We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Mendelsohn-Bass and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
Being an artist is not what I do, it’s who I am. Giving up on creating art would be denying my identity. I use painting as way to process the world around me and engage the viewer in a dialogue of interpretation. I communicate through bold imagery in order to create my own vibrant world. Luscious color and alluring figures are depicted with great detail to seduce the senses. I use realism as a means to expose the lack of reality in socially constructed norms. I am interested in society’s complex emotions around what we desire. Reality is often superficial where artificially alluring and nostalgically innocent context marks darker thought, ideas, and actions. I play on the usual tropes of mass marketing and vintage advertisements to explore the ways reality is obscured when presented as ostensibly attractive. I use art as a means to navigate pop culture in an era of “fake news”, social media and alternative facts where nothing is as it seems. Truth is fluid. Ideas, issues and events are routinely reframed to reinforce brand. Even daily life is depicted in a series of perfectly posed, edited, and filtered images on social media I translate this into canvases with bright candy colors and a facade of beautiful perfection. Edward Hopper once said, “If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint”, Painting is my voice and that is what keeps me going.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My biggest challenge so far has been navigating the art world during Covid. Like many artists my first thought was how to move forward, show new work, and connect without art galleries. Still, I continued to paint because that is what I do. That is how I cope. Despite the isolation and lack of stimulation, my art continued to evolve. I believe resilience and adaptability are keys to success. Long hours in the studio gave way to new ideas, new work and new ways of navigation todays changing art paradigm.
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?
There are so many little gems in Los Angeles. I would first check out the latest art show at Thinkspace Projects on Jefferson then head East to Ribtown for the best BBQ is Los Angeles. ArtBar LA in Mar Vista would be my evening destination for great art, music, live performances (when restrictions are lifted) and craft beer, It is truly an environment like no other! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate my shoutout to my parents for giving all the art supplies I desired as a child. Always encouraging when I’d explore the art section of Toys R Us, selecting an art project over a doll or toy. I’d like to give credit to Kristine Schomaker, founder of Shoebox PR and Art and Cake, for continued support, encouragement, and inviting me in to a community of amazing artists. through Kristine I found my tribe.
Thank you, LC Croskey for taking an artistic journey with me and being creative on our own terms.