Welcome to the 12th installment of the interview series Meet LA’s Art Community. Check out our past interviews here.
This week, we interview artist Eve Fowler. Fowler draws on the power of words and the cultural biases around language, in particular as they relate to gender politics and queerness. Her artworks take the form of billboards, posters, prints, and signs, and she has also made films and sound pieces. She is the author of the books Anyone Telling Anything Is Telling That Thing (Printed Matter, 2013) and Hustlers (Capricious Publishing, 2014).
Where were you born?
I was born in Philadelphia, PA.
How long have you been living in Los Angeles?
I’ve lived in Los Angeles since 2002.
What’s your first memory of seeing art?
We had a lot of art in our house. There was a quilt that was mounted on a wall that I would sit and stare at for long periods of time.
The first art I remember seeing in a museum was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was about seven. I was with my father and my brother. “Étant donnés” by Marcel Duchamp was my father’s favorite thing in the museum and since it was the ’70s, or because my dad was sort of inappropriate, he thought it was a good thing for me to peer through the hole in the door to see “Étant donnés.” I think it was probably a good thing for me to see. It left a lasting impression. I’ve seen it many times but not in a long time.
Do you like to photograph the art you see? If so, what device do you use to photograph?
Sometimes I’ll take photographs of the art I see — it’s sort of like taking notes. Or I’ll take photographs of friends’ work so I can show it to other people. I use an iPhone to photograph art, etc.
What was your favorite exhibition in Los Angeles this year?
There were so many good shows. Mariah Garnett’s show at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall stands out. The content and aesthetic came together very successfully. I also loved Outliers and American Vanguard Art at LACMA. I saw it three times.
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
I’m reading Essays One by Lydia Davis and I love it. I find writing very difficult, and when it’s done well, I’m in awe. When I’ve read her writing in the past, aside from thoroughly enjoying it, I find myself wondering how she can write something so brief and so profound. She explains her process in parts of this book.
Do you prefer to see art alone or with friends?
I prefer to see art with friends because I like to have a conversation about the art. I learn more when I see art with friends.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on some text-based pieces for a show in Dallas. I’m on my way to Dallas now to do a site visit. The work combines my writing with appropriated text.
What is one accomplishment that you are particularly proud of?
The first thing that comes to mind is a film I made in 2019 that includes 20 women artists who are in the later stage of life. The film was included in my show at Morán Morán in September, along with another text-based work that included my writing with texts appropriated from other writers. Using my own writing in my work is a step forward that I feel proud of — so I would say the show at Morán Morán, in general, is one that I feel particularly proud of.
Where do you turn to for inspiration for your projects?
I find inspiration in the world and when I’m reading. I often get ideas when I’m away from home or at an event.