Behind the Art: An Interview with Jill Baroff and Stefana McClure

Stefana McClure, left and Jill Baroff, right

Stefana McClure, left and Jill Baroff, right

Jill Baroff and Stefana McClure are a couple of artists based in New-York.  To celebrate the continuity of their relationship and their recent marriage, the artists recently presented a new exhibition, "What's Yours is Mine" at Bartha Contemporary, London, which explores the notion of joint authorship through collaborative pieces alongside works that each artist created individually.  More can be read on the exhibition here

 

1.     Are you an early bird or a night owl?

We are both early birds.

 

2. Are you a tea or coffee person?

Coffee.

 

3. When did you first feel your calling to create art?

Stefana: I’ve always had a mania for cutting things up and surprised my parents at the age of 6 or 7 by asking Santa for a pair of very sharp scissors.

Jill: There is a photo of me aged 5 intently building structures in a sand box, next to my father’s cement mixer.

 

4. Can you remember the first piece of art that you ever created?

No.

 

5. Where do you find inspiration?

From poetry, literature, music, film and the landscape that surrounds us.

 

6. Do you listen to music while you work? If so, who or what kind of music do you listen to most?

No, but we both love to listen to classical music and jazz when we are not working.

 

7. What is your favourite colour and why?

The colour of water, because of its ability to reflect all colours.

 

8. What is your most creative time of day (or night)?

Early morning.

 

9. Do you have a muse or role model?

No.

 

10. What is your most important work tool?

Stefana: My fleet of guillotines.

Jill: My Olfa knife.

 

11. Is there a specific place where you feel most productive?

Yes! Our new studio in the Hudson Valley.

 

12. What piece of work are you most proud of?

Stefana: The Decalogue, English subtitles to ten films by Krzysztof Kieslowski, the first major series of films on paper I made. (The drawings are now in MoMA’s collection.)

Jill: The suite of Tide Drawings I recently produced for the Hamburger Kunsthalle.

 

13. What are you currently working on?

We are preparing for a two-person show, What’s Yours is Mine, at Bartha Contemporary in London and Stefana is getting ready for a solo exhibition at Sleeper in Edinburgh.

 

14. Do you look at the work of other artists?

Yes.

 

15 What do you think makes art good?

Authenticity.

 

16. What other contemporary artists do you currently admire most?

Ann Hamilton, Vija Celmins, Rosemarie Trockel, Leiko Ikemura, Pierette Bloch.

 

17. Do you have a favourite city to visit?

Kyoto, Japan, where we met 21 years ago.

 

18. Name your top 3 holiday destinations.

La Gomera, Cathar Country in Languedoc, Santo Stefano di Sessanio.

 

19. What is your favourite gallery or museum in the world?

Kolumba, Cologne.

 

20. How would you describe your fashion style?

Simple. Functional. Minimal.

 

21. What is your most treasured possession?

Our 1934 edition of Adventures of Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse in Koko Land.

 

22. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

Stefana: A writer, translator or interpreter.

Jill: An architect or poet.

 

23. What advice would you give those wishing to pursue a creative path?

To quote David Bowie: “Never get comfortable”.

 

The artists' current show 'What’s Yours is Mine’ is on at Bartha Contemporary until 18th November 2017.  More information may be found here.

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