Visual artist and designer, Fawn Rogers, has gained much attention within the fashion world. Her work has been featured in major publications such as Elle, Glamour, Flaunt and now her “Visible Light” series is showing at HATCh Los Angeles. We got the amazing of opportunity to talk to her about the installation, her creative process and love for art.
Were did your love of art come from?
In my childhood I created sculpture, arranged objects, and painted abstract shapes in different colors because I didn’t feel like I could communicate well. I found that I could understand things better through making art. For me, art was and is communication. Also, I was alone in the world from a very early age and art took away the loneliness. I discovered Joseph Beuys and felt saved, nearly fainted the first time I saw a Monet in person. Man Ray, Modigliani, Dubuffet, Kahlo and many others became my family.
What is your earliest memory as an artist?
When I was four, I would take things from nature, like various stones and pods, and try to re-create them super enlarged because I thought they were the most beautiful things in the world. I was often disappointed with my efforts; nature itself was far more pleasing.
Please talk about your strong connection to nature and how it plays an integral role in your artistic work?
The Visible Light series (comprised of images of natural light substantially enlarged and not digitally enhanced) was especially connected to nature. A rediscovery of the immense awe that I had been taking for granted was important; it brought me back home. One thing that I learned during that time period is that nature will always prevail. When I slowed down and really used my eyes to see, playing responsibly in the material world became exciting instead of sad. Before that time, nature and humanity were two very separate worlds for me. Now, it’s not that the separation is more vast and defined, it’s the realization that everything is nature, including these material works that I’m creating.
We understand you have visited over 50 countries, which country artistically inspired you the most and why?
For me, each country is like a different room in my home. To step out of my own household, neighborhood, society, culture into another set of rules is immensely freeing in an imaginative sense. As a foreigner in many ways the rules we normally live by don’t apply; the whole world becomes your oyster. If I had to choose some elements: the color, gods, and dust of India, and the quiet, constantly perfecting nature of Japan – the dichotomy of those two, going from bare feet to heels. Going from India to Japan is a favorite culture shock of mine.
Please explain your creative process?
I usually begin with an internal place or question that I want to explore. A flood of ideas and images will come over a course of time. Then it’s about the work of cleaning up and choosing what is relevant, significant, and timeless, and finally executing. I’m interested in communicating that internal place in a way that is intellectually stimulating and hopefully beautiful and elegant to others.
Please can you tell us more about your installation at HATCh?
Jeannine Braden is really fantastic to work with. She’s a great example of someone who skillfully combines art and fashion. I’ve created eight works for installation at HATCh, six of which utilize a new technique with imagery from the Visible Light series on painted canvas. The other two are the first publicly shown paintings from my new body of work: “I LOVE YOU AND THAT MAKES ME GOD.”
What does it feel like to have your art hanging in a space full of clothing?
I’ve always been very drawn to non-traditional exhibition spaces. There’s an opportunity in the crossover of fashion and art that I find very exciting. Diane Von Furstenberg’s current exhibition at LACMA, while also sharing a showroom address with HATCh, is a great example. Karl Lagerfeld embraces unconfined artistry at a grand scale. Fashion and art are both forms of language and communication. I used to put my art on knits. Creating the perfect T-shirt is similar to creating a great canvas: the way a shoulder fits just right, the massive difference of a half inch beneath the arm, the way a neckline falls just so. It looks like something simple, but try making a great T-shirt. James Perse creates an exceptional T-shirt; I wear them regularly and am thrilled to have my art on his wall.
Any exciting projects coming up?
The new series, “I LOVE YOU AND THAT MAKES ME GOD,” is a three part project created for public exhibition. Thematically, the project explores a number of complex themes, including identity, power, and the embodiment of love. In a coalescence of private and public dialogue, the project encounters the beliefs we live by, with and without realization, and the unconscious frequency with which they surface, whether by intention or denial. The work is not concerned with the categorization of Love and God, but explores the proximity of Identity to these themes.