Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Studio Visit: Heather Guertin

Heather Guertin’s studio is a relatively small part of a large, developing building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Though the space was small, all 20-some-odd of us managed to come in, take a look at her paintings, and then sit down. After a bit of introduction, we were able to get a taste of a new career she is pursuing – stand-up comedy. Though a little slow in the set up, Heather eventually reeled us in with her satire on painting culture, and a short excerpt from a novella written by her that, I have to say, was quite amusing.

Using actual paintings of hers in the act led some people to question whether this discounted value in her painting – bringing the paintings from art-objects to stage props. At the time I welcomed the interpretation of her art, even if meant to be humorous. Looking back on it, bringing our attention to these paintings during a performance Gave them, and all of her other paintings the context of her comedy interest and really, any topics that she may be interested in as a comedian. Considering their subject matter was abstraction, I was grateful for this hint and appreciated them more as artworks because of it.

Aside from showing us her work, she talked a lot about how she acquired things necessary for her career, such as the studio space, and her current job as an artist’s assistant. Having the chance to meet her and hear what she had to say was a great learning experience on our trip. It made me think about the possibilities that exist after art school in order to advance myself in my interests.

Here is a clip of the same routine she shared with us:

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