Sloane Solley is an artist currently living, working, and receiving her MFA in New York, NY. After graduating in 2012 at the University of North Texas with a BFA in Painting and Drawing, Shana has developed a fairly large, cohesive body of work, based around the investigation of the plasticity of form, the documentation of which, she explored through mark making.
Tell me a little bit about when and how you first established an interest in making art.
I can’t remember not making art. Some of my earliest memories are drawing in my sketchbook in the back of my parents Honda Odyssey on our way to the gallery. My family owned two contemporary art galleries when I was growing up. The shipping room was my “office”. I would sit back there all day making elaborate sculptures out of discarded packing materials. At some point, around when I was 7 or 8, my mom bought me a computer program that I used to make what I guess were my first digital paintings. She would print them out, frame them and hang them in the gallery.
You are originally from California correct? I was curious, what contemporary art galleries did your family own?
I was born in L.A. but I grew up in Austin, TX. The Galleries were in Austin. One was a contemporary craft gallery called Artisans and the other was a fine art gallery called Sloane-Jordan. They closed in 2002.
In knowing that you were constantly surrounded by contemporary artwork growing up, would you say other artists, movements, or experiences have had an influence in your art practice? If so, what are some of your past as well as current inspirations?
Since working around the Rachofsky Collection for the past couple of years I’ve been in close proximity to the Gutai, Mono-ha and Arte Povera work. This definitely influenced the trajectory of my practice throughout undergrad, specifically, a consideration of my role in the painting process and a sensitivity to materials.
Currently, since beginning grad school in New York City, I am inundated with so much art everyday, in class and in life, that I am not yet sure what has sunken in. I had the pleasure of having a studio visit with Kerstin Brätsch, who I think is really rad. Jutta Koether is another one of my favorites. I can also say that I have been reading a lot of Kathy Acker over the past year and sometimes I notice her influence on my writing and art.
The moment paper is created, it begins transforming into an artifact, or a vestige of every force that acts upon it — gravity, humidity and the hand of the artist…
Can you tell me a little bit about your previous body of work up until most recently? What were your intentions and goals with such abstract expressions? Use in mediums?
By the end of my undergrad I developed a fairly large, cohesive body of work, based around the investigation of the plasticity of form, the documentation of which, I explored through mark making. I would do things like, project light from behind myself and paint my continuously moving shadow that cast across the paper in front of me. It was all really physical and direct. As far as medium/media is concerned.. I work a lot with wet and dry media (anything that can make a mark). Paper was a natural choice, because of its associations with documentation and its malleability. The moment paper is created, it begins transforming into an artifact, or a vestige of every force that acts upon it — gravity, humidity and the hand of the artist. My current work still reflects some of these ideas, and I often work on paper, but things are changing a lot.
Last time we spoke, you told me that you are in a transitional phase. What do you think is currently changing in how you make and perceive your art?
My previous work dealt with history and documentation in a physical way that was specific to mark making, which is what I am working against now. I am still dealing with a lot of the same ideas, just in a more expansive multidisciplinary way. I’ve been digging through old photos and videos, using objects that may have a nostalgic quality or reference a private history and incorporating them within my painting practice.
Have you read, watched, or listened to anything interesting lately?
I recently got ahold of a copy of the manuscript of my father’s novel, so I am working through reading that. It’s taken me until now to gather the nerve to do so (he died when I was a kid). It’s the story of him, the only white guy playing on an all black baseball team in Lubbock, Texas in the 1940s. I am also reading “I Love Dick”, Chris Kraus’ first novel, it’s really great… Music wise… I’ve been listening a lot to Eric Copeland’s latest album “Joke in the Hole”… and like everyone else, I am super in love with FKA Twigs. She is so sexy.
Last modified: May 9, 2015