Interview by Monika Bullette
This will be Felise Luchansky's 4th year participating in Delaware Fun-A-Day. She was awarded the DDOA 2010 Emerging Artist in Visual Art: Works on Paper Fellowship. Her work ranges from photography to collage to installations to 3D assemblage - often containing ephemera, sundries, and even wax and seaglass. Thank you, Felise!
It's wonderful that you will be doing your fourth challenge with Delaware Fun-A-Day! Please give us a summary of your past 3 projects for Delaware Fun-A-Day.
The first project I did for Delaware Fun-A-Day was entitled “Conversations”. The seeds of this project began when I met Kendra Einstein at an art opening. We agreed that our cell phones had become our camera of choice. She showed me the Hipstamatic app and my phone camera became even better. I asked Kendra if she would be interested in creating a 30-day dialogue comprised of an image a day sent via text. Few words were written or spoken in this visual exchange. Upon receipt of an image, a new picture was sent back. The images in the dialogue were linked by theme or formal elements such as scale, form, point of view and color. All images were shot on our mobile phones and a “Fun” collaboration was born.
My second Fun-A-Day series showcased part of my ongoing project of photographing public pay phones all over the world with my Iphone. It speaks to my interest in outdated technology.
Last year, my project documented thrift store finds. I viewed this as a commentary on the huge volume and diversity of stuff no longer wanted or needed by its original owners.
Any advice for first time participants?
Remember it’s called “fun”. Have fun with it and don’t fall behind.
You studied Art History at Rutgers --- which period of Art History holds a special place in your heart and why?
Work from the Italian Renaissance. I was fortunate to spend a summer in Italy seeing the works in their intended settings. I love the narrative quality of the work and the stories they tell visually. The Giotto frescoes in the Arena Chapel in Padua and the soul crushing sadness evoked in The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden by Masacciao in the Brancacci Chapel still resonate with me.
Please describe your 2016 Delaware Fun-A-Day project. How are found objects and chance integral to your work?
This project will highlight my collection of found photos. My 2016 project relies heavily on serendipity. I enjoy juxtaposing narrative elements to create new stories. Since it’s only day 5 of the project, I’m sure things will change but I have lots of great raw material to share. The process is fluid.
There has been a lot of conversations and articles about purging in the last year (like Marie Kondo's best-selling "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing"). What are your thoughts on the minimal, decluttered, "does this thing bring me joy?" trend?
I am trying to downsize and cull through my stuff. In my opinion, the trend has shifted away from acquiring as people become burdened with too many things. Yet, objects are weighted with history and emotion and letting go can be difficult. I think asking the “question does it bring you joy?” is a good start. However, the next question may be, if this doesn’t what will (bring me joy) and that’s where it gets tough. That being said, it is liberating to shed some excess. I guess a carefully curated life is the ultimate goal.
You have been participating in the Sketchbook Project for several years. Please describe the SP and how it has been to share your work in this way?
I was so excited to participate in this crowdsourcing project. The project is managed by the Brooklyn Art Library. For a nominal fee the Sketchbook Project sends out a blank sketchbook to be completed and returned by a set deadline. The completed sketchbooks travel on tour in a mobile library. The library has predetermined set stops where the public can view the sketchbooks. The “card catalogue” is cross -referenced by the artist, title, and subject or theme. I was always thrilled when I was notified via email every time my book was checked out across the country. My sketchbook was viewed in San Francisco, NYC, Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, Los Angeles, Portland and Ontario. When the Mobile Library came to Philadelphia, I met the founders and got to view other sketchbooks from around the world. The inclusionary, democratic nature of the project really appealed to me. The work was good. It demonstrates that just like the Delaware Fun-A–Day, everyone has some creativity to share.
What is your favorite museum in the world?
As a building, I think the Guggenheim in Bilbao is an art cathedral. When I visited in 2007 works by Anselm Keifer and Richard Serra were on view. The Perez in Miami is beautifully cited and has a strong curatorial nod to Latin America.
When you are creating art, do you listen to music? If so, elaborate!
Lately, I’ve been letting Pandora choose for me. My Priscilla Ahn channel is my favorite. Her voice is angelic. I also like Fountains of Wayne. They are good storytellers and they speak of the New York metro area which is where I’m from. Also, I listen to audio books when I’m in the studio. Often a sentence read aloud will pop out as pure poetry. The title of My 2006 show at The Delaware Contemporary, “The Ache to Walk Under a Different Sky,” was taken from The Known World by Edward P. Jones.
Where we could check out more of your work? Please share your website or other upcoming shows:
I will have a solo show at the Newark Arts Alliance in January 2017.
My website is: www.feliseluchansky.com
You can see Felise's work at the Delaware Fun-A-Day Group Show at The Delaware Contemporary on February 5, 2016 - Facebook Event