Shalom Life | April 23, 2014

Top 20 Jews In The Arts - Lisa Anne Auerbach

Lisa Anne Auerbach marks Day 20 of our special feature.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: May 1st, 2011 in Culture » Art » Interviews

Top 20 Jews In The Arts - Lisa Anne Auerbach

Over the next 20 days, ShalomLife will be presenting the Top 20 Jews In The Arts. One artist will be featured a day from various disciplines including visual arts, acting, writing, comedy, and music.

We sent the participating artists the same 30 questions with instructions to answer all, or just a few. Have fun learning about these fascinating individuals, and please check back daily to compare their answers. Enjoy!

Lisa Anne Auerbach

Lisa Anne Auerbach runs a modest publishing and propaganda empire out of a former stuccolow in South Los Angeles. When she’s not on her bike, she’s knitting inflammatory, slogan-adorned sweaters and banners, making photographs of overlooked landmarks, and putting small publications out into the big world. With Saddlesore, American Homebody, American Stuccolow, and Last Week In the Project Space, she has made mountains out of molehills and continued the tradition of insisting that the personal is political. Her sweaters, small publications, and photographs have been shown in museums, galleries, cooperative bicycle repair shops, kunsthals, and on vacant desert lots.

Recent solo exhibitions include “Torn Porn” at Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL, 2011, “The Tract House: A Darwin Addition,” APS Museum & Philagrafika2010: Out of Print, Philadelphia, PA “If Nothing Changes, It Changes Nothing” at Printed Matter, NY, 2008 “Take This Knitting Machine and Shove It” at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, England, 2009, University of Michigan Museum of Art UMMA Projects, 2009 and an exhibition of political campaign sweaters at the Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, Colorado, 2008. Her work was included in the recent group exhibitions “Art and Social Justice, Union Theological Seminary, NY “Nine Lives: Visionary Artists from Los Angeles” at the Hammer Museum, LA, CA “Read Me: Text in Art,” at the Armory Center in Pasadena, CA “Words Fail Me” at Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit “The Way That We Rhyme” at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA and her Unicycle Shop was located for the weekend at High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree, CA. Her project “The Tract House” occupied a small space in Baltimore as part of the “Cottage Industry” exhibition at the Contemporary Museum in 2008, distributing free tracts on all matter of subjects and viewpoints.

Her book, Unicycle Shop, a documentation of the artwork of the same name, was published by Onestar Press in Paris in 2007 and Charted Knitting Patterns for Sweaters That Talk Back, was published by Printed Matter in 2008. A catalogue to accompany her solo exhibition at University of Michigan Museum of Art was published in 2010.

She is the recipient of a 2007 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, a 2009 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and is represented by Gavlak Gallery in Palm Beach, Florida.

For more info on Lisa, visit www.lisaanneauerbach.com

Where do you go when you’re lacking inspiration?

It would be nice if there was an inspiration tree I could go to every time I needed some inspiration, but it’s not that specific. I never know where I might find it. It could be an article in the newspaper, a conversation with a friend or stranger, a bike ride through the city, or a song on the radio. From time to time, it’s a lightning bolt, but that’s rare.

Where's your favourite place to travel to?

I’m always psyched to be somewhere different. Sometimes going to another part of town is enough. I love crossing the bridges in Los Angeles on my bike. When I get on an airplane, I like going to New York or Florida or London. I just visited Oslo for the first time and that’s an incredible place too.

What's your favourite dish? Where do you normally get it?

I like kale and potatoes with lots of garlic and crushed red pepper. I get it in my kitchen.

What's your biggest pet peeve?

Clipping nails in public. The sound of the nail clipper makes me cringe. It’s disgusting. I don’t understand why people do it. It drives me absolutely insane.

Are you religious? Spiritual? Nothing at all?

I’ve been an atheist for as long as I can remember.

What's your favourite movie?

I don’t have one favoirite, but there are many close to my heart. David Cronenberg’s adaptation of the Ballard book “Crash” is near the top of the list, along with many of his other films, like Rabid and Eastern Promises. I have a soft spot for films about devil children, like Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen and The Brood. I’m interested in films by Michael Haneke, though I find them mostly unwatchable, and I like Stanley Kubrick, especially Eyes Wide Shut, which most people seem to abhor.

Musician/band?

Slayer’s definitely up there.

If you weren't working in the arts, what would you be doing?

Good question!

Can you offer a piece of advice to aspiring artists?

Don’t give up. Just keep doing what you want to do and eventually it will catch up with you.

What is your biggest weakness?

I have a really hard time recognizing people, even people I’ve met a bunch of times. It’s embarrassing. When I heard that there was an actual psychological disorder, I thought maybe I had it, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think I’m just bad at it.

Do you have any vices?

I used to be a full-time, committed bicycle commuter, but then I got a job far away. I consider driving to work, with the sunroof open and Top 40 blasting, to be a definite vice. Maybe if I was listening to NPR I wouldn’t feel so bad.

Is there a quote or motto that you live by?

There are so many...

What item do you never leave your house without?

I always carry my keys and a camera.

Tea or coffee? From where?

I’ve tried to switch to tea, but I remain loyal to coffee. Cafecito Organico is my main supplier.

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