We asked Marion Peck the following 7 questions because we think she's a good artist and we really wanted to hear her answers. An incredibly fun exhibition of Marion's paintings, titled Animals, is on view at Michael Kohn Projects in Los Angeles through April 27, 2013. Don't miss it!
1. What is your connection to Los Angeles?
I moved here for the love of Mark Ryden, who later became my husband. I was living very happily in Seattle when I met Mark. He was on a trip up there to lay the groundwork for his Wondertoonel exhibition at the Frye Art Museum. I had never in a million years thought that I would move to LA. I love the Northwest, but Mark was worth it. I took me a long time to adjust, but I have slowly come to love and respect LA. It is a uniquely modern, culturally important, vital, fun place.
2. Name a living painter that you admire.
Well, Mark. Besides him, I am blown away by Neo Rauch. When I saw his show at the Metropolitan several years ago, I just couldn't even believe how great it was. He is able to reproduce the actual feeling of the unconscious, the weird things that happen in dreams, better than anybody else I've seen. And he can paint and draw incredibly well.
|Marion Peck, Fish and Bird, 2012, oil on canvas, 11 x 14 inches at Michael Kohn Projects|
3. Name a dead painter that you admire.
There are so many of the dead that I admire, it's hard to choose. One springs to mind, though: Watteau. He did those beautiful landscapes with ladies and clowns picnicking and playing guitars and such in the 1700's. There is something about his strange use of space, his combination of flatness and depth that fascinates me. And there is such and incredible atmospheric quality in them, something semi-magical. Come to think of it, these are similar to the qualities I admire in Neo Rauch. But Rauch's are big and bold, Watteau's quiet and small.
4. How much did you sell your first painting for?
I think $200, to friends of my parents, while I was in art school.
5. Of the paintings you have made, which is your favorite?
Aaaaagh. Hmmm. This is hard. I could talk about which paintings were important, or which ones I think are more successful, but picking a favorite doesn't seem like something I can do. It's like picking what day of your life was your favorite day. You think, oh that one! But maybe that one? Or was it that one?
6. LACMA, MOCA, Getty, or Hammer?
It is fun to go to the Getty, it's nice to be up high like that. They and LACMA both have nice permanent collections. I guess, though, that I am most fond of my local museums, the Norton Simon and the Huntington. They are good places to go when I've squeezed out all my creative juices and need to juice back up.
|Marion Peck, Horsey, 2012, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches at Michael Kohn Projects|
|Marion Peck, Sick Kitten, 2012, oil on canvas, 24 x 32 inches at Michael Kohn Projects|
7. Why make paintings?
You make paintings because you long to have that thing exist. It is a strange and ancient activity, a kind of magical fetish-making. You are making a world, a reality for others to come visit. Paintings made by human hands have a subtle but deep fascination. People are always interested in them, despite the sea of images we swim in in this modern world. I think painting has incredible power, that it always has and always will.
|Marion Peck, Wabbit, 2012, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches at Michael Kohn Projects|
|Marion Peck, Sad Pig, 2013, oil on canvas, 9 x 12 inches at Michael Kohn Projects|
(Image at top: Marion Peck, Hamster in the Grass, 2012, oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches, at Michael Kohn Projects)