Standard Goods Featured Artist: Camila Frey-Booth

Standard Goods Featured Artist: Camila Frey-Booth


We are excited to be hosting " S P E C T R U M " Solo Art Show by Camila Frey-Booth. Join Standard Goods' during Capitol Hill Art Walk January 11th 2018
+ Live Music by Biblioteka 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Bellingham artist Camila Frey-Booth's pixelated acrylic "Energy Paintings" imagine femme energetic force as dark and brooding yet vivid, complex and important. The work is intended to emanate positivity and confidence to those who feel isolated, meanwhile acknowledge strength in a time that feels politically foreboding and exhausting. Learn more about her process and creative background
in our interview below! 


What themes are influencing your work currently?

My current body of work - Energy Paintings- is motivated by the collective energy currently being generated by humans validating each other - particularly femme identity and experience. The revolution that’s happening right now regarding women & femmes coming forward with their stories of sexual assault... I feel that energy vibrating in our culture. Each new tragic story told by a celebrity or a friend adds to this energy. It’s shaking things up. We’re learning to support each other through the injustices and say, “no more!” The Energy Paintingsimagine a femme energetic force as dark and brooding yet vivid, complex and important.
Standard Goods featured artist, Seattle, Shop local, shop the hill standard goods, camila frey booth
Can you tell me a little about your process when starting a new piece?


I tend to make most conceptual decisions while I’m prepping canvases and painting. I have learned that I’m less likely to make work if I worry too much about the idea. For my current body of work, I stumbled into it through experimenting with paint and color. It wasn’t until my third painting that I knew they were about feminist strength. One day I walked into the studio and I was like, “Oh, I get it!” For this reason, I enjoy the preliminary time where nothing magical happens and I can be mechanical. However, every step of my preparatory process is intentional. I customize each piece down to the stretcher bars I use. I stretch my own canvases in my living room using a huge sheet of drop cloth from the hardware store and prime them with three layers of gesso. When I’m diligent, the preparation of five canvases will take 2-3 days before painting begins. I am constantly refining and streamlining my painting system to make it more efficient.

What is your artistic background? Did you study art?


Ceramics was my first medium. I was introduced to it in high school by one of my favorite teachers ever - Joey Powers-Kraves. She was the first adult in my life to ever talk to me like I wasn’t a kid. She was a pivotal person in my life. I studied ceramics up until 2014 when I began experimenting with other media and my work became more concept driven. In 2015, I earned my BFA in video art from Western Washington University. During that time I made a series of feminist performance videos called Ok, Cupidwhere I reimagined Loonette the clown from The Big Comfy Couch(a kids show from the 90s) navigating life in current day. In an attempt to grow up, Loonette searches for her soulmate online.Things get weird! Later in the year I founded the Dada-inspired art movement Noodlism and made a series of video installationsand bubble wrap art to accompany. Noodlism is defined as “the art movement that sees humor and contrariness in Western culture by producing art media marked by nonsense, travesty and noodles.” It was invented to demystify art and invite everyone into the art world. Noodlism was present in my drawing series #trendswhere reappropriated the # symbol to make abstract patterns and shapes. The movement has since evolved into a page where people submit Noodlism news stories and art. You can find that on Facebookand Instagram.


Do you ever find yourself uninspired to create, and if so, how do you get motivated again?


Inspiration doesn't motivate me - but deadlines do. Booking shows a couple months in advance, like my show S P E C T R U M at Standard Goods, requires me to make work. The store has a ton of wall space and I intend to fill it!
I love the quote by iconic performance artist and musician Yoko Ono: "I thought art was a verb, rather than a noun." For me, it means that art isn't a passive act. I don't believe I am gifted in any way - I just get up every day, put my fears aside and make work. If we don't show up for our craft, the work won't get done.

Favorite artists?


I’m following a few talented contemporary artists on Instagram: Richard Tinkler (@richardtinkler) and Todd Kelly (@fmsartst). Their intricate paintings motivated me to start the ​Energy Paintings​. The late Mike Kelley hugely inspired my work in my undergrad. He despised elitism in the art world and often worked with found objects such as stuffed animals. You might recognize his work from the Sonic Youth album ​Dirty​. Being an artist who works with vulnerable themes, I can relate to his rejection of high art. He was a badass.


How do you like to spend your time? Aside from your creative work.


I work fulltime as a sock designer for the brand ModSocks in Bellingham, WA. I absolutely love it - I make wearable art! Other than my day job and painting, my partner Bobby and I often indulge in pinball, pizza and beers. We’ve also been binge watching Seinfeld!
 

3 things you can't possibly live without?
    1. 1.)  My sketchbook. I often find myself dreaming up an idea and need to jot it down immediately. I’ll be in such a haste because I’ll worry that the idea will float away and I’ll never imagine it again. I once spent an entire year in my sketchbook never touching a paint brush. It wasn’t until the beginning of last year that I started seriously painting.
    2. 2.)  My 5-year-old flat faced kitty named Winnie. There is nothing that exists in the world that is softer than her white belly fur. She is fiercely independent and won’t eat a treat unless it’s butter.
    3. 3.)  At least 8 hours of sleep every night. My brain needs time to rest.

What do you want people to experience when they view your work?


The Energy Paintings were painted with the goal to emanate beauty, strength and positivity. My intention is always to connect with people through my work. However, the viewer is entitled to their own experience and I’m open to hearing about new interpretations. I often learn new things about my work from the hearing the viewer’s analysis. I’ve been told many times that people see birds in my work!? Especially in my color blocked abstract paintings, which I find funny. My mother is one of the top birders in the state so some of that might come through subconsciously. I come from a passionate family.


Where do you live? Any cool places we should check out?

I live in the sleepy town of Bellingham! If you’re ever up north check out ModSock and my favorite pinball bar called The Racket.


Anything else you'd like to share with us!?


Every few days I update my instagram story with tips from inside my studio! I love sharing and conversing with other artists. ​Follow & connect with me​! My Instagram is @camilafreybooth, my website is camilafreybooth.com

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