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Meet Lauren Goldenberg

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Goldenberg.

Lauren, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
While I didn’t always want to be a studio artist, I have consistently liked to make things with my hands. As a child, I was always coloring, crocheting little purses for my friends (and a tumor-harness for my pet rat when she got sick, but that is a whole other story), sewing, drawing, dancing, you name it. I was the kid in school that spent too much time making over the top shoe-box dioramas.

When it came to choosing an elective in high school, I was set on taking guitar because I had a fantasy of falling in love with a boy in that class. My dad urged me to finally choose the art class I had always begged him to let me take. Of course, I ended up taking the class and absolutely loved it. Finally, a subject in school that made sense! It was after the passing of one of my best friends when I was 16 when I really started to dedicate time to my work and find healing in the process.

When it came time to choose a major in college, “Studio Art” was the inevitable choice. I thoroughly enjoyed how the studio art program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was small, community-focused, and exceedingly rigorous. Having graduated last spring, I truly miss the camaraderie I had in my little art-department-family and crave going back to school again.

Fast forward to current day, I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Studio Art from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Spring of 2018 and received the award for Outstanding Studio Work upon graduation. I have newly moved back to my hometown of Rancho Santa Margarita, California. This return to the house that I was raised in provides a sense of familiarity alongside new sources of inspiration, as I continue to navigate and understand the language of my paintings.

Has it been a smooth road?
When I decided I was going to seriously commit my life to be an artist, I had some idea of the struggles I might endure. Now that all my eggs are in this one basket, so-to-speak, I am starting to realize how difficult this path is really going to be.

The struggles I’ve experienced so far manifest themselves in a few different “flavors,” as I like to call them. The first being that fostering an intense studio practice is extremely difficult in that it takes a lot of self-discipline to carve out time in an already full schedule to make paintings. I usually have to hype myself up to spend some time in the studio before and after I come home from work when I am exhausted.

The cost of materials, crippling self-doubt, and making a lot (and I mean a LOT) of bad paintings, are some of the other struggles that have become a part of my lifestyle. I will say though, now that I am post-grad making paintings in my parent’s garage next to my dad’s fishing poles and the cat’s litter boxes, I remain hungry for growth and progress and try to celebrate the small victories.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I make small scale oil paintings and works on paper. Combining classical art references and kitschy found objects from my childhood, I explore how the aesthetic and detritus of suburban life can serve as a vehicle to psychologically transport the viewer to a place that simultaneously remains nostalgic and grotesque.

My studio is a playground full of ready mixed paint and a variety of materials where nothing is off limits or precious. I am like a treasure hunter, accumulating a collection of eye-catching, secondhand objects that I often have an immediate physical reaction to.

I bring them back to my studio where I adorn them with colored light and study the physical texture of the object while imagining who they belonged to before. I am deeply intrigued by the sweet spot where the symbolism of childhood memories of safety and ideas of preciousness converges with complex color relationships and the exploitation of the fleshy physicality of oil paint.

The paintings consume and regurgitate themselves into new strange amalgamations in a process that can only be described as “cannibalistic.”

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The small middle-class suburban town of Rancho Santa Margarita is not known for being home to artists. While I often become frustrated with the lack of diversity and culture in this town, there is definitely something to be said about living and making work in a place that moves so slowly.

Being located in south Orange County also allows me to access the bountiful resources of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas while still having the comfort of a quiet, removed, environment. I also believe that when making art it is really important to have a space that is yours that you can go to all the time.

It doesn’t have to be in an urban area to be a productive space. As long as you are checking in on what is going on elsewhere in the world, I think it’s perfectly fine, albeit annoying when you can’t get your hands on Chinese food at 2 am, to live in the suburbs.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Lauren Hinkley

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