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Quarantine Confidential: Mary Gibney

Are you ok? What are you doing to stay sane & ride out the quarantine?

Painting, walking, biking, reading Janis Joplin’s biography and Prince’s The Beautiful Ones, watching Netflix, petting my cats.

What’s your favorite disaster movie?

I’m not fond of disaster movies, although the upside down scenes in the Poseidon Adventure had some wonderful campy moments.

Who or what has had the biggest influence on your career/work?

College art influences were Richard Diebenkorn’s roomscapes and Georgio Morandi’s vases/bottles. Alice Neel’s unflinching portraits perhaps.

Best art show you’ve seen this past decade and where?

Too many to choose from, but some highlights:

I adored the Os Gemenos immersive installation at Lehmann Maupin by twin Brazilian street artists Otavio Pandolfo and Gustavo Pandolfo.

Ragnar Kjartansson’s video/sound installation, The Visitors, with its hypnotic music and images.

The Keeper at the New Museum – overwhelmingly wonderful. Artists revealed through the objects they created, gathered, kept, preserved. Also my first Hilma av Klimt revelation.

Anything at the quirky, tiny Museumm, housed in a former elevator shaft in NYC’s Chinatown neighborhood.

What are you working on right now?

I tend to jump around in the studio from one idea to the next, starting new projects on a whim. Right now I’m making some little clay heads (I’m not a ceramicist, so very much DIY), working on a series of cut-out faces/heads on canvas, paintings all in various degrees of progress, altering pages from a 1960 Wards catalog (men in underwear), brushy paintings of vintage strongmen and bodybuilders on old mailing envelopes, making some little objects from cutout sheet metal, and revisiting faces from the Terminal Bar, 1980s NYC. I love the freedom of following any new idea that pops into my head.

What is your porn star name? (First pet, mothers maiden name)

Using my childhood address: Smokey Gray 25th Ave South

If you could pick a museum to break into and steal one painting, where and what?

I would need a moving truck but I want the Frankfurt kitchen from Mia! Just to admire. Or a wall of retablos/ex-voto paintings - folk art paintings thanking the saints for their divine intervention in a personal disaster.

Mary Gibney is a Minneapolis artist working with painting, drawing, collage and assemblages of objects. She creates visual environments, often using recycled materials to make something new, and loves the impact of a wall of artistic handmade clutter.


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