This week we caught up with our newest addition to the Art Mecca, Korbi Dean. Korbi digs deep in her work, and she has some joyful and fascinating methods of painting...check it out.
Q: Tell us about your background.
A: I was raised in South Carolina, attended University at USC and currently reside in Charleston, SC. I was painting as early as i can remember. My parents bought me an easel and they always put up my paintings around the house. As a kid, I also used to sing, dance, write and act. I still do. Being an artist was just who i was born to be I guess. I always had some creative pursuit in the works. It was just fun for me. I played a lot of sports too.. swimming ..track and deeply into nature. Somehow the artistic side of life held the greatest appeal to my soul. Although I went off to college to get a business degree, I always managed to add a dance or art class to my schedule. I would show up to business classes wearing leotards or paint. I guess "art high school" in nyc or a major in art at Yale would have been more fitting.
Q: You work in many different mediums, can you share more about how you connect and incorporate them into your art?
My works include acrylic, ink, watercolors, sculpture, illustration and photography. I guess it just depends on what piece I am playing with. Whatever project or series I start, the piece itself calls out for a certain medium that fits it best to express the work. Its just a picture that comes into my mind. For instance when I was in hawaii, i rode a scooter and took lots of steep trails so trying to carry an easel, large canvas and paints would have been extremely challenging. Instead id take a camera and explore. My abstract water series came into being organically that way as well as underwater shots of sea life. I have some visions of different projects including a glass and metal sculpture series. The vision often predicts the medium. I love working in acrylics on canvas however i like the freedom to take art in any direction. Inspiration usually preludes the supply trip to the art store.
Q: How do you describe your style?
My work could be categorized as “Expressionistic” or “Symbolic”. An avant garde window into an artist's mind and soul much like the art movements in which artists like Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, Kooning, Pollock, Klimt, Munch and others focused more on emotions or ideas, interested in an inner subjectivity expressing emotional experiences, personal dreams, visions and less focused on depicting realism.
I usually paint on the canvas attached to the wall or floor.. I love to paint really big pieces! I start randomly with paints scattered on the floor and oddly jump and move around like a dance with instinct. It comes through me. I don't edit odd marks that appear. I set objectivity and judgement aside. I paint with my hands and a palette knife. I keep moving through the process and a piece emerges with a more realistic work coming into being or an emotional abstract. I am covered with paint head to toe by the end of it. The piece actually whispers to me when its finished.
Q: What's your studio like?
Ive had both home and commercial studios ..as well as working gallery studios. Its fun to be in a space with studio mates. I find it very inspiring and supportive. Being around other artists is pure joy and fun! We always have art walks and galleries/buyers come through. Currently, I'm in a private space moving my studio to another location tbd.
Q: What's inspiring you right now?
I'm delving into a deeper discovery around the opposing forces of urban and nature. How they intersect and balance. There has always been those two sides of me. The calling of big city adventures in NY, LA and Atlanta combined with my deep love of nature in my life living on beaches and in the mountains of SE as well as Hawaii and New Orleans.
My last few pieces in an abstract sense deal with vertical movement and lines of inner peace of soft emotions and love clashing with harsh side of life, shifts and growth that we all experience. I think nature and urban clash and rebalance every day around us. My current vertical series is on display at Art Mecca Charleston. One of those pieces, "Forrest of the Heart" 48x60 acrylic on canvas was recently on display at the Four Season Atlanta. One of my other paintings currently on display that depicts more realism with nature is on display at Portofino Restaurant in Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia. "Harvest" is 48" x 60" acrylic on canvas.
Q: Tell us about a typical day.
My day starts and ends with meditation. I'm a very quiet spiritual person. I never liked mornings so the first few minutes I'm awake I will launch into a 20 minute or more meditation. At my art studio I will literally lay on the floor on a yoga mat and meditate before i start working. I like spending most of my day on art. If I'm not painting, I'm writing or working on script/lines for a film/tv project that pops up with acting. I do a little yoga. Might take a bike ride or walk in nature. I'll take an art adventure somewhere to a new place to capture images or ideas for inspiration on a piece. I make a shake in the morning unless I find a great sausage, egg and cheese biscuit on the go. Lunch is an afterthought if I remember to eat. I love having dinner parties or discovering a new restaurant with a good friend(s) to reflect on life. If I can catch a sunset before the end of the day, great! I love the quiet of late evenings and stay up til about 2 a.m. I'll settle in for evening meditation then simply nod off to sleep.
Come see Korbi's new work at the Art Mecca this weekend.