Lizzie Scott grew up "all over the place." Her parents were
academics and at an early age, while traveling in France, she fell in
love with paintings of the Virgin Mary. From high school on, she knew
that she wanted to become an artist. She had something to
The Silky Background
It's difficult to describe in words exactly what her art is, and what it encompasses. Various themes play out in the work: art's status as a commodity item; as a luxury good; even about artists themselves turning into brand names. She also thought about how the body and architecture meet.
She uses the rich fabric of silk and the fur because she wanted to talk about the desire these objects arouse. This reflects back on her views of art as a commodity. Scott also incorporates rubbings of bathroom tile floors through the silk; rubbings of a place in the home where body and architecture meet intimately. The designs that come out on the silk appear as ghosts and are highlighted (as well as hidden) by the light playing off the shiny silk.
The idea of silk (intimacy, desire, luxury goods, society) combined with bathroom tiles (reality, soiling, dirty, common) is a major juxtaposition. Then there are the holes. They are negative space in the fabric that (at the same time): interrupt the pattern; accept the interruption; provide doorways somewhere else; and make a whole other composition. They are sometimes ringed with feathers or fur - objects primal and earthy. It brings to mind not only intimacy issues, but feminist issues as well. The wealthy silk tied to the traditional housewife world of bathroom floors, with empty holes surrounded by fur.
Scott sees her work as multi-functional and dysfunctional.
"In some ways, an artist has no control over what the viewer sees. I don't think an artist's intentions make or limit the work, but there are things one can do with formal attributes to direct the viewer a certain way. For example, adding fur around the holes. Or the fact that these pieces are not perfect rectangles or squares. They contain awkwardness. They aren't slick pieces. They're not perfect. They contain vulnerability. Those attributes help shape what the viewer sees."
"Art is any number of things. It's almost anything that an artist does. The role of art is to create a conversation between the viewer and the art, but also to create a dialogue between the different parts of the piece itself. Art has to be a conversation. If there wasn't that dialogue or exchange of ideas I would not like living as much."
Is there is a line where something is not art?
"No. People expect to see and understand everything immediately, and when they don't, they don't know what to do with it. I think to like certain art you need to know the context around it. It's the same as if you want to enjoy watching baseball. You have to have some background."
The New York art scene, as Scott sees it, consists of segmented art communities. She finds that daunting at times since she enjoys all the various forms of art and wants to see what other people are doing in different fields from her own. Because there is such a good art market in the city, she feels it is sometimes too commercial. "The market has an immediate impact on art being created because people are concentrating on what's being sold right now. Art isn't interesting when it is made to satisfy the demands of the market. But at the same time, art isn't so special that it shouldn't be part of the market. "
Williamsburg attracted her because she wanted to be in a smaller artist community where it was tight-knit and where cross-pollination between forms is easier to foster. She enjoys the access to a wide variety of shows at local galleries.
"It is a dialogue about art when I go see a show, or when anyone goes to a show. It is a conversation between the artist and the viewer about what art is and what art can be."
She notices the double-edged sword happening locally with the growing
gentrification. She knows that the immediate effect is that of rents going
up, forcing some artists out of their spaces. She doesn't want to see
them have to leave because then part of the dialogue she treasures leaves
also. On the other hand, she recognizes that people are coming in droves
to the new spaces showing art, and that is bringing attention to young
Dialogue about Moving Forward
"Art for me is definitely work. I just can't do any old thing. I
work really hard at it and it has to be really good. It needs to be pushing