On a recent visit to our Soho location, our directrice Selima was amused by the colorful and imaginative installations that Selima Optique crew member and artist Amanda Browder had installed throughout the shop. What immediately struck her was the pop of juxtaposition between Browder's work and the shop's own old-school gilt frames and ornate accommodations.
It brought to mind Murakami's groundbreaking show at Versailles where his colorful characters & works were housed within the confines of the institution's rigidly glamorous bourgeois-chic halls. Which made Selima chuckle and retort that "this is not Murakami, and we are not in Versailles." True, our Soho location obviously can't compare, but it does speak volumes on the kind of improvisational, felicitous nature that is central to Browder's work and left us curious about what she does. We sat down and created a short q&a for her, enjoy!
Q: How did you meet Selima & crew?
A: I met Selima at Silmo(optical show) in France about six years ago while working in Chicago at an optical shop that carried her line. Coincidentally, I was sporting a pair of her Liam frames...old school!
Q: What brought you to NYC?
A: After teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for six years, and selling eyewear on the side, I decided it was the time to make a move and see what NYC could offer me as a practicing artist. I had no idea what to expect and moved here without any plan. What I found was a fantastic community of creative people working on all levels of unique work. From eyewear to contemporary art, I found more and more people using every creative outlet they had to make a living and to create new and exciting artistic projects.
Q: What & who inspires your work?
A: As a kid I read a lot of comic books that I collected with my dad who blended R.Crumb, the Fabulous Freak Brothers and Donald Duck into one collection. Their bright colors and fantastical stories inspired me to cross the line between fantasy and reality. I wanted to make what we see as awe-inspiring and shocking into something real and tactile. Artists that inspire me include Louise Bourgeois, Mike Kelly, Jessica Stockholder and Polly Apfelbaum.
Q: Work wise, what's a dream goal/project?
A: My goal is to keep working big! Building facade installations are just a beginning! I enjoy working with local communities and connecting with people I might not have met via the art world. I'm also working on a new large-scale public art piece set to debut April 2012 in Brooklyn! I have a student from London who is coming to work with me in the Spring and we plan to construct a new public art piece together. I'm also looking forward to Lucky Magazine featuring my Logs and Fire in their winter issue!
Visit Browder's site for more info: www.amandabrowder.com