I am infusing our Monday and week with Fantastic Functionalism via talented artist Rosa Ruey. What exactly does fantastic functionalism express? According to Rosa: idealism and hope…as well as imagining new realms and solutions. I think as creatives and moms we all love embracing such a concept. I am in love with her work…the lines, machines that follow a natural rhythm. And I was so curious to how having an infant under a year might inspire or challenge her identity as an artist. Read on to find out!
What is a day in your life like?
As a new mom I feel very fortunate to be able to spend part of my week with my son, Kasander, and part of the week in my studio. Kasander is 8-months old and wakes my husband and I up very early in the morning. Although I’m exhausted the early mornings are also a special bonding time the two of us have together. Since my husband is a director and works for himself his schedule is flexible, so we work together to each get in a morning nap before he leaves the house. The days that I am home are filled with new adventures and discoveries. From trying new foods and exploring different objects to developing his latest physical ability, I relish this precious time. I’m also a mom on the go! After a morning of playing, singing Chinese songs and teaching him to say Mommy in Chinese we go on play-dates or do some grocery shopping. After all Mom likes to try new foods also! There are days that I’m obsessed with Kasander having a good nap and days that I try to be relaxed about it, telling myself that he will sleep as much as he needs to. Since he’s an early riser making me tired just about the time that he is, I take advantage of it and we both lay down together to nap. Some days I look forward to his nap so that I can get a break to answer some emails.
My studio days are focused work days. Since my New York solo show opened I have been doing lots of administrative busy work. I think people forget that being an artist is like owning your own business. In addition to the creating of work there are contacts to maintain, grant applications to write, and a studio to keep organized. Right now I’m also in the midst of creating new pieces and building off of all the work that I created in the last year, which is currently being shown at the Pelavin Gallery. I usually start a couple of new pieces simultaneously and then as the pieces develop on a broad level I focus and hone in on the details of one piece.
How do you juggle motherhood and art?
Although I have designated days for being home and being away, it’s still hard to separate my two lives. Being a new mom and trying to get a handle on each of Kasander’s new developments and stages, I become consumed by it all. So when I’m at the studio I have to make a conscious decision to stay focused on my artistic practice and not be distracted by researching the latest toys for Kasander. However, once I lay out the Stonehenge White paper, get my brushes and pens ready, and flip through the books I’m currently inspired by I become immersed in an alternate realty of constructing fanciful machine-like structures and creating a colorful world of play and movement.
Where do you draw on for inspiration?
Open air markets, tropical environments, adventurous travel, construction sites, boats, sea creatures, airplanes, artists such as Panamarenko, Tobias Rehberger, Julie Mehretu, Joan Miro, El Lissitzky and Joep Van Lieshout, and architecture especially the works and ideas of Archigram, and Buckminster Fuller.
How do you recharge your creative batteries?
Baths and cooking! In my drawings and collage works there are repetitive shape and lines which gives the work a feeling of delightful frenzy. I see it as managed chaos, a visual reference to the disorder of daily life and emotion. For example my current body of work takes anxious sentiments surrounding time and transforms that energy into fictitious machines as a solution to those anxieties. This crazy energy also comes out of a cycle of repetition and mediation. For me baths are the ultimate relaxing luxury and cooking is my form of meditation. This is how I draw out my calm and wind up for the next fury of color and ideas.
If you could do one thing this year that was totally frivolous, what would it be?
I love thinking of these types of fantasies! I would rent a place near the beach in Brazil so I could be in warm weather and have a view of the calming ocean and snorkel on a whim. I would spend a few months exploring nearby towns, markets, rain forest hikes and jungles. I imagine myself soaking in the colors, the local crafts, photographing random objects and trying all the sweets I can find!