We had the good fortune of connecting with Roni Feldman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Roni, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
To be happy and at peace! Many years ago, a friend of mine obtained some letters from a very famous writer. They were written just a few months before they passed away at a ripe old age. In these letters, the author bemoaned how they couldn’t get a novel turned in to a movie and how they still had to hustle for every achievement and smidgeon of recognition. I learned from this that accolades and fame are fickle and never satiating as there is always a higher peak to be climbed. I will always keep climbing, but that’s because I enjoy the climb. I love coming up with new ideas and the almost meditative act of bringing them to fruition. I love seeing others make my paintings a part of their lives. At the end of my career, I hope to feel that I lived freely, bravely, kindly, and wisely. Regardless of the amount of outward success I achieve, I will make art I believe in, that continually pushes its boundaries to better evoke the qualities, ideas, and experiences I want to share with the world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Ever since seeing Whistler’s Symphony in White in a college lecture on white on white paintings, I have been fascinated by artwork that conveys both presence and absence, the physical and metaphysical, or transcendence and imminence. Over the last two decades, I have used many different methods to push my imagery to the edges of what is visible. I have painted with soft and wispy edges, juxtaposed intensely contrasting colors that vibrate the retina, worked with varnish on matte surfaces, and hidden imagery amid wild sprays of gestural marks. After years of experimentation, I finally figured out how to make my own symphony in white. This year, I began working with very specific silver and white paints. I have developed a unique effect that makes them transform with light and viewpoint. My shimmering paintings of clouds, waves, and other transformative natural phenomena are subtle and abstract from some angles, but they come alive as viewers walk before them or sunlight from nearby windows changes throughout the day. The scenes are grand or even sublime, but the luminescence, soft edged paint, and transient iridescent quality inspire peaceful contemplation.
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?
Most people who visit LA tend to spend their time in the city, visiting the Venice Boardwalk, Getty, Hollywood, Disneyland, the old Fairfax market, and so forth. All of that is great, but this city also has terrific access to nature. I love taking visitors on the Eagle Rock Trail in Topanga State Park. My guests are wowed by the stunning views down to the coast and the abundance of wildlife. It’s not at all what most people think of when they imagine LA, but our beautiful, oak lined trails are one of the best parts of living here and a refreshing change of pace from a normally urban tour. Wrap up the hike with a sunset Thai meal at Cholada’s garden patio, and you’ll have a very memorable day! If you don’t have the time or transportation to get all the way out to Topanga, Griffith Park is full of fabulous trails. I love taking people up to the observatory and Mt. Hollywood. The neighborhoods below are full of excellent restaurants such as Green Leaves, Elf Cafe, and Little Pine. If you’re over on the Westside, try to find the Venice canals, for which the city is named. They are an often overlooked gem, but are one of the most charming parts of LA. I grew up in LA and didn’t know about them until I was in my twenties. Nearby are Abbott Kinney and Main Street which have great places to eat such as Butcher’s Daughter and Thai Vegan.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife, Caroline Miller, who is an incredibly clever person. Her humor and infinite creativity are always on display whether she is making drawings, producing videos, or just trying to make her friends, family, and co-workers laugh. I wouldn’t be making the work I am without her brilliant insight, support, and critique.