The only thing my family and I manage to take seriously is comedy. I was raised in a Jewish household where Mel Brooks was a god, Gene Wilder a prophet, and Young Frankenstein the bible. Instead of filtering my love for comedy through improv or acting class, my stage fright has always driven me towards creating visual art. It is a way to express myself that doesn’t involve a huge crowd of people staring at me. However, my sense of humor made me feel like I would never be serious enough for the art world.
I never even realized that comedy could be used as a medium in the fine art world, until I went to Yoshua Okon’s talk at the Weatherspoon Art Museum of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He discussed how he used humor to approach very serious subjects, such as the Guatemalan Civil War in his piece Octopus. I was also shown a photo series by Lilly McElroy titled, I Throw Myself at Men. She used a play on words and physical comedy to make a very interesting feminist statement that I found really inspiring. Since seeing works such as these I have started to become more excited about making my own art. I made a book directly inspired by McElroy titled, Gaby’s Guide to Picking Up Men. While I had to get some liquid courage in order to physically lift these men, I am just glad that I have finally found people in the fine art world that I genuinely want to emulate and relate to.
Most of my pieces are driven by my need to laugh. I enjoy exploring how humor can make the most insane, awkward, and ridiculous notions acceptable or easier to swallow. I always have fun finding ways to humorously incorporate myself, friends, family and strangers into my work. If I can get that fun feeling while working on projects, then I know I am on the right track.