Friday, May 13, 2011

The Interview as Art
Evelyn Markasky

  1.  1. What was your first work of art and how old were you?
The first thing I remember doing was probably when I was about 7? I would tape long pieces of paper together, 2 or 3 pages, and then draw a house on the front sheet. The front sheet would have doors and cabinets that I would cut so that they would open and then I’d draw what was inside the cabinet on the sheet of paper under that one.

  1. What did you do for fun when you were a teenager?
Oh, I was a bad teenager. For fun we would go hang out at MacDonald’s with a 6-pack of beer and chain smoke. My friend's grandfather owned a corner store and we would sneak out cigarettes and beer and wine, because of course we weren’t old enough to buy them. Popular favorites were Boones Farm and Ripple, when I was in college we discovered Mad Dog 20/20. 

  1. What and when was your first job?
I was 16. My first job was as a telephone solicitor, selling magazines. That lasted about a week, then I got another job with my friend, Dennise, as  telephone solicitors selling photo packages for Olan Mills. That lasted about 2 weeks. My best job was selling candy and popcorn at the Newport Theatre. We got to see movies for free.

  1. What was your first work that really pleased you as an artist?
Other than the paper houses, probably a collage I did when I was in college in the privacy of my basement. I spilled my life onto it. It was very emotional. My mistake was showing it to my art teachers. They didn’t like and weren’t afraid to say so. Of course me and my friend, Nancy, balanced things out a bit when we did independent studies and told them we were going to do a conceptual art piece and lock ourselves in the bathroom in the art department every Wednesday and record our conversations as art. We used to have a comedy act and we did lock ourselves in the bathroom each week so we could write our show. I think we got an 'A.'

  1. Who was the first artist to influence you?
I don’t know about the first, but the most influential was probably Andy Warhol. He makes you see that you should just be yourself.

  1. Who were your favorite movie stars growing up?
Vincent Price, Cary Grant, Robert Dinero, Jack Nicholson, Ingrid Bergman, Shirley Temple

  1. What were your favorite TV shows growing up?
     When I was little I would build forts in the living room with blankets and chairs and  watch Queen for a Day and Loretta Young Theater. I also liked The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone and of course the westerns; Sugar Foot, Cheyenne, Bat Masterson, Bonanza…

  1. Has your work gone up in price compared to when you first started?
      Maybe a little. Depends on where it’s located.

  1. Where do you get your ideas?
R-A-D #77 4/24/10
Sweet Potato Ring                     

Everywhere. I look through a lot of books for inspiration. Cooking, I always visually like the scraps of food that I’ve cut up laying on the cutting board. I’d always save them for inspiration. I’d have little bits of the ends of peppers, and sweet potatoes, and cucumbers… they’d dry up and sit on my windowsill for months. Fortunately, doing Ring A Day, I was able to insert many of those vegetables into rings!

  1. Who do you think is the best business artist in the world?
Someday I’d like to say me and I’d like to do it without having to sell my soul.

  1. Do you think that there are any art movements now?
RAD #182 & #183 7/19 & 20/10
Copper and Ruby... uh I mean Sucret
I think that the internet has leveled the playing field for the arts and music. You don’t have to be in a gallery to be seen or successful. We are free to chose what we want to do and art is very diverse now. We can all be artists and be successful no matter where we live or how many children we have. 

Also, I love the turn in the last decade to using non-traditional materials for jewelry. I never related that well to precious metals and precious gems. 

  1. Do you think kids should get grants to decorate subways?  Yes. I think teenagers need more legal creative outlets where they can express themselves and what they are going through without being judged all the time. We need to stop being afraid of teenagers.
  1. Have you or anyone you know been involved in street art?
This is one of my son's paintings
UCLA live painting
When I was in high school there was someone (or more than 1 person, we never really found out who did it) that wrote Joe/Val all over town. It was very influential. They were kind of a legend. I never did graffiti myself other than chalk on the sidewalk for hopscotch, but my son became a graffiti artist in high school. Unfortunately, he got caught (twice) and that ended his career (at least that’s what I like to think) He got caught doing graffiti on a wall miles long next to some railroad tracks that was covered (for miles) with graffiti.

