Back
HDK_OpenCall_PositionforProfessor.

Being a surrealist helps me explore and dance in the energy of the interconnectedness of all things. Betsy Youngquist interviewed by Patina Gallery

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 16.10.2018
Portrait of the Artist with Caribou Woman, 2014. Portrait of the Artist with Caribou Woman, 2014.
Author:
Patina Gallery
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2018
Betsy Youngquist. Sculpture: Lost Rider, 2014 and 2018. Antique human glass eyes, antique porcelain doll parts, glass beads and stones both contemporary and vintage, sections of antique beaded purses.. 18 x 13 x 5. Photo by: Larry Sanders. Betsy Youngquist
Sculpture: Lost Rider, 2014 and 2018
Antique human glass eyes, antique porcelain doll parts, glass beads and stones both contemporary and vintage, sections of antique beaded purses.
18 x 13 x 5
Photo by: Larry Sanders
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Youngquist’s Season of the Surreal opens at Patina Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, November 2nd and runs until December 3rd 2018.
Have you been to Santa Fe, NM before?
I first visited Santa Fe when I was in my mid mid-twenties. I returned 6 years in a row, each time exploring a different area outside of Santa Fe. You could say I fell in love. I was working part time jobs back in Illinois, and the Santa Fe adventure was my annual big splurge. The Anasazi and other ancient sites pulled me like a magnet. I visited Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelly, Bandelier, Taos, Hovenweep, Puye, and Chaco Canyon. I was so intrigued by Chaco in particular with the solstice markers and oddly “convention center” like dwellings, that I named my dog Chaco.


What is it that you love about Santa Fe?
I was bitten by the Southwest bug and Santa Fe was my entry point. The first time I ever asked a shop to carry my art was in Santa Fe. I walked into Doodlets on Don Gaspar Ave. with some beaded flatware I had made and ended up selling through them for a decade. I love the layers of stories, the weaving together of the visible and invisible history, the mystic, and the land itself. 

 
Given that your creations are greatly impacted by Surrealism, do you have any favorite Surrealist artists?
I don’t have many favorites to tell you the truth. Bosch I love. The world he created and the characters that inhabit it is a spectacular thing to see. Frida Kahlo would be way up there. The first time I wept in front of a painting it was one of hers. Frida painted her truth and evoked characters who were so strong, vulnerable, and open about pain. I guess that’s why I cried. I felt her truth for one fleeting second and understood on such a profound level how her art was her one true salvation. That painting shouted, sang and oozed blood on velvet. So I guess you take a bit of Bosch with the fantastical environments he created and Kahlo with her personalization of her truth through symbols that I resonate with.


Does Bosch or Kahlo influence you in your own work?
There is a lushness and attention to detail in both artist’s work [Kahlo and Bosch] that I dig on a visual level. Kahlo’s work in person is so much more impactful, and Bosch’s so much more eerie. Dripping clocks are cool, but they don’t touch me the same way.


Is there one thing about Surrealism that really resonates for you personally in your work?
I loved fantasy and science fiction books when I was young. That was my surrealism. All of my work belongs in the same world. A world where we are “off” on the surface, judged perhaps, yet underneath we are pure gold. I know I am making a friend when I make a creature. I start with the eyes, getting to know them, and then they show me what they want to become.


Is there an overall idea that drives your creative process and guides direction for you as an artist?
I recently came across this quote by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and it nailed it for me: 
“My most important role was to destroy the line of demarcation between what seems real and what seems fantastic. Because in the world I was trying to evoke that barrier didn’t exist.” 
How cool is that? I continue to travel down this rabbit hole of finding more magic in my human experience. It takes work to find, but it is all around us. The more we believe in the magic, the more it appears. Being a surrealist helps me explore and dance in the energy of the interconnectedness of all things. Somehow we are all a continuum that transcends time and space. That possibility is reinforced through the creative endeavor.


Other Odds and Ends:
“Children with their vast capacity for wonderment weave tales of gossamer, create magic kingdoms, and pass through invisible portals to lands of untold enchantment. As we follow the Yellow Brick Road in quest of Emerald Cities, those portals become hidden to us, removing our access to the wonderland within. Creating art is a means to return to the looking glass and reenter the garden where flowers whisper and birds can talk. As my beaded characters emerge they carry with them tales from the other side of the mirror. I am grateful for the joy and astonishment experienced through this journey.” 
Betsy Youngquist. Sculpture: Eye Shine, 2017. Brazilian quartz crystal, antique glass eye, vintage African metal and glass beads, coral, hematite, contemporary and vintage class beads and stones.. 6 x 6 x 4 cm. Photo by: Larry Sanders. Betsy Youngquist
Sculpture: Eye Shine, 2017
Brazilian quartz crystal, antique glass eye, vintage African metal and glass beads, coral, hematite, contemporary and vintage class beads and stones.
6 x 6 x 4 cm
Photo by: Larry Sanders
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Appreciate APPRECIATE