Marnie Weber.

The Desk…

“The desk belonged to my father.  As a little girl it seemed so big and powerful to me.  I remember once creeping up to him and asking him how to draw a horse and so he drew a picture of horse and then gave it back to me.”

The Studio…

Marnie Weber studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, receiving her B.A in 1981. She works and lives in Los Angeles, a city whose culture continues to impact on her work. She has exhibited widely internationally and had numerous solo public shows, the most recent being From the Dust Room, Luckman Gallery at California State University in Los Angeles. Her work is held in prestigious public collections such as Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and FRAC in Paris.  Weber also has a significant musical career, originally part of the LA band Party Boys she has subsequently released countless solo albums. Most recently Marnie Weber has formed the band The Spirit Girls, characters that feature in her latest films. The band, in which Weber is the lead vocalist, performs regularly at venues such as the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Sonic Youth posters and all art work by: Marnie Weber
Desk/Studio Photograph by:  LeeAnn Nickel, Los Angeles
FROM YOUR DESKS: Was your father an artist?
MARNIE WEBER: My father had an art degree from the New School in New York where he went on the GI bill after World War 2. He then went on to study art history and ended up getting a PhD in Asian art history and taught at USC many years till he retired. He was an exceptional artist and always regretted not following his dreams and he highly encouraged me to be an artist. He said it was the greatest thing a person could do, was to live a life of creativity.

FYD: I had an imaginary friend, Tiki, the elephant who hung out behind my grandmother’s old trunk. What was your childhood like?  

MW:  I grew up in Connecticut till I was ten and spent a great deal of time out in the woods imagining all kinds of things. I like your elephant friend. I think children in the past had less to do, more free time, less media, so there was space for more imagination. I worry about my daughter in this respect.

FYD: Did you dream?

MW: I remember as a kid not knowing if the dreams were real or imagined. I once went looking in a field for a pilot that I swear I saw parachute from a burning plane. It must have been a dream. It’s funny when your younger and dreams blend with reality. That’s why I like making films. They are like controlled dreams. We were  poor as a child so we got only four or five records a year, musicals or classical. It inspired me to make limited edition collaged LPs and CDs of my music. I wanted people to feel that same special feeling I had holding a record. Like it was very rare and special.

He said it was the greatest thing a person could do, was to live a life of creativity.

FYD: What music did you listen to; say early childhood through teen years?

MW: My teenage years were immersed in music, that’s all I lived for. Concerts and records. I was into theatrical rock and progressive rock. Big stage shows. Bowie, King Crimson, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Sabbath you name it, I saw it.

FYD: How did your Sonic Youth project(s) come about?

MW: Kim Gordon saw my show of collages in New York and asked the gallery for slides of my work. They chose the image of me as a little girl hamster for 1000 Leaves record. It was a wonderful surprise as I was a big fan. Then when there was the art show of artists inspired by Sonic Youth in Europe they asked me to do the posters for the Swedish exhibition. I was again thrilled.

I wanted people to feel that same special feeling I had holding a record. Like it was very rare and special.

FYD: You are entirely multi media; music, videos, collage, costumes. Do the elements pull together for you easily?

MW: I work in many mediums but I always have a narrative running through the work. For instance the Spirit Girls were a group of girls of my imagining who had a band but all died young and tragically before the band had success. So I told their story through film, performance and showed their landscape through collage. The sculptures were like toys from their dreams.

FYD: Are your Spirit Girls coming back for another round or are they free amongst the waves?

MW: I think the Spirit Girls are Free for a while but it might be nice if they came back for a cameo in a future series.

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