We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Lowe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I think of giving up as an integral part of art making. You fail, you lose yourself and then you make something anew. Samuel Beckett said in The Unnamable : “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” That’s the growing part. One continues the search and hopefully finds inspiration, or finds that there is nothing and accepting that. Go on. That is also what your viewers experience. They can sense where you’ve been. The underpin for this is honesty and probably some genuine love for the entire effort. I usually try three times and if it is clear to me that my exploration is tricked up or trite, I generally abandon it, or save it later for collages. Sometimes it’s hard to face, especially if you have invested days and materials on it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I make lenticulars which are interactive artworks, allowing viewers to see animation, morphing, 3-D and other optical effects. I have been making them since around 2005, mostly self-taught, and at that time I only knew two fine artists working with lenticular lenses in L.A. There were a variety of sign makers and commercial works. I studied, researched and found a way to purchase my own lenses and it was a great adventure. Today you will see many fine artists working with lenticular (at very high prices) and I am fortunate to be in a group of experts and artists in the field. At the moment I am eager to combine all the lenticular techniques to make pictures, as you would with paint techniques on canvas. I feel free with the medium and I can sometimes predict results, but it took many years to get where I am today! …many prints torn up and many scratched lens plates. I have recently combined collage, assemblage and ink painting with the optical effects of lenticular. My work is unique, in my humble opinion, in that I still consider myself a painter, which is where it all began, while most lenticular artists are great photographers. I hope to continue to explore and to learn from others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would begin with a walk/hike in Griffith Park. It’s my favorite spot in L.A. Then go to The Chimney on N. Main for conversation and coffee, head to my studio, Keystone Art Space, for a personal tour, where you will see many great artworks and artists at work. Get a snack at Lanza’s on North Main Street. Check out a show at the Hammer, Getty or other museum. Maybe bop over to John O’Groats on Pico Blvd. for lunch and check out some gallery shows (It all depends on what they are showing.) on La Brea. Get down to the beach, have a nice drink and long walk by the ocean. I love to see live theatre and there is great music happening all over L.A. Also it would be fun to visit/view some of the good architecture still standing.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this to Tesi Treuenfels, who continues to be a loyal friend and who can make me laugh at the sound of a funny word.
Portrait of me walking by LACMA wall: Tesi Treuenfels