We had the good fortune of connecting with Niccola DeVereaux and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Niccola, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is a moving target, different for ever individual. Their is a risk in choosing to be an artist in the US and in running one’s own business however I also see risk in doing something common. The risk of inaction or the risk or making too many risk assessments has always been a constant fear of mine. Their is always a horrible possibility and an ideal situation in every moment and the chips will fall whether the dice are thrown or not. Although I embrace the risk of going for goal I practice a great deal of risk mitigation. I have always had insurance, license, and anything else that might be required to carry out my work. I set up a demo in my studio before I show my work and make sure I have what I need. The only real risk is what I make. Luckily the risk of what to make work about is for me very engaging. In my work I take one risk in particular, I find ways to disrupt my own making process such as pouring bleach on a painting just when I would like to call it done, just to see if something interesting happens. Another way I use risk is in the subject matter of a work. Subject matter can have a lot of risk involved. This is an area that I struggle with most, I hate the idea of upsetting someone, I never want to cause harm or anguish, although this can happen. In my work I use religious symbols and political symbols at time to fully realize a work and that has a risk both for my well-being and the success of a work to meet my intention. I find I am much more happy when I included risk and if the risk was too low I end up feeling unsatisfied and unimpressed.
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.
The art I make is somewhat autobiographical but not about me as an individual. My work focus more on the experience living in the US. My own experience is of falling through the cracks so to speak or social blind spots perhaps. I remember my mom trying to get food stamps after my father abandoned our family, something many experience unfortunately. However we were told by the food stamp clerk that because he had only been gone a year he could come back so they couldn’t give us assistance. This is why references to bureaucracy enter my work but I don’t include the personal food stamp issue I had when I was a child. I feature subjects that are part of everyday life that exists in the peripheral beyond the sublime of willful ignorance.
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 love the LACMA and I take everyone there. After that Mt. Baldy to the summit, easy walk, only about 3 to 5 hours, excellent view.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife Margaux DeVereaux is my best friend and we share a studio together. I enjoy reading foucault and playing guitar.
Niccola DeVereaux Acrylic and Foam on Canvas