AS IS | Carol Prusa

Artist

From Chicago, IL, US

Based in Asheville, NC, US


Carol creates abstract, symbolically charged works that tend to explore liminal spaces, the horizons of what is known and that which is beyond them. She employs a wide array of materials and techniques, from fiberglass to resin and metals, with her staple technique being metalpoint


A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?

C: When I was young, I would look out my bedroom window over my neighbor’s roof at the night sky and try and envision what there was before there was something. Initially I pursued answering that question by studying in the sciences at the University of Illinois but transferred to art because I wanted to communicate my breathlessness at the vastness and overwhelming fecundity of life. I remain interested in the strange beauty of being alive. Ideas that expand our understanding of our universe, pushing limits of seeing (like the Webb Telescope), propel me forward in my work. I seek to give form to thin spaces that evoke the dark matter that both surrounds and binds us together, reaching back to the beginning. As Mary Oliver beautifully wrote in Upstream, “[Art's] concern is the edge, and the making of a form out of the formlessness that is beyond the edge.”

A: What inspires you the most?


C: I remain inspired by ideas that push the limits of what we know, primarily from cosmologists working at the edge of what is known and conjuring theories of everything.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working(creating)?

C: To clear my mind to focus on my work I have a beautiful ceramic bell from Japan that has a long tone. I use that to signal letting go of daily life, my to-do list, and focus solely on being in my studio with my work.

A: What would you recommend to someone who's new to art (whether artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?


C: Making art is the hardest job you will ever love. To be an artist requires rigorous discipline, passion and persistence. But if you are true to yourself and make what you need to see and live with you can live fully without regret. As an artist, every day is a challenge to rise to what I sense within me and give it form. I don’t try to make what people will like and hope to put the work together in a way that has never been seen before.

A: What are your three favorite adjectives related to art?

C: Sublime, resonant, generous.



A: The best angle to look at art is from ...?

C: The best angle to look at art is from an open engagement to what you find compelling, strange and difficult – a beautiful unsettling.

A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: ...?

C: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is to talk about what you recently experienced in art. And then go on to express what it was about that artwork specifically that made you respond. Did it change how you breathe?

A: Must-read books to help us talk about art (or do we even need them)?

C: Books are very personal. What meets the needs of one person isn’t compelling to another. My reading is wide-ranging from poetry and physics to books about art. Theory of art and philosophy of art interests me and a book that I recently re-read was A Theory of /Cloud/- Toward a History of Painting by Hubert Damisch. A book I recommend people read if they are interested in understanding our universe is Mapping the Heavens; The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos by Priyamvada Natarajan.

A: If you could change one thing in the art world - what would it be?

C: I would prefer an art world where locally, artists are better supported and less market resources go to the few – that art that is promoted and given visibility is less market-driven.

A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art):

C: "All is full of what is." - Parmenides (2500 years ago)


Thank you!


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