Light on a Woman Artist
Marie Bagi presents to you,
Have you always create, and especially sculpture ?
I first started drawing. I drew ALL THE TIME. I was alone. An only child with no neighbors and no one to play with. So I drew my friends. We had no TV, but we had music and nature and two great dogs. I still missed people very much so I became an artist that drew the figure. Maybe I wanted to draw my friends. My parents were very athletic so I could see muscles on them and the science of learning anatomy and human proportions became important so I could draw people realistically.
How did you get involved with art ?
I was drawing from a very young age and even remember doing nude model life drawing classes at the age of ten. But the most profound memory I have is when I was 9 years old ; I walked past an art gallery in town. There were shiny bronze figures of dancers in the gallery window. I knew that I could do that. I didn’t know how, but I had an immediate burn in my soul to capture that 3D form in metal. From then on, I chased sculpture as my muse and devotion.
When did you first expose your work ?
To the public ? I never counted myself as being a professional artist if I sold to people I knew, so the first sale I made to someone I did NOT know was a very BIG deal to me. This was back in 1996 when I left my 3-year apprentiship to continue on in art school, 3000 miles away from home. Before I left, I put the single bronze sculpture I had, in a gallery window. (the gallery was on the same street as the one I had walked down when I was 9 !). I was now a busy art student in Philadelphia when the calls from the gallery started coming in every month… sold one ! Sold another ! And another ! Wow- what excitement I felt ! I knew I was on the right track and the universe was rewarding me.
How hard was it to get a recognition ?
Well I did not become an artist for recognition- that was first and most important. Second, its very hard. And if you don’t graduate with an MFA from a prestigeous art school, the future is a long road of hard work and hard times. But that is perhaps a good recipe for a great body of honest work.
« Just keep your head down.
Believe in yourself !
Find your own voice in your own studio space.
And produce ! Produce! Produce! »
Thats what I told myself. And it has really helped. Looking back, I can’t believe how much I have done in 25 years. I am still a mid-career artist, so hopefully I will still get some recognition. Fingers crossed ! ;)
How can intimacy shows in your pieces of work ?
I am sorry but I don’t really understand this question.
I use live models in my studio. I look into thier hearts. I become inspired by them. I do NOT have an EGO with them. I love all of humanity and I want to show this love in gentle, powerful and vulnerable ways. In doing so, I share a bit of myself every time. I suppose good art always has to be very intimate—and honest. (she perfectly answered).
Where can we see your work expose permanently or not ?
Currently it is not permanently found in Europe, publically—only privately. It can be seen in many art galleries permanently in the USA. My website has a list.
Can you talk about Expansion (2004) ?
It’s a bit of a story !
I had no idea the image would become so powerful, to so many. Creating an image is more of a gift than a power. And being given this gift, it is an obligation to constantly give that gift away in order for it to have any power at all.
Author : Marie Bagi, Contemporary art history and Philosophy, PhD.
Published on July 2rd, 2020