Recommended Bushwick Open Studio: Ginny Casey

by Paddy Johnson and Whitney Kimball on May 30, 2012 AFC Goes To Bushwick

Ginny Casey, studio install shot.

NAME: Ginny Casey
MEDIUM: Paint on Canvas
STUDIO LOCATION: 1717 Troutman St., #251
BUSHWICK OPEN STUDIO HOURS: Saturday June 2nd, 2012, 12pm-7pm, Sunday June 3rd, 2012, 12pm-7pm
SHARED STUDIO: Yes, two artists.

[Editor’s note: Over the next three days we’ll be recommending artist studios we think readers should visit during Bushwick Open Studios this weekend, providing interviews with selected artists and compiling it into handy AFC maps you all can use to get around. We know the size of this event can be a little overwhelming. Hopefully, our work will make navigating the Bushwick terrain a little easier.]

There are customary systems for composing an image which become clear after a long day of trolling artists’ websites— central shapes, which fit comfortably inside the edges of the picture plane, and room for the eye to move back in space. Ginny Casey’s paintings defy that mold, producing the same clunky, sentimental quality that Susan Rothenberg and Phillip Guston do so well. It’s a quality that only happens in painting.

Birds and other elements of nature show up a lot in your work. Is that a conscious decision?

Definitely. I love finding odd shapes in nature: jagged lines can be sticks; bubble letters can be birds; a bulgy blob can be a plant. Before moving to Brooklyn I lived/painted on a big old farmstead for nine months. I went there to find a sense of “place” in my paintings. I’d never been around so many animals, such vast space and so few people. I left that experience with verdant imagery and a new relationship to the wilderness that continues to inspire my work.

The feet and hands in your figures tend to be oversized. Can you talk about that?  

I’ve found that I’m drawn to particular absurdities, from off-kilter proportions to spatial tricks. I like when things are odd and a little improbable. I remember having this reoccurring sensation in my childhood where part of my hand was growing to an enormous mass. It was out of control, completely disproportionate. Maybe I was having dreams about it. I still get this weird feeling when I think about it. I’m not sure if this is what inspired the hands and feet. I’ve also noticed there are a lot of paintings throughout art history with similar deformities. I’m sure I’ve been influenced by all of it.

To what extent, if any, is your use of color symbolic?

I use color to evoke emotion and create a sense of atmosphere, but I work intuitively. I mix up a lot of colors, put some paint on the canvas, and go from there. Recently I mixed up a bomb-pop blue and laid it down next to some sap green. The two colors made a spark when they were side by side. That spark is what I’m after.

What keywords do you most often plug into Google image search?
hydrangea bush, dog side view, santa?, Milton Avery

[Art Fag City Bushwick Open Studios coverage is generously supported by the Brooklyn Arts Council and reader donations.] 

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