Ellie Brown Interview

We recently met up with Ellie Brown to discuss her current solo exhibition, A Chronicle of Lovers which is on exhibit in New York from September 23, 2009 to December 5, 2009.
The Chronicle of Lovers project was started in homage to each of the men the artist has slept with. Each man has a book and a digital print of the book in his name. The books are based on her impressions, memories and experiences with each man, regardless of whether the experience was positive or negative. She has contacted the men she’s still in touch with to share her altered book version of their affair. The artist stresses that each book is an earnest evaluation of her memories and not in any way meant to degrade, attack, or humiliate the men. Organized by Alexander Campos, Executive Director.
September 23-December 5, 2009

Artist Talk: October 28th 6pm
The Center for Book Arts
28 West 27th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, New York 10001
(212) 481-0295

For the record, please state your name, age and occupation. Ellie Brown, 34, Professor and Artist Marketing Consultant.

Tell us about your work. My primary medium was photography for many years, but now also work in altered books and mixed media. My subject matter varies, but always comes from a personal or documentary perspective. My largest project to date has been photographing my sisters for ten years which is now in a book called Two Girls: My Sisters 1996-2006.

What is your background? How did you get involved with art? I am from Boston and was raised by a mother who was an artist, so it seems that it was in my genes and I had no choice in the matter. I had always wanted to go to Massachusetts College of Art, and so I did and then later, I went to San Jose State for my MFA.

What are some of your goals and/ or plans? Currently my goal is to get my artist marketing business off of the ground. I would really be happy to teach, help other artists, make art and continue to exhibit actively.

You currently have a solo exhibition in NY? Yes, at Center for the Book Arts in NYC. It is up until Dec. 5th and I’m giving a talk about my work there on October 28th.

Have you held any jobs/ careers that you’d like to discuss? I have had some truly terrible jobs which I don’t care to relive. Some of the best jobs I’ve had have been teaching at various colleges when I have a class where the students are engaged and I feel like I have actually taught them something.

Any amusing anecdotes regarding your work? In my collaborative work, Ten Days in the CAPSULE, I gained a strange degree of fame from people who were following the project and I have since become friends with some of them!

What are you currently reading? The Happiness of Architecture by Alain de Botton.

Favorite movies? The Graduate may just be at the top of my list for its humor and cinematography.

Playlist of a few favorite songs: Oh no, what genre? I was a DJ for many years so I always think in Genres. I’ll give you a quick soul playlist since that was one of my favorite things to play.

  • Listen Here, Valorie Keys
  • Soul Time, Shirley Ellis
  • California Soul, Marlena Shaw
  • Nothing But A Heartache, The Flirtations
  • Date With The Rain, Eddie Kendricks
  • Move On Up, Curtis Mayfield
  • I Believe in Miracles, The Jackson Sisters
  • Tainted Love, Gloria Jones
  • Harlem Shuffle, Bob And Earl
  • Able Mable, Mable John
What are some of your interests besides art? Looking at architecture, walking around cities, laying in the grass, people watching, good films, scuba diving, seeing everything I can in the world.

Historic figure you’d like to have a drink with, given the chance? Mick Jagger circa 1965

Favorite comic strips/ comic books/ graphic novels? I’m a big Daniel Clowes fan. I also just read Black Hole by Charles Burns.

Favorite visual artists? That is a long list, sort of like music, needs to be broken down by genre for me. I’ll just name a few random ones in no particular order: Olafur Eliasson, Spencer Tunick, Fred Tomaselli, Joseph Cornell, Kara Walker, Emmet Gowin, Sarah Morris, Sally Mann.

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