Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Stock.
Courtney, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My love of art started with photography and an over-active imagination. As a kid I was really into taking Polaroids, and since I’m an only child, I played alone a lot. As I got older I got interested in material-focused analog processes, like tintype, albumen, and silver gelatin. I produced unique photographic objects that illustrated a world of my own making. Photography allowed me to share a slice of myself, painting with light and using a process that connected me with a lineage of artists before me.
Eventually, I was less inspired by taking images from the world around me. I became more interested in material experimentation as a way to relate to reality. Inspired by the way music can speak straight to the body, I wanted to find a non-verbal way to communicate through color and form. Abstract painting emerged at the core of my practice, a way for me to have an intuitive dialogue with the materials and myself.
My relationship with paint and material lead to increasingly sculptural work. In the past few years, the painting and sculptural languages have merged, resulting in hybrid works, like wall sculpture or three-dimensional paintings, that are like a physical manifestation of my inner life.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I make hybrid works that combine the physicality of sculpture with the concerns of painting. My practice is almost entirely experimental, though definitely not in a scientific way. My studio is closer to an alter to chaos than a laboratory. I work on several things at once and bounce between them. I often think of my art practice as the way I process being alive, an unmethodical attempt to make sense of the physical world. Most of the time I really feel like a kid in the studio, grabbing whatever I have on hand and mixing it together, asking ’what happens if I do this?’
Ultimately my practice is rooted in the physical reality of my materials and the refuge of my studio. The studio provides a space untouched by societal norms where I get to be as I want – perfectionism is actively thwarted. Studio time is my ‘release valve’ and play, pleasure, and impulse reign supreme. I’m quite fascinated with the mysteries of my own body, and I think my work puts my humanness on display. In that way the work is an extension of me, and sometimes I think of it as a potential afterlife, a proxy of my essence to remain here when my body is gone.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I get to spend a lot of time with artists, both through my studio practice and through my work as an academic advisor at MassArt. Artists’ passion and commitment to their work is a powerful force, and I get to see that exemplified in first-year students, tenured faculty, my peers, and many others on a creative path in that community. It gives me great hope to see this, and it is undeniable to me that art will always survive. Nevertheless, I’m deeply troubled by the increasing inequities I see within art education. Basic art education should be a right for all people. Art can be a life raft for some of our most vulnerable young people. For that reason I think it’s vitally important that people support organizations working at the intersection of social justice, art education, and professional training. Artists for Humanity (http://afhboston.org/) is a local Boston organization doing great work in this area.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I currently have work up at the Fort Point Arts Community Gallery as part of ‘Tense’, a group show that runs through January 10. There’s an artist panel and performance on 12/6 – all are welcome.
I’m fresh off of a residency at the Inside-Out Art Museum in Beijing, China. While I was there I started a series of woven paintings that I’m really excited about. I’ve been sharing some of those on my instagram @courtney_stock_. A portfolio of recent work is available on my website, courtneystock.com. If the work speaks to you, reach out! I welcome visitors to my studio in Hyde Park by appointment.
- Website: www.courtneystock.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @courtney_stock_