Heidi Neff has a solo exhibition forthcoming in March of this year and we can't wait to see the gallery filled with works like these. Neff's painting style fuses a tactile sensibility with the digital backdrop of our visual world. Here's what we found out about Neff's process and perspectives:
What is your favorite tool besides a brush?
My fingers. I'm a very tactile person.
What is there to be gained from medium-specificity? or what is painting's promise?
For me, paint has metaphorical possibilities that I have not finished exploring.
If your painting took on a life of its own, what would it do next?
Drip all over humanity creating a tangible and wet web between individuals, creating emotional connections such as they have never felt before.
What, if any, is the relationship between a Smartphone and a painting?
Similarities: Extremely alluring, flat, possibly aesthetically pleasing, possibly luminous surfaces. I love them both!
Differences: It requires more effort to look at a painting. The process of looking at a painting often leads to a contemplative state. It is easy and almost impossible for me not to look at my phone. I switch easily between things, almost unconsciously, often leading to an unfocused nervous state. Paintings have infinite variations in texture. Phone surfaces are all the same.
5. What cultural moment did you last learn about? What are the consequences?
Cultural moments are constantly in flux. The cultural moment I think about most is the one in which Americans are more divided than ever before. We do not talk or more importantly listen to people who don't already agree with us. People choose to live near people who already agree with them. Party affiliation is more important to people than religion when considering who to marry or associate with. Clearly technology has furthered this divide.
Is a good painting a bachelor or a breeder?
Depends, I'm pretty sure my paintings are breeders, but I don't think that's necessarily preferable. By that I mean that one image or idea spawns the next, my current work is not necessarily stand alone, but better in context. I definitely admire bachelor paintings as well.
What did your most helpful teacher teach you?
How to draw from observation.
Thinking about painting's long history, is there yet more to paint?
Ecclesiastes 1:9New International Version (NIV)
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
On the other hand, it's an ongoing conversation with changing cultures.