Carpazine: Thanks for the interview, Lana. Can you share a bit about your artistic journey and how you first discovered your passion for visual arts?
LG- They tell me I started in the crib drawing into the air and then erasing with my hand a few minutes later. Still imperfect. Still erasing.
Carpazine: Can you describe your creative process from the initial idea to the finished artwork?
LG- Because I write more than I draw, I ruminate for a while, sometimes months, moving things around in my head with my art. Other times I’m urgent. But once I’ve made the decision to do a certain work, that’s solid. There are no floating ideas I won’t get to, no matter how long it takes.
Carpazine: Are there particular themes or messages that you often explore in your artwork?
LG- unless I’m doing commercial type works like greeting cards, calligraphy, place cards… all floral works, it’s very personal. I don’t chase trends and I think most of my work would be considered folk portraiture and folk art. I’d say I also fit the definition of Outlier. Most of my work is created in isolation and based on themes in my life or consciousness. I’ve at times envied not being a part of more current movements but I’m incapable. I really do create with the intent of expressing myself. While much of my work is somewhat dark, it really doesn’t rise to the definition of dark art. And because I’m non- academic, self taught, suffer from mental illness and am profoundly learning disabled, I’d say I’m an old world Outsider or as I like to say, solid Outlier.
Carpazine: In what ways, if any, does your identity as a woman influence your art?
LG- Honestly, that’s difficult to answer. I’m far from conventional in my self- assigned feminism and focus more on my thoughts. I think my more commercial works appeal to women, but my other works are ambiguous.
I don’t really focus on the relationship between my gender and my art. To me, it’s just art. My art. When I think of my identity, I understand I’m different as a woman, but it’s just not something I sit around pondering. I’ve even had feelings of being male in my youth and I’m glad for me, I worked through that dysphoria. We’re all different.
I think for me this confusion was born of societal pressure and some other things. The feeling that I thought more like a man than a woman came from my not understanding my lack of limitations as a female. It was a confusing period and I only can really speak for me. I just don’t sort through my identity anymore. I’ve married a woman, I’ve married a man. Both long term relationships, filled with love. So my art has been spawned by these loves, pains, and searches, and more. But, I’m never sure how being female affects my art, or if it does. I think carrying very large breasts has affected my art so there’s that. Lots of breasts in my images. For the women in my family they have been a curse and a blessing. No one wants that kind of adult attention at 12.
Carpazine: Do you have a favorite medium or technique that you enjoy working with the most and why?
LG- I draw. I grew up without a lot of stuff. I did during some periods have art supplies but I could always find a pencil when all else failed me. This was true of pens too. These were affordable hobbies and I never mastered paint. I think graphite and pen were there and despite muted inclusions of color, I consider myself more drawn to black and white. It feels more rootsy and authentic. It was there for me, so I’m gonna see my favorite mediums til the end. They feel more alchemical.
Carpazine: Do you have a favorite project or piece that you've worked on? What makes it special to you?
LG- Well I’m currently working on a work that’s gonna take a bit longer. It’s a storyboard of my relationship with Giger’s agent: Leslie Barany. It was intense and over the years we shared much time; much dark and much deeply educational. It’s something I need to do. I want to contextualize it all so people can follow the proverbial board as a story, complete with text in art. But other works are coming too along with some podcast plans.
Carpazine: What challenges do you think artists commonly face in the art world today, and how do you navigate them?
LG- Well I think people, Artists included, are deeply disturbed by the evolutions and revolutions occurring in art. I hope they remind themselves that at least fine art is rising in value, because it’s swimming in so much AI that may be fun but will become trite. I’d say to these artists, keep going. Remember why you create: Because you must. The end.
Carpazine: How do you deal with creative blocks or challenges in your artistic practice?
LG- I’ve never had many dry spells or blocks. When I stop I’m just tired. Many artists find music a liberating thing when they’re stuck. It’s a good portal to emotion when you’re feeling empty.
Carpazine: Have you faced any significant challenges in your artistic career, and how did you overcome them?
LG- I tried never to see it as a career, but my best advice is just to practice, deliver and act like a civil human being. That goes a long way. We’re fortunate, my husband and I have developed a good foundation for 20 years. We have collectors. So practice, deliver and be polite.
Carpazine: What role does art play in your life? How does it impact your emotions, thoughts, and overall well-being?
LG- my entire life is art. I see that in cooking, crafting, drawing , supporting my husband and also many other artists who could use a kind word for their hard work or a hand up.
Carpazine: How do you see the role of art in society, and do you believe artists have a responsibility to address certain issues through their work?
LG- I believe they can and it’s a powerful tool. I don’t care for the destruction of any art. Now I do not believe an artist has an obligation to become involved in current events or anything else. They can. I have. But my obligation is to myself. Creativity was my savior in my darkest hour. It knows me. I don’t struggle for ideas. They just come.
Carpazine: Have you collaborated with other artists, and if so, how has that influenced your artistic vision?
LG- Any notable collaborations I’ve done have been rare. One was with Ron Frisby and the other with Bethann Shannon.
I’ve done a couple of other personal ones in my inner circle that I keep. I’ve liked these but I’m mostly a lone wolf, rarely creating for charities or collective ideas unless they are really close to heart. I like to keep it pure. Pure expression is mostly me.
Carpazine: How do you balance the personal and professional aspects of being an artist?
LG- It was easy until I started aging. I’m a bit more tired. I do seek balance on the daily.
Carpazine: What advice would you give to aspiring visual artists who are just starting their artistic journey?
LG- I’d say study biology at school or home. Perspective too. I never did these things. Experiment with styles but don’t be lazy. Learn the basics and practice daily. I don’t but my husband, Donnie Green, does and it really shows.
Carpazine: Can you tell the readers where they can check you out…
LG- on any social media, mostly Instagram and Facebook. I use my other social media for other interests.
Carpazine: Anything you’d like to add?
LG- In the beginning at about 41, I started receiving portraits from friends, foes, family, and fans from all over the world. Still not sure why really. I’m 60 and I’m still getting them. Each is so special.
I’ve amassed over 500 images online of my visage in every medium imaginable. I’d like to thank those artists for raising me up and given me the self-esteem I lacked in my youth by creating portraits of me and I want to thank the supporters for me and my husband’s work as well as my colleague and partner at art our magazine, loBURN designer Tatomir Pitariu.
Thank you for considering me for the interview. You know I’ve always been a fan.
Blossoming. Graphite, Charcoal, Colored Pencil and Ink.
Fingerprints. Graphite, Charcoal, Colored Pencil and Ink.
Haunted on the Turn of a Dime. Graphite, Charcoal, Colored Pencil and Ink.
The Failed Seduction of God. Graphite, Charcoal, Colored Pencil and Ink.
Mind Control. Graphite, Charcoal, Colored Pencil and Ink.
Mama’s Roots. Graphite and Charcoal
These Human Conditions. Graphite and Charcoal
Daddy’s Arm: AK47. Graphite, Charcoal, Colored Pencil and Ink.
Christina’s World Trade Center. Graphite and Charcoal
EYE-SEW- LAY- SHUN. Graphite and Charcoal
Life On All Fours. Graphite and Charcoal.
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Carpazine Art Magazine Issue Number 39 Featuring Lana Gentry! More: Jeffrey Wengrofsky, Abdul Vas, Danny Licul, Akira Usagi, Ductape "Echo Drama", Fear at Brooklyn Monarch, Interview with Dar Stellabota, Perfect 10 at The Long Island Museum , 14th Annual Figurative Art Exhibition at Lore Degensten Gallery, and more!