Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Meet the artist: Paul Lambermont

Paul Lambermont
Two Codices

Elizabeth Rossi, Curatorial Intern at La Casa Azul Bookstore sat down with Paul Lambermont to learn more about the inspiration behind the show, Two Codices.

What inspired your work that is featured at La Casa Azul Bookstore?
I've always been interested in nontraditional book forms. My piece, Codex Paradoxa Metamorphosis is inspired by Mesoamerican accordion fold codices. I also wanted to use some images that I thought referred to both Day of the Dead (Marigolds) and the current miraculous cultural fluidity that I perceive as an important part of life in New York (food labels and phone card). New York is a city of millions of Diasporas.  The Lives of the Saints is simply a book that never got around to being bound as a book so its identity is much more flexible and fluid than a bound book. Both pieces are autobiographical.

What do you want people to gain from your work?
I would like people to have some sort of pleasurable visual experience. I'd like people to recognize how much people share despite separation in time and space.

Why have you chosen the life of an artist?
I didn't choose it. Like stigmata and the thug life, it chose me.

If your art was a person what kind of personality would it have?
If my art was like a person, it would be complex and full bodied. It would be full of contradiction. It would have an intense relationship with color and other forms of sensory information. My art would understand suffering but not be caught up in it. 


About Two Codices
Books inform my creative process to a great degree. I am fascinated by the forms that books take, such as scrolls, Meso-American screen fold codices, Asian accordion books and South Asian palm leaf manuscripts. I find those book forms particularly resonant in their non linear depiction of time, of the sense that the events depicted are all happening simultaneously with no separation between past, present and future.  I make paintings and installations that reflect those forms. I also make artists books and keep elaborate journals.

I am interested in the art and myths of many cultures and time periods. Despite separation of geography and time, images are constantly repeated. My work consists of juxtapositions of imagery across the spectrum of time and space. In my work, it is common to see drawings of old sculpture next to advertising images, anatomical diagrams, photographs from newspapers and drawings of toys.  My source materials, while carefully chosen,also reflects the saturation of images that surrounds all of us.

About the artist:
Paul Lambermont was born in Butler, Pennsylvania, thirty miles north of Pittsburgh.  When he was seven, he had the life changing experience seeing a reproduction of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus in a book.  From that moment onward visual art has been his major preoccupation. Paul studied printmaking at Slippery Rock State College for two years prior to transferring to Pratt Institute. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting with a minor in Art History from Pratt in 1983. Paul continues to create and exhibit art.

Paul has been a visual arts educator since 1985, working with students from kindergarten age to adult. He has taught in after school programs, public, private and charter schools, summer camps and museums.  In 2003, he received the Lotos Club Award for Excellence in the Arts for his work with the Boys and Girls Harbor Junior Education After School Program. In 2010, Paul was awarded a Community Arts Fund Grant from the Queens Council on the Arts for his project Twelve Lives in Queens County: A Collaborative Zine.

Exhibit on view: Saturday October 13 - Sunday December 16
Paul Lambermont’s Online Presence: http://lambermont-lambermont.blogspot.com/

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