We recently had the pleasure of chatting up the highly talented Los Angeles based artist Vanessa Prager, to pick her brain about her upbringing, her inspirations, and to chat about the upcoming pop-up exhibition entitled Across The Universe — sponsored by聽WeSC,聽Whole Foods聽and聽Bear Flag Wine.
Please tell us a little about your childhood.聽
I was born in my grandmother’s back bedroom in Los Feliz. I grew up in LA and went to a small private boarding school in Oregon during high school. I didn’t start actually drawing until I was there. I had a lot of free time and found I had a small talent, which I quickly took up and developed as quickly as I knew how.
Have you always been a creative person?
Was I always creative? Yes and no. I was always imaginative and filled with ideas, but they were hard to materialize, it took me a while to find a way to get them from inside my head to actually making something that mirrored what I was thinking. As a kid, I remember being frustrated often by that. Funny to think of now! I always liked building things, working with my hands, making things like forts, caves, and bad alterations to my clothes. But as a kid things like drawing were very stiff and I couldn’t draw more than a couple of things at that!
What inspires you in life?
Nature, people, old photos, digital degradation, vintage hair, animals, electronics. Working hard, people who do things, setting crazy goals and going for them. Just to name a few things. Really I find inspiration in tons of random things and sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint where inspiration comes from.
What would be a luxury you could not live without?
My iPhone. We have a love/hate relationship. I can’t imagine not being so super connected as it allows, even though I haven’t even had a cell phone for ten years. But really is that a luxury? Today it seems every person on earth has a smartphone.
For someone who has never seen your work, how would you describe your style?
Surreal, colorful, slightly eerie, things you think you see all the time but with an acid taste and a hint of both the past and the future.
What for you is beautiful?
Well those things that inspire me for one… I tend to like things that are strong image wise, can stand alone as a whole, yet are real, with imperfections, that show how they’re put together, what they’re made of. And color! Combined well of course. The more the better, but not to make you nauseous. That’s harder than one might think. But also these are things that can be found in nature quite often.
Could you tell us a little bit about your upcoming exhibition, and how it came about?
My show opens Thursday, June 2 and is called Across the Universe. The idea for the show came about when I decided I wanted to combine a few of the mediums I like to work in and a lot of the subjects I like to work with into one total show experience. The imagery includes people, places, animals, plants — sometimes all together, (but) often alone — and in the form of paintings, drawings and a site specific installation.聽It’s a pop up and will only exist for one night only. Danny Masterson is hosting and WeSC, Whole Foods and Bear Flag Wine are all sponsors.
I have also teamed up with Whole Foods to make a limited edition shirt which 100% benefits Whole Planet Foundation. The shirt will be screen printed with one of my ballpoint pen drawings, will be limited to 100 made, and will be sold exclusively at the exhibit.
Details: Thursday, June 2, 7-10pm, 8246 Beverly Blvd LA, CA 90048 firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit vprager.com to learn more.聽
Our thanks to Vanessa Prager for her time and contribution to this piece.聽