Today we’d like to introduce you to Mirabel Wigon.
Mirabel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m originally from Northern California and spent a large part of my childhood in Davis, CA. My parents have always been an inspiration to me. While I was growing up, I saw how hard they both worked. Having to balance their jobs and school, I was often left to my own devices for entertainment. I think this is why I was always interested in making stories and pictures as a child. I loved to draw and read constantly, usually fantasy and sci-fi adventures. I didn’t really study art in school, I was planning on studying archaeology in college but instead discovered painting. I can’t describe what clicked for me. Something about its materiality and the active involvement needed to create a painting really captured me. I decided to switch my major to art.
Once I left school, I kept painting all the time, even while I worked full-time. I was mostly doing unrelated, non-art jobs. I worked in customer service, produce packing, as a legal assistant, etc. It has been hectic at times trying to juggle many things simultaneously, but I realize that I thrive when I have lots to do. I think that painting also requires that kind of juggling and that’s what’s fun about it. It’s really difficult to separate myself from my painting/art making practice. It is the crux of who I am and what I have built my identity around. I use painting to try to make sense of the world and explore ways to share my experience with others.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely been a rocky road. I set this goal to get into graduate school and I made it! So, that’s one really big accomplishment for me. It was so hard building a portfolio for graduate school when working full-time. I was always so tired, but I really wanted to make paintings. I feel graduate school has just been extremely beneficial to me. I really love CSULB, it’s an awesome creative hub and fosters budding art communities. It’s a wonderful place where we can share diverse perspectives through our art to narrate stories, create dialogue, and explore thoughts and feelings that can bring us together in solidarity. I feel extremely privileged and lucky to be in an environment that fosters that kind of community. And I hope that I can further contribute to that community. My dream is to get a teaching position and to continue my painting practice. I want to share my passion for and knowledge of painting.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My first interest was focusing on analytical rendering, a very literal and mimetic translation of reality as we see it. I wanted to translate those skills to create strange, surreal environments. My undergraduate paintings were all very surreal and had a political bent to them ‒ think radioactive baby in a sea cave. In my current work, I’m interested in how far one can alter representation while still retaining a recognizable subject and narrative. I think paintings that utilize traditional media and formats can still be relevant in contemporary art.
Currently, I am exploring the idea of cityscapes as labyrinthine organisms and how I feel about navigating this kind of structure. Pictorially, I’m interested in the dualities of the macrocosm and microcosm. I’m also really interested in seemingly small occurrences that can portray large, rapid, social phenomena. I feel that the city is a place that really encapsulates the transient experience of life because it’s a structure that’s always in flux. It’s fascinating to me that the built environment holds markers and residual scars revealing the history of a particular place. In my work, I try to highlight the intersections between past and present, to show the flow of time at a particular site. My paintings grapple with feelings of inevitable loss, the realization that what seems permanent is only transitory.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
It’s always some chance circumstance that you least expect that can help you along the way. I think both good and bad luck definitely plays a role in my life, as I’ve had my share of each. It’s amazing to me that so many of my goals have actually been realized. Especially the amazing opportunity to be able to attend graduate school. A couple of years ago, I would have never thought that I’d be here in Long Beach, going to graduate school.
- Website: mirabelwigon.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @mirabelwigon
- Facebook: @artmirabelwigon