Name: AM DeBrincat
Birthday: May 15, 1989
College: University of Oregon for undergrad, Parsons the New School for Design for my MFA
Favorite Color: every color on Wayne Thiebaud’s palette
Favorite Book: It’s really hard to pick one. At the moment, Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon and Dawns + Dusks: Louise Nevelson in conversation with Diane MacKown. And always Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Favorite Movie: Simon of the Desert by Luis Buñuel
Favorite Food: chocolate
Favorite Quote: “The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.” Oscar Wilde + “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” Mary Oliver
Why are you an artist, and when did you first become one?
I’m an artist because when I’m working in my studio, it’s one of the only places where I feel like I shouldn’t be somewhere else.
Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start?
I generally go in with a rough idea or inspiration, but then a lot of it becomes improvisation and letting the piece go where it wants to.
What’s the best advice anyone gave you?
The sculptor Andrew DeVries once told me “Everyone is afraid, but the only thing to fear is living a life that isn’t your own.” He told me that at least a decade ago, and it’s still the best advice I’ve ever heard.
Do you suffer for your art?
I try not to. Suffering is really overrated.
How would you define yourself as an artist?
Following where my curiosity leads me.
What inspires you to work?
A restlessness that leads me to interesting places.
You seem to use a lot of symbols in your work. Do your works tell stories or are they simply decorative elements of the project?
My work tells stories – nothing is simply decorative. But it’s more interesting for me to leave them as visual stories instead of describing them with words. I like to leave enough breathing room so that viewers can bring their own interpretations to the work.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how?
I honestly think everything I see influences me, from famous artwork to an interesting little pile of garbage on the curb. It’s really impossible to create a list of artists I love because it would be so long. I love art from all time periods and am constantly looking at what other people have created. As an artist, I feel that I’m part of this epic, ongoing conversation of makers that started thousands of years ago and will continue long after I’m gone.
What other interests do you have outside of art?
So many. My life and interests outside art keep me balanced.
You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today?
I feel lucky to live in New York City, where there is so much to see and do, and so much art everywhere. I love going to well-known museums, but I also love going to small pop up shows, other artists’ studios, underground theater, comedy clubs, indie circuses…there are so many amazing people bringing their artistic visions to life here. I honestly want to see it all.
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? Ugh. I’d rather not think about that.
What are your next projects?
Next month my solo show Speculative Fiction opens at Martin Art Gallery at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. And then later this year, I’m having a solo show – Hello Sunshine – at Lohme Art Gallery [https://www.lohmeartgallery.com/] in Malmo, Sweden. The show will open August 25 and run through September 23. Hello Sunshine will be my first solo show outside the US, and my first time showing with Lohme Art Gallery – I’m very excited about that. Plus I have a few more things in the works… 😉