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Artist Georgia Elrod

Georgia Elrod is an artist and painter from New York City. Georgia Elrod's work has been exhibited in New York and abroad, in solo exhibitions at Peninsula Art Space and John Davis Gallery, as well as in group exhibitions at spaces including Momenta Art, The Painting Center, and RH+ Gallery in Istanbul. Her work as been featured in ArtMaze Magazine, Big Bell Magazine, and New American Paintings. Georgia is currently a co-director of the artist-run gallery Underdonk, and co-curated at Heliopolis Gallery from 2012-2015. Georgia co-founded That Time of the Month, a monthly studio visit group for women and non-binary artists. She received her MFA in Painting from Hunter College. Georgia is based in Hudson and Brooklyn New York.

"Stemming from observation and memory, the imagery in my work is initially cultivated through many gouache and mixed media works on paper. The forms are cumulative and often unpredictable, their meanings are open-ended. I make many works on paper and some of these become larger paintings; I am translating subconscious imagery and the work unfolds as I go. They are embedded with autobiographical meaning.

My recent work began with a desire to interpret bodily function and experience, to question and understand our ungraspable insides. Positing physical identity as a kind of living abstraction, the imagery can be both known and unidentifiable. I have been exploring what it means to inhabit a body how we visually interpret our physical selves. By letting go of anatomical rules the figures become more like poetic spaces. I’m interested in suggestive imagery and the simultaneity of forms. Through painting, expectations of functionality and fragility literally become marks, colors, drawing."

Tell us a little about yourself and your background in the arts.

Last year we moved from Brooklyn to the Hudson Valley. I'm in the city a lot for work and when I return it feels like reconnecting with a close family member. I lived in other places for periods of time in childhood, like New Mexico, Hawaii, Mississippi and Colorado, but NYC has always been my home. My parents are both painters and some of my earliest memories are the smell of oil paint. I grew up in downtown Manhattan, in Soho in the 80’s and 90’s. My parents were the first people to live in the building, on Crosby Street, which had been factory spaces. My parents built our place. My Mom's studio was in the front, and for a while my Dad’s was too, so I grew up seeing them painting. It wasn’t a massive loft but it felt spacious even with multiple cats and a dog and art everywhere. There was music on a lot, you could hear everything because many of the walls didn’t go all the way up to the ceiling. Outside it was usually desolate, industrial...people screaming at night on the street, occasional burning trash cans.

I was exposed to a lot of art growing up- that’s pretty amazing, that’s a kind of cultural capital and a privilege. I look back on my childhood and feel grateful: my parents were really loving and accepting. There was also a lot of financial anxiety and some artistic struggle. There was a tension between bohemian ideals and practical money matters. I realized as I grew up how unusual my upbringing actually was intense growing up in NYC. There definitely is a romanticization of “artist life”. I’ve been thinking about how that narrative around artists is created and who it benefits.

What kind of work are you currently making?

I'm making mixed media paintings and works on paper.

What is a day like in the studio for you?

My time in the studio is often short and sporadic. As the parent of a young child and also a business owner (I'm a decorative painter) I've learned to really maximize my time. I often go in there and look at things for awhile, maybe write or listen to music as I look. If I'm in the middle of a painting I'll jump right in. Just being in the studio is important, even if I don't actually do any painting.

What are you looking at right now and/or reading?

I've had some nice studio visits lately and it means a lot to see work in person. I just finished Weather by Jenny Offill and am about to re-read Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Where can we find more of your work?

Instagram: @georgiaelrod

My work is represented by Peninsula Art Space in Brooklyn NY and Tappan Collective in LA. I'm currently included in 'Burning from the Inside' curated by Karla Wozniak with Studio Archive Project. I recently launched ink on paper works with Tappan Collective.

View Georgia's Studio Tour and work below!

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