Juxtapoz | Rebecca Ness: The Tools of Her Trade

Sasha Bogojev, Juxtapoz, 23 Dec 2019
In a panoply of patterns, textures, brushstrokes and marks done with an array of tools, Rebecca Ness renders the hyper vibrant world before her. Framed exactly the way she perceives them, seemingly unimportant moments in her daily commute and casual snapshots from everyday life are encapsulated in color. With a focus on non-verbal engagement, especially through clothing and attire as a source of communication, she comfortably explores the possibilities of painting while dipping into unconventional technique and concept.
Fresh out of Yale, with an MFA in Painting and Printmaking, and anchored with historical perspective, Ness freely experiments and plays with points of view, format and unique depiction. From extreme angles to oversaturated color, her unusual compositions are a painterly answer to the onslaught served daily on our screens. Imbued with subtle, clever metaphors, her vibrant images tell intimate stories of a young person navigating the current landscape.
Sasha Bogojev: Since you’ve just finished school, doors must be opening and a lot is changing in your professional life. How does it feel?
Rebecca Ness: I guess I'm thinking a lot about pacing right now, because in graduate school, you're expected to create a lot of things really quickly and just keep pushing out ideas at this really rapid pace. Right now, I'm slowing down a lot more and focusing on just a few ideas rather than the whole gamut, which I think is really fun and nice to do. I feel like I have some time now to breathe.
I really loved my grad school experience because I think the rapidness of working allowed me to work through ideas at a rate that I wouldn't otherwise. Before, I was in Boston and painting in my bedroom. I was working a nine-to-five and would come home, and then have to go to bed to go to work the next day. I would only get, like, four hours or so to work a day, five if I didn't want to sleep that much. So, the gift of grad school was, "This is the only thing you have to worry about, but you have to worry about it a lot,” which I liked. Now it's nice to kind of put everything back together again and figure out what I want to do, make my own schedule and my own demands, which is really nice.
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