed t-shirts that I will be selling later this fall online and at events around LA. There are some currently available at Ochi Projects in West Adams.
- Website: www.annabreininger.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @abreininger
Images courtesy of the artist. Gazing Flowers at Ms. Gerhardt’s and Tender Reconstruction courtesy of Good Weather Gallery.