We are so excited to introduce you to L.A.-based artist, Anya Spielman! We were introduced by Lauri Levenfeld (who took the beautiful photos used in this article). We adore the bright colors Anya uses in her work & how each piece has multiple layers of meaning to unpack. Get the scoop below:
Tell us about your artwork and how you created your aesthetic with the beautiful bright colors!
My early work was colorful and intricate. My first mature body of work was dark and interlocked with color. The evolution of my work, brought a lightness of being but still with the heft of reality permeating the surface. The duality of joy and despair. I feel the beauty of life is the tension of these extremes – I love the intensity of saturated color and use it to match this tension.
What inspires you?
My beautiful spirited teens, color, the pulse of life, exploring the world, fighting for others and what you believe in.
When you were a teenager, you resisted being an artist because of the attention, but later you fully accepted & pursued it. Talk to us about the journey!
I always knew I was an artist, but in high school, people started responding to my work and giving it a lot of positive attention, and that focus startled me. I tried to push it away while knowing deep inside this is who I was. However, I kept returning to it and I really believe that often our instincts are right and will lead us in the direction we need to go.
What types of materials do you use for your artwork?
I use oil paints, graphite and charcoal, on canvas, paper and panel. I love the resistance of paper and how the layers are juicy and the finished piece almost becomes sculptural. I love the give and scale of canvas and how powerful a large canvas looks within architecture. I combine glossy and matte layers, creating a palimpsest in the work.
Let’s discuss your process!
My process is very intuitive, intellectual and physical. The pure and raw alchemy of painting is in itself fully possessing and unending. I usually work on up to 40 works at a time, (paper, panel and canvas) layering, and waiting for one to dry, I work on another. As ideas start to emerge, I will stop work on the others and/or focus on one until completion. Often the works converse and there is an overlay in some. Others stand alone, asserting their autonomy. Painting the suspension of forms distilled in color and duality has been a mesmerizing and recurrent state of mind for me.
How do you know when a piece of artwork is finished?
I sense it, define it, and decide it.
As an artist, sharing work can be very vulnerable especially since you’ve given so much of yourself creating it! How do you stay confident while putting yourself out there?
I trust the origin and intent of the work. I believe in the process and myself. I love seeing and knowing that my work moves people and enriches their lives.
Any tips on living life to the fullest, one of your life’s philosophies?
Oh, don’t we all want a full life! I think it is important to learn how to navigate the difficult parts of life while embracing the good. I don’t know if we can achieve all of that at once. But being real and not being afraid to take a more difficult path if that means staying true to yourself.
What message do you want to send with your work?
I like to think that when co-existing with my paintings, there becomes a cerebral dialogue between the viewer and the work, the memory of time, space and relationship to oneself and the world.
What’s next for you?
An amazing artist’s residency in France at Chateau Orquevaux in June which has been postponed twice due to Covid! I can’t wait to create a large new body of work to exhibit. It has been nascent and drawn in my mind in anticipation.
Where can people find you?
Alison + Delia