Well it is time for you to get to know Vahge. She lives right in our little neighborhood of Bushwick. You may pass by her on the street every once in a while and not even know it. Vahge was kind enough to fill out an interview/questionnaire for us and share some of her work. Enjoy.
TBD - Where are you from / what kind of place is it?
Vahge - I have a tendency to move every few years, so I've been here and there, east and west and back. I spent my childhood in Clarksville, Maryland, a delicious suburb. It's the kind of place where people judge you based on the car you drive and the grades you get and watch you from their windows. It's very paranoid.
TBD - How did you end up in Bushwick?
Vahge - I was in Santa Fe (New Mexico) and realized that I was not 65 years old, and did not paint desert scenes, and was therefore in the wrong place. New York seemed like a good choice and the best thing I could barely afford was Bushwick.
TBD - What do you do?
Vahge - I make weird collages. I cut out lots of small pieces of magazine and glue them into creepy scenes. They seem to be getting larger.
TBD - Why?
Vahge - I'm obsessive, so the tediousness of the collage process is really satisfying. It's also something I've been trying to be good at since I was little.
TBD - What is it that drives you?
Vahge - New ideas, restlessness, and childhood trauma. A lot of people say that the process of creation keeps them sane, but that's actually not true for me... I kind of go psycho if I'm working on something for too long, the process is just meticulous. The need to accomplish something is a big influence.
TBD - What would be your dream project?
Vahge - An album cover for Tom Waits. Or some kind of crazy Sistine Chapel project.
TBD - Do you have an ultimate goal you would like to achieve with your work?
Vahge - I don't think collage is taken very seriously as an art form yet. I think that part of it is that collage hasn't been explored as thoroughly as other more classic mediums, like painting or photography. I'd like to show that collage isn't limited to abstract images and that it can stand on it's own. I'm tired of mixed media. It would be really cool if collage had a movement in the next few years, kind of like what has happened with street art. That's my goal. And the Whitney wouldn't be too shabby, either.
TBD - When someone is looking at your art on a wall, what do you like them to be listening to?
Vahge - Probably something dark and moody, maybe some cabaret or a nice rag tag piano. I think Tom Waits fits really well, I love that man and his music is a constant motivator.
TBD - Where do you see beauty?
Vahge - In oddities and glittery things.
TBD - What do you support?
Vahge - Unconventional choices.
TBD - What do you denounce?
Vahge - Foul odors. Just not tasty.
TBD - What is art?
Vahge - To me, art is something that requires some skill, some craft to create. It should take some time. It should be unique and hard to mimic. It's something that you dream about, that you feel uneasy about. I think there's too much stuff out there that looks like it took an hour to make, like it could have been made by anybody, like it's only purpose is to sell. That pisses me off.