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Painted Brain | Inside Voices: Pb Artist-in-residence, Lawrence Rozner
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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  • April 29, 2015

Inside Voices: PB Artist-in-Residence, Lawrence Rozner

JG: How long have you been at Painted Brain?

LR: I’ve been with the Painted Brain pretty much since the beginning, for ten years now. I was really one of Dave’s first members and part of his first groups for the Painted Brain when he was still working at Didi Hirsch in Culver City. It looked more like a bunch of young adults and teenagers who would get into groups. When we had our groups, we would do all sorts of different things. We would do some art projects like the mini brains and submit our pieces for what would eventually be the first magazine. At most there were seven or eight members of the group, maybe ten at most. That was 2005, 2006. It’s kind of a blur because everything moved so fast. As time went on we moved from Didi Hirsch to Daniel’s Place and then eventually to that warehouse building in eastern downtown LA. Afterwards we had our offices in the Standard Oil building in downtown proper and now we have our current location here [on the edge of Koreatown]. It’s affected me in that I’ve kind of grown more dependent on this place to help myself establish a career and a resume and submitting work beyond just the Painted Brain. I feel that it helps me build my confidence in trying to send my work out. I’m hoping to have the confidence to start submitting some of the pieces I’ve made from the Painted Brain over the last several years.

JG: How would you describe your art?

LR: I would describe myself as an illustrator who also dabbles in political cartooning and from time to time I’ll do some color pieces with marker and colored pencil and sometimes with watercolor. But I mostly draw in ink and pen.

JG: Sometimes you’ll do stuff that’s poster size?

LR: Yeah.

JG: Do you prefer to work digitally or in hard media?

LR: I think it depends on the convenience at the time. Sometimes I just don’t have any paper or pens to work with so I just use my tablet to do my pieces and when I don’t have my tablet and all I’ve got is my paper and my pens and pencils I just do it the old fashioned way with paper and pens.

JG: What do you think of the push to go digital?

LR: I think it’s kind of difficult. I mean there’s some things that you can do digitally that you can’t do with a paper and pen but then there’s some things that you can’t really do digitally like just having the feel of pen to paper and just knowing how to make the line straight. It takes me more time to do straighter lines and get it looking right on a digital tablet than it does with just pen and pencil.

JG: What does Painted Brain offer you as an artist?

LR: Well, I think it offers me a lot of resources like tools to work with. Connections too, networking with other people and getting opportunities to submit pieces for a wide audience to see. It helps me to network with people I otherwise would never have met outside of the Painted Brain like Mr. Schenk from Corbis and some of the art gallery showings that we do or some of the events we got to like the Voice Awards.

JG: What does the theme “Inside Voices” mean to you?

LR: I guess the theme means your own voices, your own thoughts, your own feelings. Sometimes you worry what you say can hurt other people but then you have to figure out at what point is it just being paranoid and not being brave enough to just say what you need to say. Sometimes it just feels very tough to limit yourself in what you say. But then you realize people are listening when you try to say something. I guess you try to put some tact into it without trying to suppress how you actually feel about it and try to as eloquently or in the best way you know to just say what you really feel. Be honest and be truthful about how you feel, about what you want to say.

JG: So is it like you’re translating the inside voices for the outside world?

LR: Yeah. For me, yes.

JG: How is the theme “Inside Voices” going to come through in your art?

LR: I’ll just probably draw things that I think need to be addressed sometimes but people are too afraid to talk about it either because they just don’t know enough about what it is they need to talk about or they’re just afraid of a different viewpoint that might offend them. But ultimately it’s the truth or it’s an uncomfortable truth that they are going to have to confront in order to see a different point of view that they otherwise would never allow themselves to see.

JG: What do you hope to gain from this experience?

LR: I guess what I would really like to do is try to get my work out more and my point of view out for more people to see and give them a new perspective about the world we live in and the way we live and what we can do to change it for the better. Also, I would like to network and try to meet more people and try to find more opportunities to get my work out there. Probably also to get a secure job. That’s also something that I think about a lot.

JG: Why should people come see your art?

LR: I think they should see it because I try to present ideas that they only think of in passing but don’t try to build upon it. I just try to say things they wish they could say but are a little too afraid to say it because if someone doesn’t say them or write the things we need to say, then who else is going to do it.

JG: Anything else you would like to say to the people who are coming to the show?

LR: I hope you enjoy the pieces I have made and it gives you a new point of view about how you think and what it means to look at art.

Inside Voices, an exhibition of original art by Painted Brain artists-in-residency Lawrence Rozner, Bugk23609, Tristan Scremin, Jesus Matias and Ashley Cherry will be held on May 9th, 2015 @ 7pm

Monkspace, 4414 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90004

While admission is free, all donations will be met with undying gratitude.

Food and live music will be part of the festivities, so plan to arrive early and stay late.

For more info: emilyaha@usc.edu

Name: James Giaquinto. What does he do? A long and winding road has led James to the
Painted Brain where his talents as a musician, artist, and writer are utilized for this awesome
and involved community of artists, and he is a frequent contributor to Painted Brain News.

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