We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Lindeman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I value risk taking in a big way. I think risk taking is essential in maintaining a kind of creative freedom and even in developing and expanding my capabilities as a human being. Risk taking is basically facing the unknown. As an artists I find no point in creating what is known over and over again. To push any kind of medium or field forward whether it be art or science I think it is necessary to learn to thrive in the unknown, to be okay with simply exploring, and to take big risks. I am at a point (perhaps even a “brink”) in my life and career where I have to take what feels like very big risks. I understand the the psychology that is involved in facing fears around risks and in maintaining a kind of belief system that will carry you through the risky decision. One must develop a profound sense of trust in oneself and in one’s environment. On the other side of the risk is always more knowledge, hopefully more advancement. and certainly more freedom.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what might be unique about my work is the particular way I attempt to make visual meaning and the fact that I use hormones in my art practice. My background is in painting but I have always made paintings that attempt to push painting as a medium to function at its utmost. This sometimes requires making things that are less painting like, and this is certainly the place where working with literal hormones has entered my painting and art practice.
When I was young my nuclear family wasn’t particularly into art. My father was a pilot in the Air Force and my mother was a nurse. They were both very intelligent and creative people but pursuing something as ambiguous as art as a career path wasn’t something they could provide any kind of map for. So from an early age (and with the help of an aunt who was particularly artistic) I had to make my own map and follow my own path. I think my up bringing which valued a kind of discipline, reason, and logic certainly later affected my need for ascpets of science to enter my art practice. As a human I would say I am very emotional, intuitive, and a non-linear thinker. This is all a kind of antithesis to science and so-called reason and logic. However using hormones and working with scientists fulfills a need to be literal and to have something like “facts” exist within my otherwise very emotional art and meaning making practice. I might even go as far as to say that a kind of science has entered my art practice in efforts to be seen and validated by my father, or perhaps my father’s voice in my own head.
The hormone I use in my work is called oxytocin. I mix the molecule into paint and I use vials of the hormones in various arrangements and encasements. This hormone is sometimes referred to as a female hormone however all humans have it pulsing thought heir bodies. It is what allows feelings of trust and bonding to be experienced. For me this hormone is the tangible evidence of various intangible feelings and functioned like the “facts” behind feeling-based experiences.
I think the one thing that has aloud me to get to where I am today is really just believing in what I am doing. It has certainly been hard both financially and emotionally at times. But I found that my life would be more difficult, certainly less balanced and whole if I stoped making art. So I just keep making art. I have found that it’s through art (whether it be the making of or the experiencing of) that I deeply engage with my own life and with others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would center a trip for visitors around experiencing the community and culture that makes up Los Ángeles.
In terms of food culture I think picking up street tacos at some point is a must. There’s a new taco spot that popped up near Sunset Blvd. and Bellevue Ave. on the edge of Echo Park. It’s not Guisados, which is delicious and some what established. This spot in contrast, is a little more home grown. It might not have a name. The homemade tortillas are delicious. And this operation currently offers the best tacos al Pastor in LA, in my opinion.
I would also attempt to schedule a Tongva language lesson with linguist Pam Munro in San Pedro during a visit to LA. She may offer drop in lessons or a series of lessons that include a hike/walk and talking nature tour. LA is developed on Tongva land. The Tongva people may have referred to themselves as Kizh, which also means home. This indigenous culture is the heart and the mother of the land on which I live. It’s such a rich culture, learning a bit about the language is one way to access and honor the traditions of the original people of so called Los Ángeles.
A night dancing, a morning hiking, and a beach day would definitely be required for an LA visit with me as well. Morning hikes in Griffith Park are super nice. On clear days you can see the ocean and on the smoggiest days you can at least see the Hollywood sign. Elysian park is one of my favorite place to hike. It’s winding trails are just gorgeous and offer beautiful views of downtown and the Dodger Stadium. In terms of dancing I would check out where my friend Max V. is dj-ing. or swing by The Short Stop for an easy and casual night or La Descarga a little more committed night out salsa dancing, For a beach day I suggest having a classic Venice Beach experience.
I would defiantly check out a few of the many art galleries and museums in LA as well. They are scattered in so many different areas and neighborhoods, visiting few of them can take you on a pretty thorough tour of the whole city. The creative community in LA is so active and progressive seeing what they are up too can also be fairly mind blowing and/or enlightening. I suggest checking out The Pit, David Kordansky Gallery, Nino Mier Gallery, Ochi Projects, Odd Ark LA, Bozo Mag, The Underground Museum, Night Gallery, The Hammer, Museum, MOCA, LACAM, and the Vincent Price Art Museum in East LA. I know that’s so many! I suggest devoting 2 days to visiting art galleries. It’s also a fun thing to work into your day while heading to the beach or downtown for a dinner if you want to take a more casual approach to your art viewing experiences.. While visiting the galleries I definitely suggest breaking through any kind of perceived social hierarchy and asking whatever questions you may have about the art to the gallery assistants or docents. Having conversations and connecting with people around art is what makes it truly powerful. Art becomes even more unusual when it’s a shared experience.
Lastly, I would convince one of my friends or my brother to have a pool party! If you have access to a pool while in LA you gotta make a party around it!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have worked with internationally recognized artists like Laura Owens and John Baldessari. These artists have created great success for themselves but they have also helped guid and nurtured so many other young artists.. With out their examples I would not have necessarily known what is capable for myself.
Recently friends and colleagues who have supported me and my work included Lauren Lavitt and Erik Hanson who run HannaH Hanson Gallery as well as Doug Crocco who runs the gallery Big Pictures Los Angeles. These individuals are so full of creativity, tenacity, and love for what they do. It is incredible to see and feel how their expansive energy can help lift and carry those around them.
I’d also like to give a shout out to my close friends and family who on a daily basis provide me with the inspiration and various outlets to keep living creatively and to keep making art.
Portrait collaboration with photographer Miriam Brummel, Instagram: @miriambrummel Images of art work by photographer Carlos Nuñez, Instagram: @nunextrip