4 – 10 – 2017
Los Angeles, CA
Written by Baha Danesh
Featuring Randi Matushevitz
Randi Matushevitz grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and is a teller of urban artistic tales. Her medium of choice is charcoal, pastel and spray paint and has been exhibited in galleries, museums and art fairs in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Caracas and Xalapa, Mexico.
Randi currently lives in Los Angeles with her family where she continues to create fragmented environments that co-exist alongside her daily life. Her artwork spans nearly 2 decades and has created over a dozen narratives that echo life in the 21st century.
Throughout her works of art, viewers can observe layers of gray-scaled body language that gesture expressions of joy, sadness, love, and anger. She also questions how the individual attitude toward human emotions has an impact on the worldwide community. She calls this process, “sonder.”
While visiting Randi at the Start Up Art Fair located in Hollywood, she explained that human emotions fuel her art process and throughout her development, as an artist, she has become interested in the spatial gray that exists between, where consciousness and experience unite with perception and observation. I was curious to know more about Randi and her artistic process. So, in an effort to tame my obsession, I asked her a series of questions and discussed what her reason is for choosing art.
Baha Danesh: Tell me a little about your artistic process. Do you have any rituals or artistic habits you must hone in on before you start drawing?
Randi Matushevitz: My process begins with entering my garage studio. I sit in my chair, I look around and begin to calm my breath, breathing deeply until I can see my work as alive, till I can enter into the space, marks, and characters on the canvas. If I’m feeling “it” I can usually just jump in, if not, I doodle, look through my stencils, read art magazines in hard copy or online, I flip through art books, listen to Potus and then after just being in the studio finally the work calls to me, demanding my attention. I begin to feel an energetic pull, a lifeline within the soul of the artwork itself and into me. I breathe life into the characters and blend my memories into the urban tales that I share.
BD: I’ve noticed you like using charcoal grays and darker hues throughout your drawings. Tell me a little about your color palette.
RM: My gray color palette, with deep values, enables me to create fragmented timeless spaces that seem familiar and yet are unknown, in a baroque manner. I present a glimpse into an ambiguous adjacent world that documents shared emotional moments of human experience from oppression fear, to freedom and love. The limited palette allows me to create drama and emphasizes the unknown that is always a step ahead of human plans.
BD: Explain your creative process and the story behind, “Spikey Haired Girl with Mirror”
RM: Spikey Haired Girl With Mirror is a lovely piece that is inspired by the inquiring and courageous mind of every young woman. Spikey has a gestural quality, almost ethereal like she will turn to look at you next. She is free to explore, be self-defining be a part of the world and not afraid of it. She is young and courageous. The message is “Women be confident and go for it……”.
BD: Tell us about your inspiration about the word “Sonder”
RM: I stumbled upon the word “Sonder” during my LAAA critique group this past January. “Sonder” is from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig, whose project is to create etymologically based words for emotions that currently have no definitions. It basically means the realization that the stranger next to you is living just a meaningful of a life as you. The concept relates to the essence of my urban allegories. Human experience in the 21st century that can be seen (from my car window), the body language and facial expressions of the strangers who coexist beside me, who share my environment, my city and the cities I have traveled. We share our humanity.
BD: And here is our famous question at We Choose Art – Why did you choose art?
RM: Why art, I took my first art class in college. I sucked at it but loved the smells and the variety of mediums, I wanted more. It was like learning a foreign language that I was unaware of but using daily. It made sense to me. The process is physical and meditative. I knew eventually after I developed my chops that I would ultimately be able to express my voice, mine and mine only. It’s a challenge that I still work on today.
Randi Matushevitz currently has artwork at The Mezz Gallery located in Historic Montalban Theater. Visit her work and a dozen other artists now through April 26th.
The Montalban Theater is located in the heart of Hollywood and is open M-F 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM. For more information about Randi or to book an appointment email Info@WeChooseArt.com.