We had the good fortune of connecting with Virginia Katz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Virginia, how does your business help the community?
Social Impact: how does your business help the community or the world?
The intent behind my art work is to communicate our deep connection to the environment through association. Through a range of painting media, I hope to achieve in the viewer a heightened awareness and response to the environment that elicits a more nurturing view toward it. I believe that a reevaluation of our relationship to our shared landscape is one of the most important considerations of our time.
I work with a range of painting media, technique, and imagery to create metaphorical relationships between natural events and scenes in the environment and our lives. Since we are entirely dependent on the landscape for our survival, we share in its state of well-being whatever that condition may be.
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.
“Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about?”
My approach to painting is conceptually-driven and process based. Using specific methods and materials that are closely related to the content of the work, I investigated landscape “form” from the invisible, such as wind and decay, to the tangible through painting and drawing. Currently, I am focused on three bodies of paintings: Relief paintings and Interventions, Mixed Media Prints, and transparent Watercolors. All address natural form through painting in characteristic ways.
The relief paintings bring actual three-dimensional form that is our world to a painted scene. By working with the drying time of the paint and building up inches-thick, hand-formed acrylic paint, these forms mimic those found in the landscape, such as leaves, vines, flowers rocks and earth. After the forms have been created in the studio, I implant them into the landscape during Interventions, when I allow them to mingle with the environment. After a time, all of the paint forms are retrieved and readapted into paintings on panel or other supports.
In the prints, I use found natural materials in the making process and their forms become embedded into the paper called “debossing.”
The transparent watercolors represent the natural form found in the landscape that is ephemeral or on the verge of materialization or dissipation.
These replicas of land formations and plant life in paint are meant to imply our entanglement with the environment through integration and cycles of decay and regeneration. Paint “becomes” the landscape itself and landscape painting is united with its source. Another way to experience the landscape may be through the lens of painting.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since many of my friends are artists, I would take them to visit the Museums within the Los Angeles area, as well as Long Beach and Orange County. Most of them have really nice and fun dining areas that are great places to refuel and refresh. I would also take them to visit the local art galleries since Los Angeles is an important art center, it would give them a good idea of the distinct work being made and shown here. In addition, I would take them to visit some of the unique landscapes in Southern California, the ocean, the desert and the mountains.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many I think of daily who inspire me. To name a few since the pandemic, The Brooklyn Rail has offered daily lunchtime conversations (brooklynrail.org) that have been a wonderful way to remain connected with artists and art related topics. I’ve also benefited from many of the LA Museums on-line programming and panels from The Hammer Museum, MOCA, ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art), Long Beach Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art, and the LA County Museum of Art. There are also membership programs that have been great resources such as ecoartspace.org and Ann Landi’s Vasari21 Zoom series.
Facebook: Virginia Katz