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Meet Marisa Boyd

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marisa Boyd.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born in Blue Island, IL, lived in Joliet, IL before moving to Channahon, IL when I was in fourth grade. As a child, I spent time between two places since my parents divorced when I was three years old. I remember my dad’s apartment had an accordion style closet made of mirrors. I would cram my small body into the folding doors as I watched my body repeat over and over. I would stare at myself recognizing my body and thinking about how it would change over time. While riding in the backseat of my mom’s car, I would look out the window thinking about what it would be like if my parents weren’t my parents yet my mind was in another body–pretty serious thoughts for being only seven to eleven years old. I still look back on these experiences in relationship to my artwork today.

The main reason I started getting serious about being an artist was because it was the only thing I believed to give me purpose in life. In high school, I was not in a healthy mental state and I lacked giving myself the help I needed. I stayed active in cross country, track, and bowling which taught me discipline, being a teammate, and bring a competitor. These are all important qualities of being an artist. My parents have always encouraged me to pursue the arts.

In 2013, I began art school at Illinois State University. The next year, I applied for the Bachelor of Fine Arts program where I was pushed beyond what I ever imagined I was capable of. A friend told me once that my mind is like spaghetti. This is a good analogy for how mind works as an artist because it is hard to know where it begins and ends. Throughout my undergraduate career I explored several different “series” of work manically. I was full of excitement but wouldn’t stay on the same series for very long until needing to try something else. Ultimately, my solo exhibition “A Place That Doesn’t Exist” brought drawing, painting, installation, and performance to exist together.

Upon graduating in December 2017, I am still actively engaged with my art practice through drawing and shape cutting. I recently attended the Main Street Artist Residency in Upstate New York where I have explored floral fabric covering the shapes I create in relationship to bodies and wallpaper coverings. I will be attending Enos Park Residency in Springfield, IL in September where I want to explore the community expanding my trav-e-logue series and create a site-specific project.

Please tell us about your art.
I consider myself a serious interdisciplinary artist that is active in drawing, painting, sculpture using a jigsaw to form shapes, and performance– on occasion. My artwork is not light hearted. The work is something to be read into, contemplated, and felt. I contemplate caves and their existence since they can only be seen when sought out. Light and touch negatively affects how formations grow inside a cave. Growing up, I was fortunate to visit caves where a tour guide turns lights on and back off to protect the cave while you are walking through. I would imagine fantastical things happening in the darkness behind me.

Drawing with my eyes closed leads me into an unknown place. The lines I mark mimic what I see, then they are deciphered into shapes that are organic and bodily. I am attracted to reds, blues, and greens observed behind my eyelids. Lines behave with immediacy, connecting my body and the surface they trace. These shapes are transferred to plywood then cut out using a hand jigsaw to create beveled edges. They become shadows that attach to my body and the body of a viewer.

The shapes are either whole or a hole in hard surfaces such as plywood or hardboard. It becomes an object to encounter or enter into. I am interested in the tension between two objects or places of existence. I cover the surfaces of my artwork with materials that remind me skin, clothing, and wallpaper. The grooves found in plywood, the soft sensual feeling of velvet, the static vibration of white lined carpeting, the allure of stone paper, and floral fabric. I am interested in objects that are ghostly, in the shadows, and left unseen. I believe my process is accessing a part of my subconscious or something otherworldly.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
To me, success is defined by the way you want to live your life. Success isn’t set in stone and requires consistent determination to keep moving forward. I don’t believe that success has to be attached to material or financial value. I associate it with working hard and making small to large steps towards your life goals. As a young artist, I find that I remind myself that success does not happen overnight and takes years to reach “making it”. Ultimately, success is continuously challenging myself so that my artistic endeavor grows.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My artwork can be seen on my website as well as in person at Anju Above Restaurant in Bloomington, IL. In addition, if you visit my website under the section “Read”, you will find articles that have been written about my artwork and studio practice. You can support my artwork by following me on Instagram or –possibly– messaging me for artwork inquiries.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Images provided by the artist.

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