On November 2nd, artist and designer Lindsay Farris will debut two window installations entitled, “Secondary Fruit Bowl” at David Klein Gallery Detroit, curated by PLAYGROUND DETROIT. These ‘3-D paintings’ will be on view to the public alongside the upcoming exhibition, Stories Better Told by Others by Liz Cohen. The concept for Farris’ installation was something she had never attempted before.
“Over the years I’ve thought a lot about pushing paintings into a more sculptural realm, but haven’t actually executed most of my ideas. For this piece, I knew I wanted to keep it simple, [and created] a large painting on paper – almost like wallpaper – with shapes hanging in the foreground,” she explains.
Lindsay Farris is Detroit-based visual artist, raised in a creative family. Although themes and concepts are not important to her work, color is everything. She prefers to make abstract art because of the aesthetic itself and how it makes her feel. Farris muses, “ I don’t really know why I make stuff, its just… what I do.”
The opportunity to share her painting work in a different and new format and environment was exciting to her. “Working on the painting for the backgrounds of the windows was the best part. The background of the piece was originally one four by eight foot painting that I later cut up, now split between two installations. I haven’t painted something at that scale in a long time. My studio is my living room, so I had to re-arrange things and work on the floor. It felt very iconic abstract expressionism. I chose a few colors that I thought would feel fun- and just went for it in one session. It was super fun,” she confessed.
The title,”Secondary Fruit Bowl” is a reference to an inside joke that she has with herself about “recently obsessing over finding another fruit bowl for my kitchen.” After she completed the installation Farris thought it looked like “some kind of fruit bowl of the mind – how you might remember a dream you had of a bowl of fruit, or something.”
It was very gratifying to visualize something, break it into steps, and execute it without things going wrong.
How long have you lived in Detroit?
I first moved to Detroit in early 2010. I had recently graduated from art school – during the recession – and had no idea what to do with myself. Truthfully I probably went to some v cool DIY art warehouse parties and was totally swooned. I loved the vibe here, it was so different from anywhere else I’d been.
Detroit also introduced me to real tacos… that was a big selling point. I had read, “The Origins of the Urban Crisis” and thought I was doing something important. I also think Detroit is very beautiful, aesthetically and otherwise.
What concept or medium are you most interested in currently?
I didn’t paint for a long time after college because I felt discouraged and my life was chaotic. I didn’t think I had time or space to make art. Eventually I started doing digital paintings, but I got sick of it. I work as a designer on a computer 40+ hours a week and it was too much! I forced myself to paint again, but tried watercolors and gouache instead of oils. Discovering a way to work using these stress free materials has been a gift. Also, they are beautiful. I’m really just excited to be painting anything. I’m going to start working on canvas, and hopefully start to scale up again. I might have to go back to oils, or at least acrylic.
Has the concept or theme that your work revolves around evolved over time?
I was raised in an absurdly creative family. Both sides are full of artists. My grandma is in her mid 80s and she still makes incredible art. Some people grow up and realize they want to be an artist… I basically grew up and realized most people aren’t artists. Harsh. The point of saying that being — I don’t *really* know why I make stuff, its just… what I do.
Themes and concepts are not important to me. People really don’t like when artists say that, lol. I make what I feel like making, and I usually feel like making abstract art because I love how it looks and how it makes me feel. If I have to choose a theme, it’s color. I’ve always expressed myself through color, in every aspect of my life. Ask me about the beaded yves klein blue headband I forced my dad to buy me when I was 8.
Do you have a favorite color or how do you choice how color plays a role in your works?
I could never choose a favorite color because I love them all. I go through color phases, largely influenced by fashion trends. When starting a new piece I try to stick to a palette but sometimes I can’t control myself, especially if I haven’t painted in a while. Those pieces don’t usually turn out as well.
What inspires you?
The Memphis Group, Helen Frankenthaler, Isamu Noguchi, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Matisse, Japanese graphic design, Brian Eno, vegetables, my friends, Xiao long bao….everything that looks nice (lol).
What about your creative process have you found to be the most successful for you?
Being patient with myself. Trusting my instincts.
What do you love about Detroit?
Detroit really makes you earn it. Sometimes I actually don’t like living here, and I feel like anyone who tells you differently is lying.
In Detroit, there’s not always resources or infrastructure for arts and culture (or basic amenities… but I won’t go into that here). It forces people to be creative and to build their own shit. A sense of pride and community comes from that.
I love going to the Eastern Market, Trinosophes, Yemen Cafe, the DIA, Astro Coffee, and FitnessWorks.