Excerpts from Interviews with Lineage Artists by Rebecca Brantley

 Nicole Mouriño   Bodega, Serina/Habibi with Dinner Options   ink, watercolor, acrylic and oil on canvas

Nicole Mouriño  Bodega, Serina/Habibi with Dinner Options  ink, watercolor, acrylic and oil on canvas

Nicole Mouriño

 

R.B.: Describe the major themes your work for Lineage addresses.

 

N.M.: The bodega window is an NYC institution, and a site for greater discussions on immigration, cultural preservation, and Latinx pride.

 

 Nicole Mouriño   Baby Boo Bounty   ink, acrylic and oil on canvas

Nicole Mouriño  Baby Boo Bounty  ink, acrylic and oil on canvas

R.B.: Works like BODEGA, SIRENA/HABIBI WITH DINNER OPTIONS (2017) suggest a blend of cultures. Can you discuss the relevance of plurality or multicultural experience—perhaps especially as the city provides—in your work?

 

N.M.: The Latinx experience is a multicultural one, but having a diverse racial identity is tough to describe in the U.S. where the history of black and white polarization really precedes everything else. Latin America is an incredibly diverse group of territories, with various racial identities. That being said, there are so many brown folk in NYC, it’s like being part of a melanin tribe.

 

R.B.:  Some of your works evoke portals or windows (like those in Daze), and on your website, you state that you were drawn to spaces that reminded you of southern light. Please discuss the role that light and portals play in your work.

 

 Nicole Mouriño   Charada, Loteria and Stickers   ink, acrylic and oil on canvas  

Nicole Mouriño  Charada, Loteria and Stickers  ink, acrylic and oil on canvas  

N.M.: In Miami, there is saturated color in everything; the plants, deco buildings, and all the hot mirage-air in between. This kind of buzzing light happens naturally in the south, but in NYC it’s manipulated into a stream of LED’s around shop windows. Sometimes the windows are sprinkled with images of the Caribbean, places we would rather be, or perhaps where the owners are from. They become these transportative frames, and that is exactly what the function of painting is.

 

 

 

 

Andrew Shears

 

 

 Andrew Shears   Untitled (Head Cast ) graphite on paper (left) and  Braid s   graphite on paper dipped in encaustic wax  (right)

Andrew Shears  Untitled (Head Cast) graphite on paper (left) and Braids   graphite on paper dipped in encaustic wax  (right)

Shears 3.jpeg
 Andrew Shears     Front Door   oil on canvas

Andrew Shears    Front Door  oil on canvas

R.B.: Can you describe the major themes your work for Lineage addresses.

 

A.S.: I think my contribution to Lineage has to do with trying to get back in touch with what it means to be human in a way. it's not about my personal lineage but the human species' lineage and what makes us unique. I'm interested in questions like "why did I have such an intense reaction to a sunset?" or "why is that chair more attractive to me than the other one?"

 

 Andrew Shears   Annette’s Dresser    oil on canvas  

Andrew Shears  Annette’s Dresser   oil on canvas  

 Detail of  Annette’s Dresser    oil on canvas  

Detail of Annette’s Dresser   oil on canvas  

Why do humans have a unique relationship with beauty? I'm nostalgic of  time when people were less obsessed with technology, less self aware, and therefore more in touch with themselves and the world around them. For me, the first step in getting back to this way of being is to get to know the world around me through drawing and painting.

 

 

 

 

 

 Andrew Shears   Untitled (ear )   graphite on paper     

Andrew Shears Untitled (ear)   graphite on paper  

 

 Andrew Shears   Wall with Frame and Brush    graphite on paper dipped in encaustic wax

Andrew Shears  Wall with Frame and Brush   graphite on paper dipped in encaustic wax

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Meridian

 Jennifer Meridian   Scroll for Justice(Bomb and Foot ) mixed media on paper (left)   Portrait of Martin(Return to Mother)  mixed media on paper (top right)  and  Martin’s Foot Never Hesitates   mixed media on paper (bottom right)    

Jennifer Meridian  Scroll for Justice(Bomb and Foot) mixed media on paper (left)  Portrait of Martin(Return to Mother) mixed media on paper (top right)  and Martin’s Foot Never Hesitates  mixed media on paper (bottom right)

  

R.B.: It seems to me that your wall sculpture for Lineage at the Linda Matney Gallery, Running Mother with Twins, relates to the contemporary crises of children and parents being detained and separated at the border, but of course it also recalls other mother-and-child images from the history of art (e.g. Christian Madonnas, Berthe Morisot, and so on). Can you comment on the relevance of this work to contemporary politics and the history of art?

