Saturday, 19 January 2013

Off The Wall

Amy Guidry
Surrealism with a View

A deer with various heads, beautiful butterflies on sun bleached bones and human heads on sharks, we explore the wonderful surrealist world of Amy Guidry...

RDC: It's great to finally meet you Amy, can you tell us where you're from and where you are living now please?

Thanks for having me. I spent most of my childhood in Slidell, Louisiana, which is a suburb of New Orleans.  After college, I moved to Lafayette, Louisiana, which is where I currently reside. 

RDC: What media do you use and are you a self taught artist?

My paintings are all acrylic on canvas.  I studied at Loyola University New Orleans where I received my bachelor's degree in Visual Art- Graphic Design.  

RDC: Could you explain your works to us, also it seems you relate to nature rather than the urban setting in your work, why is that?

I'll answer the second half of the question first- I've always had an interest in nature since I was a small child.  I had dogs which I adored, and I was always fascinated by animals.  By my very early twenties, I decided to become a vegan after much reading and watching numerous videos about the plight of animals in slaughterhouses.  I explore many issues through my work, especially our relationship with animals and the planet.  As an artist, I have the opportunity to connect with people through my paintings, and my art is a platform in which I can get people thinking, asking questions, and getting a dialogue rolling in hopes of making a positive change.

With that said, my latest body of work focuses solely on the life cycle and our role in it, and our connections to all other life forms.  Nature is a delicate balance of different species relying upon each other.  If one is removed, it has a domino effect on all other species.  As humans, we often view nature as a means to an end.  Animals are seen as pieces and parts- head, rump, wing, and so on.  They are no longer sentient beings but things we eat or wear or put on our walls.  While I have depicted this common view through animal heads or limbs no longer associated with their actual bodies, I have endowed them with personalities or traits that would be considered more "human" to emphasis their importance and do away with the notion that animals are less than humans.  For example, many animals have smaller, light coloured eyes as opposed to large, dark doe eyes.  Their faces are expressive or they evoke confidence.  Even if they are depicted in a state of distress, the animals featured have a strong presence.  

RDC: We would like to look at one painting in particular 'Vulnerable' (see pic below) and ask where the inspiration came from for this piece please?

In Vulnerable, I wanted to explore the concept of a new world emerging from our destruction, in which the predator becomes the prey.  As we pollute and pillage, and threaten the lives of others to near extinction, we forget that nature adapts to our destruction- sometimes at our expense. We take for granted our treatment of the planet, assuming we will always be the dominant species and neglecting to consider the ramifications of our ways. 


Sequence, acrylic on canvas, 6"w x 12"h

The Wild West, acrylic on canvas, 24"w x 30"h

RDC: What other forms of media have you tried and is there any you would like to try?

As a kid, I loved pastels and oil paint- anything really messy and possibly disastrous for a kid to use.  In college, I worked with various media and especially enjoyed charcoal, black and white photography, stone lithography, and of course, painting, though that was sole with oil paints at the time.  I've always been interested in animation, so that may be fun to try.

RDC: If you could make a major change in your life (past or present) what would it be?

I suppose we all wonder at times what our lives would be like if we did things differently, but I have to say that I'm happy with the way things are.  I've learnt a lot from my experiences and despite any challenges, I'm glad to have obtained the lessons.
'Generations' work in progress.

'Heads', acrylic on canvas, 20"w x 10"h

RDC: Have you got a favourite form of transport?

I'm going to have to go with my Jeep Wrangler.  It's my trusty, 12-year old vehicle and just big enough to fit paintings. 

RDC: Where can our reader's catch up with your work?

Group Exhibition, Gallery 549, Lafayette, LA, Dec. 1- Jan. 19, 2013
Invitational Exhibition, Zigler Art Museum, Jennings, LA, Feb. 16- Mar. 9, 2013
Viewpoints 2013, 

Aljira a Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ, Apr. 10- May 4, 2013

RDC: It was so great to meet you Amy, 'all the best' from all of us here at RDC and a big thanks for the chat.

Go to Amy's site... HERE 
Amy G on Facebook... HERE

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