We had the good fortune of connecting with Stacy Dacheux and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stacy, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I love the quote on Johnny Ramone’s grave in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery— “If a man can tell if he’s been successful in his life by having great friends, then I have been very successful.” As a woman, I feel the same way. I’m attracted to the arts not just because I love making things, but also because I love being around a wide array of creatives who challenge and inspire me. I want the eccentrics, quiet or loud, in my life. I want to support them as much as I want to paint or draw or write. My creative community is the reason why I keep going.
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 write essays, draw, and paint. I’m also exploring film. I always want my projects to bring me somewhere new. I’m so grateful for Shauna McGarry who introduced me to Paolo and Lisa at the Echo Park Film Center. They love what they do and it’s very apparent in that space, which is warm and encouraging. Their eco-processing class is fantastic. A few years ago, I received a grant from the center with support from the Andy Warhol Foundation to shoot and splice a Super 8 film, which was all new to me. I felt so overwhelmed with my newborn, it would have been easy to stop making work, but Shauna and the Film Center gave me a reason to keep going. I don’t take that lightly. They helped me get out of the house and feel like an artist. I was able to take that film and screen it in Portland, San Francisco, Alabama, and North Carolina which means they also gave me the gift of being exposed to work and people I would never have met otherwise. It was like a rewiring of my brain.
Overall, I’d say, what threads my body of work together would have to be this act of investigating the lives of others and weaving their narratives into my own– searching for connection, meaning, and movement. I also do a series of private commissions where I take personal artifacts (like datebook excerpts, sonograms, poems, or handwritten notes from people who have passed) and translate them into abstract paintings for people’s homes. In a way, it feels very emotional, like a form of care. I was a caregiver for terminally ill people in my 20s and much of that experience has shaped how I feel about making art. What’s that quote by Ram Dass– “We’re all just walking each other home.” These commissions feel like that. Together, we are both looking for a certain kind of sight. I don’t know. Maybe I’m also an artisan? Basically, I want to make things for specific people and I want this making to have an emotional function for both of us.
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 having a reason to go somewhere, but I also love taking the longest most meandering route possible to get there. One of my favorite days of 2019 included me taking the subway, walking around aimlessly, and sharing conversation with a couple randos before meeting up with my amazing artist pal Kate Johnson at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery. There, we saw Judy Chicago exhibit. We bought matching sweatshirts. We had a great lunch at Nancy Silverton’s La Brea Bakery. We talked about art-making, wood-working, bread-making, our periods and babies. Kate is such a great conversationalist. She always brings confidence and gusto to whatever project she’s dreaming up– it’s inspiring. I want to do it again.
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?
This has been such a difficult year and we’ve been lifted up by so many wonderful friends. It’s hard to narrow it down. I know for sure my family could not have gotten through the summer without the support of our friends– artist Carol Richards and director Tom Cherones, both of whom let us stay at their house in New Mexico during the wildfires. They never seemed inconvenienced, which meant a lot to me. Tom is always so generous and full of fun Hollywood stories. I adore Carol’s photographs of birds and how she takes such good care of her friends and family– savoring the details. She nurtures my craft in such a calming way. For Christmas, she gave me this book The Beauty of Everyday Things by Soetsu Yanagi, a folk-craft pioneer. It’s about deepening your relationship with objects and this is very Carol to me. Their house is full of special stuff, but it’s not about what’s on display, it’s about touch– sharing personal histories and practical use– how there is meaning in function.
picture of the artist courtesy of Allan McLeod.