MUNTHE ART MONDAY: REBECCA STERN
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
I’m Rebecca Stern, an artist living and working in Connecticut. My work is included in countless private and corporate collections, and I have participated in solo and group exhibitions across the country for over a decade. I consider myself a painter, but my practice has expanded to include fiber sculptures as well. Each piece is a "mental landscape" that investigates the complexities of the mind. Intrigued by the juxtaposition of intentionality and expressive freedom, I explore how this exists within the materiality of different mediums and the process it takes to find a balance.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
It’s extremely hard to make a living as an artist, add on top of that being a female artist and it’s like a double whammy. I have had to continually advocate for myself and promote my work persistently for years before confidently claiming that I make my living as an artist. I think as a woman there is a sense of hesitancy that I experience in advocating for myself, and it has been a process to work past that insecurity to share my work.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
Currently I’m really inspired by Nina Yankowitz and Pamela Jorden. They both approach painting in a more sculptural manner, which I admire. Yankowitz’s draped canvas pieces are stunning, and I’m attracted to the sense of movement she has created. And in some of Jorden’s most recent works she’s using unusually shaped canvases that interlock.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
Becoming a mother has had a huge impact on my work from a practical standpoint. There are projects that I have had to turn down or things that I have wanted to pursue but have had to put on the back burner because of my children. I’m constantly feeling torn between wanting to be fully immersed in my work and then also wanting to be fully immersed in my role as a mother. Both things feel immensely important to me and my identity, but it’s really hard for them to coexist. I have found ways to compartmentalize my two roles. I’m hopeful that the time my kids can be in the studio with me will become more frequent as they get older.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
Conceptually I have become increasingly interested in the duality of emotions and themes of time, grief, joy, and loss. The depth of love I have for my children also brings forth a deep sense of vulnerability. In my work, I am constantly searching for a sense of balance amidst constant movement, both visually within the work but in the experience of the viewer as well. My hope is that people approach my work with their whole selves, view the works up close and far away as they observe the movement of their own mind while looking at the work. To allow my work to serve as a mirror for their own lived experience.
Rebecca is wearing our v-neck knit, EWEN