 Jennifer Meridian    Running Mother with the Twins   mixed media on paper   

Jennifer Meridian   Running Mother with the Twins  mixed media on paper  

 

Running Mother with the Twins is a work of art inspired and made to honor the real mothers who are really running right now—at this very moment, second, NOW, with their children on their backs. And have been since time began and will until time ends at the hands of a racist, violent system that criminalizes them for being agents of love and regeneration. It’s a system-machine incapable of seeing them as the sacred beings that they are, where they deserve palaces of clean water and clean beds and endless gardens. This mother is very real. But through art you create symbols for reality, so she is a character and symbol in my universe who is the mother—with her children—and she is the one that animates my entire artistic universe. It is for her that I make work, that I create anything at all. I am always thinking of her. I am the auntie, forever in debt and in love and adoration and rage.

 

 

 

Asif Hoque

R.B.: On your website, you cite a W. E. B. Du Bois quote: “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.” Can you expand upon the meaning of this quote for you? How does it influence your work?

 

 Asif Hoque   Just Like Baba  oil on canvas

Asif Hoque   Just Like Baba  oil on canvas

A.H.: The quote to me means awareness of oneself at all times, The connection you have with the people and the culture creates this sensation. The double-consciousness for me is about looking in and out simultaneously. I grew up in many cultures so for me I’m always aware how I’m looked at and perceived through different eyes, but I always change accordingly. Whether it's to make them more comfortable or make myself fit in more. I am always aware of these big or small changes I have, this creates this double-consciousness for me. In my work I wish to create the same energy, I want everyone to connect to my work. This can be done through skin tones, compositions or the size of the work.

 Asif Hoque  “Always smile for the neighborz,”   said Baba  oil on canvas

Asif Hoque “Always smile for the neighborz,” said Baba oil on canvas

 Caroline Absher and Asif Hoque   Untitled   oil on canvas

Caroline Absher and Asif Hoque  Untitled  oil on canvas

 

 

Caroline Absher

 

R.B.: Can you describe the major themes your work for Lineage addresses.

 

 Caroline Absher    Ode to Tim  oil on canvas

Caroline Absher   Ode to Tim oil on canvas

The word lineage means ancestry and connection. I am proud of my body and its capabilities, I am proud of all of my female identifying sisters who choose to use their bodies to communicate strength, power and autonomy. I consider myself lucky to exist during a time in which the conversation on female identifying bodies is changing. There is a huge nature component because nature is the only constant that connects us, my ancestors have seen the same trees, the same mountains — but they have not seen the world that we are creating for ourselves, I think my work is homage to that. My subject’s body language is on guard, because we still very much are, but their gaze is the same as it has been for centuries. Strength is strength, despite circumstance. Sometimes I like to view these subjects as femmes from the past who come alive and are able to see the progress that has been made.

 Caroline Absher   Kayla   oil on canvas

Caroline Absher  Kayla  oil on canvas

 Caroline Absher    Guard the Heart   oil on canvas

Caroline Absher   Guard the Heart  oil on canvas

 

 

Sofia Zu'bi

 

 

 Sofia Zu’bi   When the World Split in Half    acrylic on canvas

Sofia Zu’bi  When the World Split in Half   acrylic on canvas

R.B.:  Following up on the previous questions, can you discuss how narrative informs your work? Often it seems there is an implicit story. I know you prefer viewers to intuit or feel as opposed to giving them a concrete story, but I’m curious about the kinds of narratives that you might imagine as you create your works.

 Sofia  Zu’bi    Mother Nature   acrylic on canvas

Sofia  Zu’bi   Mother Nature  acrylic on canvas

S.Z.: A lot of the time I am painting the stories in my life that I want to make more sense of. If it has to do with the complications of love—I paint what’s going on in order to visually sort things out. In 2014 when I started showing my work at Linda Matney Gallery, I showed my “love” series of calligraphy drawings. At the time when I was making these works I hadn’t a clue that the entire body of work was a connection between the journey of love I was experiencing. I fell in love and fell out of love; experiencing deceit, confusion, and swaying between all kinds of emotions. The entire love series was a linear answer to all the questions I had at the time—the Princess had to escape in order to love herself, and that’s exactly what I ended up doing.

 . Sofia Zu’bi    Portal to Another Land   acrylic and oil  

. Sofia Zu’bi   Portal to Another Land  acrylic and oil  

 . Sofia Zu’bi    Wall of Visual Stories

. Sofia Zu’bi   Wall of Visual Stories