Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Farr.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I grew up in a small conservative lumber town in the Central Oregon desert. We were an outsider family of bonafide hippies in a hard-core rodeo culture. I often found my self in lonesome spaces; a queer girl yet to come out even to myself, a vegetarian with hairy legs, a devout spiritualist without a guru. I would not say I bloomed early. I would say I got through it.
Yet even though I didn’t always find my step with the culture, I resonated deeply with the desert. In such a raw and strong land my experience of place and identity was profound, and aspects of that landscape continue
to show up in my work and direct me in ways conscious and unconscious.
I began painting in college during my undergraduate years at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. After school, I continued to study with Russian painter and sculptor, Simon Kogan. I was part of a small yet devoted group of artists. For four years we gathered technical skills in painting, drawing, and sculpture in a rigorous and traditional way. To this day I am grateful for this rich time. It was deep, thorough, reclusive and incredibly important for my development as an artist.
During these years, I also discovered I have a deep devotional impulse, a love of meditation and religious ritual, although I am deeply mistrustful about how humans use and abuse power through religious institutions. These spiritual practices are part of my life today, and also inform my work. I stayed in Olympia to study Zen Buddhism at the Olympia Zen Center with Eido Francis Carney.
After my studies in Olympia, I traveled some and lived in Mexico for a couple of years. During these travels, I experienced a shift in my focus. I moved from studying technique to really wanting to express. In many ways, my body of work began at this time.
In 2006 I moved to LA and changed my life in pretty dramatic ways, with art being at the very center of that shift. After years of study and contemplation, I was finally ready to show my work. I began showing with Klowden Mann in 2009. I am so grateful or this continued creative partnership.
I am oriented to LA through my relationship with the land. I think what I love the very most about LA is that I never feel I reach the end of it. This city is so vital and expansive it reminds me of the vast high desert landscape of my childhood, with sagebrush as far as the eye can see. The scale of this city and the deeply diverse and shifting landscape of art comforts me; there is enough room here.
Please tell us about your art.
Through paintings sculpture and installation I have made a study of embodiment. I have flipped and flopped this word embodiment in various context, fundamentally my question is a spiritual one. Inside of that realm, I mine history, power, religion, identity, place, mythology, and sexuality. Informed by my childhood experience of powerful landscape and the unsettling feeling of not belonging. Sliding in and out of various sexual identities, a devotional impulse, and love of meditation, and a mind that is utterly drawn to religious and mythic material. I have moved in and out of exiles, unions, belongings, and homecomings yet the question of what is embodiment is mysterious, and I relish the beginning of a painting to be able to ask again, what is present?
When people walk away from my work, in my wildest hopes, they are invited into themselves. That these joyful and sometimes painful questions I ask echo inside them too.
Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
Most importantly, protect your process! Allow yourself a sanctuary that is free from the pressures of the world. This will help you be brave and authentically passionate about what you are creating. I believe in a secondary job. I have had lots of side jobs. Waitressing, sexuality educator, food stylist, and energetic bodyworker, to name just a few.
At the same time, enjoy your daily life! It enriches work to live a life outside of the studio, and it nourishes work to protect your creative space from being run from the outside pressures. The hard part is to know the balance between the two.
Allow influence, critique, competition, and overall challenge into your art without defense (it will make your work a whole lot better if you do) yet still, hold enough self-love and boundary to give yourself the full authority to find and express your truth. It may feel more vulnerable and is often lonesome, but in the end, good work is dependant on vulnerability and porous willingness to hang out those spacious awkward places. You can smell it a mile away when work is not really at the edgy, sweet, brave place. All the work I really love in this world inspires me to dig deeper into that process because it is clear that those artists were brave and shared their real truth, which gives me more room to do so as well.
In that way, I believe we are holding one another. Across time and canvas, paint or whatever your medium, I believe what we are doing really does matter. Ultimately I think it comes down to having a good relationship with
your self. Be honest and respect your process.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I am currently preparing for a solo show at Klowden Mann Gallery in May 2019. For this upcoming show, I will be making paintings and ceramic-based installations dealing with the idea of mythic repair. In my body and in this world as I see it right now, It looks to me like an exiled aspect of female power is coming to light. Working with Christian content, and specifically the expulsion of Eden, the Last Supper and the Coronation of the Virgin I am throwing a homecoming party to reclaim in my body that presence that I have banned from my consciousness and sent to the dark corners of myself. In addition to my upcoming show selected works are currently at the gallery in Culver City and visits to my studio are always welcome as well. You can find my website at www.rebeccafarr.com and social media on Instagram @R_F_A_R_R and Facebook: Rebecca Farr.
- Website: www.rebeccafarr.com
- Phone: 3107417081
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @R_F_A_R_R
- Facebook: rebecca farr
Torch, Sleeping/Awakening I , II, III and IV, Riders I and II, Stand