  1. Do you ever think about politics?
No, only when it’s thrown in my face.

  1. What is your favorite color?

  1. Do you do all your own work, or do you have people working for you?
I do it all myself, although it would be nice to have some to at least clean my house or do my yard work. Those are not my strong points.

  1. Do you have an interest in films or video?

Yes. When I was in college me and my friends made many many movies. We used super 8 cameras that would take film that only lasted 3 minutes. Actually 3 minutes was usually enough! I would love to do some video now, I just haven’t had the time to pursue it.

  1. What kind of toys do you have?
Hmmm, pick-up sticks, dominoes, dolls, Pokey, Rubics Cube….

  1. Do you have any habits you’d like to kick?
       Eating too much.

  1. What do you do when you’re not working?
I like to read or watch scary movies. My husband doesn’t like scary movies so I have to watch them when he’s not home. I also really like low budget scary movies.

  1. Do you play any games?
Me and my husband have a standing Parcheesi challenge. We’re playing to see who will win 25 games first. I’m winning so far. We’ve had this going for about 15 years. We don’t play very often. I also play bocce ball sometimes and we have a washer pit in our back yard. Washers is like horse shoes only you use large washers and try to get them in the cup.

  1. How old were you when you got your driver’s license and is there a story attached to it?
 I was 16 and the day before I went to take the test, my parents went on vacation for 2 weeks. Probably wasn’t a good idea to leave a 16 year old with a new driver’s license AND a car, especially one that was a very bad teenager!

  1. What time do you go to bed and what time do you get up (most of the time.)
I think if I could do it how I wanted, I’d probably stay up till about 3 or 4am and get up around 11am. So my compromise is I usually go to bed around 1 or 1:30am and get up around 9:30am. I am not really a morning person. I hate to go to bed at night.

  1. How much time do you spend on the computer? As much as I possibly can.

  1. Do you watch TV, (if so, what are your favorites?)
TADA #113/365 4/25/11
I love TV. I tend to watch old situation comedies, like I Love Lucy, My Name is Earl, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond… new stuff – Raising Hope, Bones, and sorry, but I am an American Idol fan! James Durbin is from Santa Cruz! Oh, yea and you probably already know I watched the Royal Wedding! I love pop culture!

  1. What do you eat?
I like to eat the same things all the time. If I could, I would eat the same thing every day. I like sautéed vegetables, fish, hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, although I am trying to cut back on those last 3. I like to cook, (not every day) and I make soup a lot, beans, rice…

  1. Do you believe in flying saucers?
Of course! You’ll have to hear those stories another time.

  1. Do you believe in magic?
TADA #78/365 3/20/11
Fold Form Ring Colored with heat & Prisma colors
Yes! Bending, folding, coloring metal is magic!

  1. 29. Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?
No. I am extremely paranoid and strongly believe in conspiracy theories!!

  1. 30. Do you look in the mirror when you get up?
Yes, and I look pretty good as long as I don’t put my glasses on. It’s like having one of those special fuzzy lenses they use on old movies stars.

  1. Do you think the world can be saved?
I think the world has been around for a long time and gone through many different types of things. I don’t think we have that much power that we can save or destroy something so much bigger than ourselves, we can only continue to do what we think is the right thing, and I guess that may be different for each of us.

  1. Do you think there should be censorship?
RAW #18/52 TADA #125/365 5/7/11Only if we can trust who is doing the censoring.
From Wikipedia: Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.


  1. What a great interview! You are so funny. And I thought I was the only Idol fan I knew.

    All your pictures are great too. I love your work.

  2. Thanks, Mary Lu! Did you watch Idol last night?!!

  3. all of my suspicions about you have now been confirmed!
    Loretta ;-)

  4. My son and his friends did graffiti on the basement wall at our house, so he got caught with no harm. And I did watch those old Western; Cheyenne, Bat Masterson, Bonanza… :)

  5. You're so funny! Love your interview! Now everything make sense, in a good way of course :-)
    I also find pop culture very interesting to observe, this is why I watch almost everything:-)

  6. loved ur interview Evelyn! fun to read and so varied...i think i'm gg to start reading up on Warhol v soon..tho that was an question that didnt need any guesses ; )

  7. Now I now why I like you so much :)