The eXTra finGer

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Interview with Juno Doran

1)First of all, can you present yourself..?
1)I’m Juno Doran, visual artist based in London, married to a mad Ivy chef, mother to a little angel. I like siestas.

2) If your persona were immortalized as a cartoon character, who would it be?
2)Maybe a cross between Roman Dirge’s Lenore and Jhonen Vasquez’s Devi D. from “I feel sick”

3)What is creativity?
3)A mental itch you’re born with.

4)In your capacity as an artist, what do you hope the effect of your work will be on the people?
4)That they will love my work so much that they want to go and work very hard to earn loads of money and buy all of it. As for the actual impact, I hope they like it but that’s not my priority, I have to like it first, and last, and believe in it. What other people think and feel is a projection of their own person and culture and in viewing one of my works they bring whatever critical baggage they already have, which is their own perspective, so I really can’t help what they think of it.

5)What are some of your influences and inspirations?
5)My biggest influences are other people’s achievements as a reminder of what I can myself accomplish, so I like to see what other artists are doing. They don’t particularly influence my work, just my work discipline. I get inspired by whatever I feel like at the time, usually to do with my personal life, films I’ve seen, world history and works of literature.

6) What’s your favourite mediums (pen,charcoal,paint,canvas,etc…)to work with?
6)Anything but I especially love the smell and flexibility of oil paint. I also love photography as a medium of snapshot.

7) Who are some of your favourite painters/artists?
7)Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Paula Rego, Sophie Calle, Bill Viola, Shirin Neshat, Goya, Edvard Munch. I also like some younger artists but I won’t name them because it’s too soon to be sure about it.

8)How long does it normally take you to complete a piece of your artwork?
8)Anything from two days to three months, depending on the size, although lately it usually takes me 3 or 4 days.

9) What else are you interested in besides visual arts?
9)Life itself, the little pleasures, love, discovering new places, and books, I’m obsessed with books, I’m always looking for the next little treasure. I’m also a bit into food as well because my husband is a chef and we talk about it a lot.

10) Got any new projects planned?
10)I always have lots of things planned but only very few become real, and at the moment I’m working on a series of paintings based on my family history before the revolution of 1974 in Portugal, where I was born.

11) How would you describe your art to someone who could not see it?
11)A thousand self-portraits.

12)What other talent would most like to have?
12)Definitely organisational skills, as I’m so disperse, and the capacity to deal with people without fear of rejection. I’m too talented for a lot of things in general but I really lack social and organisational skills.

13)What is your favourite toy ,game or other artefact from your youth (and do you still own it)?
13)I’ve always been obsessed with books, they’re the objects I most treasured in every way since I was very young, and I still have some. I still remember the first books I owned and they really changed my life.

14)Favourite books?
14)It’s a list too long to mention. I’m a bibliomaniac (a person obsessed with owning books). My most favourite are usually one off artist editions, like for example Andrei Tarkovsky’s book of Polaroids “Instant light”. I am so crazy about books I’ve even put my collection online, which I regularly update:

15)Are there any web sites that you would recommend?
15)Google and Wikipedia, I’m a sucker for finding out about everything.

16)What kind of music do you like and do you listen…And is the music important for your art…?
16)I like to listen to foreign radio stations, they sound good but I have no idea what they’re talking about which is great, also they make me feel like I’m somewhere else. When I work I like to listen to tv and audiobooks. As for music I mostly like to listen to obscure stuff very few people know about.

17)Any advice do you have for artists?
17)Get a real job. Being an artist really hurts. But if they can’t help it, if this is really what they were born to do, then I’d say listen to yourself and yourself alone, forget criticisms and run away from compliments. You are your most important critic and audience, and if you’re good enough, others will be fooled as well, eventually.

18)What do you fear the most?
18)I don’t want to think about it. No, I really don’t. Some of it has already happened.

19)Are there certain colours,shapes that you are drawn to?
19)Water and sky, wide spaces, block colours, whatever they may be, and also dark tones. Lately I love to use only two or three colours in my paintings, usually raw umber and white.

20)Your contacts…E-mail….Links…


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