We had the good fortune of connecting with Deanna Sirlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deanna, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The life and process of being an artist is foremost about risk; without risk, without leaping into the void, there is no art.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work as a painter and site artist revolves around color and light. My art is a kind of a palimpsest. Translucent strata of color overlaid on the grid create different compositions that both echo and are in tension with the regularity of the grid. These layers of color suggest the experience of moving through the city in multiple directions that exceed the underlying structure along different paths and at different times. The grid outlines possible trajectories for these paths, but actual experience is not confined to these possibilities. These artworks address the notion of place through abstraction paired with intense saturated color. The underlying composition is in plan view, the grid defining city streets as seen from above. Its geometry and rectangular forms are my visualization of streets and intersections the color leading the viewer in movement.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite parts of the city are the places that have an individual presence, from art to food. When a friend comes to town my go-to places to eat are Star Provisions, Fox Bros BBQ and The Buckhead Diner. For art, it is often The High Museum of Art, The Contemporary and the Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
In 2012 I was feeling that it was very difficult to be be recognized as a woman artist. I decided to contact and visit women artists whose work I knew about when I was a young art student in college and who had influenced my thinking about art. My criterion was that these artists had to be still working. I began by visiting these artists in their studios and found our conversations about art and life to to be very meaningful to me. I had a writing mentor, the great author Hayden Herrera through a grant with the Creative Capital Foundation. With Herrera’s encouragement, I wrote a book about these studio visits which was published by Charta Books of Milan, Italy and New York in 2013. The book, She’s Got What It Takes: American Women Artists in Dialogue, was about my visits and conversations with artists Jennifer Bartlett, Louise Fishman, Jane Freilicher, Joyce Kozloff, Elaine Reichek, Joan Snyder, Pat Steir, Ursula von Rydingsvard. Betty Woodman, Gail Foster and Tom Swanston. The artists have been a great inspiration to me for which I am very grateful.
photos: Sofia Colaço Francisco Pereira Gomes