Abby Goodman

Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
Originally I am from the Philadelphia area. I have been living in Brooklyn, NY for the past 10 years.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Rebecca Horn, Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, Fred Tomaselli, Tara Donovan, Margaret Kilgallen, Arthur Ganson, and Takashi Murakami. There are so many artists that have been inspirational to me, but these were the first that came to mind.
If I need something specific, such as dried, unmounted butterflies, for example, I turn to the World Wide Web, where you can find anything. — Abby Goodman
How do your experiences as a welder influence your creative process in other mediums?
When I was first learning about materials, I was drawn to learning metal techniques such as welding and metal smithing, because I didn’t want my creative process to be limited by my skill set. At that time, my ideas lent themselves to metal as my primary material. As my work progressed, the concept behind the work became the deciding factor in my choice of material. So, if for example, leather and wood were the most effective materials to convey a particular idea, then I made sure to learn how produce the work in the appropriate medium. I like to be involved in every facet of execution. So much changes during the evolution of a piece that I feel it is important to be hands on.

Rainbow Unicorn

In what ways are these new pieces an outgrowth of, or departure from, your previous work?
My newest work continues to address the same ideas I have always had as an artist. The imagery is constantly evolving; however, the concepts behind the work remain consistent.
Liberty Head Dress and Little Pink Houses were both shown in Austria as part of the WE COME FROM BROOKLYN show, also featuring Uprise Artist Kyle Simon. How were these pieces curated for the theme and venue of the show?
The individual artists were curated for the show more than the work itself. Graham Holly, co-owner of ARTJAIL gallery at the time of the show, proposed the exhibition based on a similarity he found between the artists he represented. Our work varied dramatically in style, however, our lives as contemporary artists living and working in Brooklyn were amazingly similar. I chose Little Pink Houses and Liberty Head Dress for the exhibition because they are somewhat social / political pieces that represent my feelings about being in America, specifically New York in this day and age.
You’ve mentioned that your works are the ‘combination of animal imagery and manufactured products,” and your art often includes animal feathers or skins. Where do you find these materials and do you seek out certain materials or craft the pieces from what you find?
A lot of my materials are found objects, or cast-offs from local shops. There is a wood shop down the street from my apartment that always puts the odd shaped cut offs out in front of their doors for anyone to grab. I have been using them as a regular source of materials for years. Sometimes I collect scrap leather from a local tannery if they have good pieces lying around. To me there is value in the excess of things people can’t use, and I love to find a purpose for it. If I need something specific, such as dried, unmounted butterflies, for example, I turn to the World Wide Web, where you can find anything.


What is something people would be surprised to discover about you?
Despite my love of New York, I am a nature lover at heart. My dream is to live out my days in a little hut, living off the land on a remote island in the South Pacific.
What are you working on now?
I am currently preparing for my solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Arts Council. The show opens at the end of September, and I am working towards having some new pieces finished before installation.

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