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Art & Ideas Q&A: Taking a Closer Look at the Work of Carly Glovinski

Art & Ideas Q&A: Taking a Closer Look at the Work of Carly Glovinski

March 25, 2018 // by MOCA Staff

Carly Glovinski finds inspiration in everyday objects including lawn chairs, old fabric, floor tiles, and a rusty planter, among others.  As a classically trained painter, she incorporates a significant art historical technique into her work, tromp l'oeil, which translates to “trick of the eye.”  It is a method in which artists employ hyperrealism to create the illusion that a painted detail is a three-dimensional object.  For Glovinski, her objects and installations mimic real objects so much that viewers must look closely and question if what they are viewing is manufactured, organic, or created by the artist's hand. Here, Glovinski answers some of our questions about her process and inspiration. 

Portrait of Carly Glovinski
Carly Glovinski in her studio. Photo by Michael Winters.

Where are you from originally, and where do you live now?

I am from Berwick, Maine and now live in Dover, New Hampshire. I have spent most of my life in southern Maine/New Hampshire.


When did you know you wanted to be a fine artist? How did you get your start as an artist?

I didn't have much exposure to museums and fine arts growing up. I loved making things, have always been really curious, and a collector of things.  My father worked for a telephone company, and when I was little, he used to bring me home all of these scraps of colored wire that I would collect and make little sculptures from. I also used to love making collages by cutting and pasting from department store catalogs-those were still a thing when I was little!

I never really considered going to art school until late in my high school years. I planned on going to a small New England college to play basketball, but after an injury sidelined me for a while, I began thinking about what I really wanted to do. I realized that I wanted to try living in a bigger city with access to museums and galleries, and more culture in general, which ended up taking me to Boston University's School of Fine Arts, where I majored in painting. 


What does your studio look like?

My studio is a 700 square foot space in the Salmon Falls Mill in Rollinsford, NH. The historic 1840s New England mill sits on the Salmon Falls River, which is on the border of New Hampshire and Maine, and was originally a textile manufacturing mill. I have been working in this studio space for 13 years. 




Carly Glovinski's studio. Image courtesy of the artist.


The four works of yours included in Call & Response  play an integral role in the thematic group of “Object and Process.” Tell us a little bit about your process in creating the two beach chairs and works on paper.

I started making the chair pieces several years ago after coming across my mother's old beach chair. I used her beach chair as the armature for the first one. Growing up near the coast meant frequent trips to the beach in the summer, which I have many fond memories of (and still continue to do!). So I gravitated to this chair structure for reasons that I identified with personally but I also saw these folding aluminum chair frames as perfect armatures for drawing. 

In my work, I use repetitive mark-making and various other materials to mimic the actual things. I like to stretch the boundaries of traditional drawing and painting. I love looking at woven or sewn textiles through the vantage point of drawing-can a line be used like thread?  With this in mind, I construct the chair pieces and works on paper by “weaving” a series of repetitive lines together on the page, and then further weaving those pieces together either on the chair frame as a three-dimensional work, or into a flat, two-dimensional work on paper.  The patterns and colors of the line work are invented as I am making, and not really pre-planned, or from an actual pattern. 



Carly_Z_Photo by Doug Eng_850crop
Installation and artwork by Carly Glovinski on view in Call & Response at MOCA Jacksonville. Photo by Doug Eng.


How do you select which book covers you will paint? 

The painted book objects that I place on the seats become both a place holder and an obstruction of sorts. When I choose the books, I like them to be about a subject that I am interested in first, and then have some kind of color or geometric design that complement the colors and patterns of the chairs. 


What excites you about working within a trompe l'oeil aesthetic? What are some challenges?

Everyday objects, systems of organization, and pattern structures have always been a part of my work. Working with a variety of materials within modes of trompe l'oeil traditions has been a part of my work for some time too. The term trompe l'oeil literally means “to fool the eye,” but I like to think of it as meaning “pay attention, look closer, have awareness, alter your perception.” 

My process of recreating objects to mimic the original, derives from a wanting to really understand how an object behaves and how it's made. It is about really looking at things-it's not enough to just see, but you have to experience an object-how does it behave? How is it put together? How is it organized? This process allows me to connect things conceptually, give them new meaning, and determine materials, and it informs my mark-making processes.  Staying true to that-following a rule based-trying to recreate how something was built, in my own hand-has human flaw and failing included in it….Revealing the limits of materials or the capacity of myself as a craftsman… that is interesting to me.    







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