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Painted Brain | Inside Voices: Pb Artist-in-residence, Tristan Scremin
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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  • April 2, 2015

Inside Voices: PB Artist-in-Residence, Tristan Scremin

(interview by James Giaquinto)

“I’ve been here at The Painted Brain since the summer of 2012, a couple years and a little bit. I’m really amazed how the Painted Brain has grown in such a short time. Some people get here and they want things to happen right away, but I remember when we were much smaller. There was no newspaper, there was no real structure for art groups. I think we’ve come a long way. I’m impressed and happy to be part of it. I always loved Painted Brain. I know a lot of people tend to be critical, which is good because an organization only grows if people are critical, really, but I have a lot of love for the arts and I have a lot of love for the mental health community. So when that comes together, I always feel like something really cool is going to happen.”

“My art focuses mostly on something like a spontaneous generation of artwork and there is very little planning. It’s more about getting into a certain mind state and allowing that mind state to guide me through my art. I’ve never been good at copying. I tried to copy things but it wouldn’t work for me, so I rely mostly on originality and spontaneity. Think of an intuitive sort of balancing of shapes and line.”

“What Painted Brain offers me as an artist is space to make art, a community of artists and some gentle nudging to produce more, a reason to produce more, like the art groups. I’ve collaborated with several artists here at Painted Brain, and those collaborations, when two or three people work on one project, I think it builds more momentum, and I wouldn’t have had that on my own.”

“To me, the theme Inside Voices means a couple of things. On the one hand, it’s like the voices inside your mind, maybe leading you to make the artwork. On the other hand, it’s voices from the inside of a community, something like that. It’s internal, in the mind, but it’s also Inside Voices, like we’re the people inside the mental health system and these are our voices. So, it has a double meaning to me. My art, a lot of times has a lot of internal landscape because it’s not representational. Sometimes you might see a building or a face or a figure or a hand, that’s true, but they’re abstracted so that the majority of my work is based on some internal landscape. We have the external landscape, the buildings the land the air. The internal landscape is more like the emotions, the thoughts, what happens in your mind, stuff like that, the connections that happen in your mind. My work is very much about that internal landscape.”

“I hope to produce some great art. I hope to showcase that art, and I hope that some people will be interested in it. This artist-in-residency program feels different, it feels a little more professional. It feels like we have a little more incentive to produce art. I feel good about it. People should come to see my art because it’s very original. It invokes a lot of thought and contemplation, and also I worked in a team with a couple of different artists and it magnified both of our work. I think Inside Voices is going to be a really unique, interesting space, and I think you should check us out.”

Inside Voices, an exhibition of original art by Painted Brain artists-in-residency Amer Azad, 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:

Tristan Scremin was born in Rosario, Argentina and emigrated to the US along with his family as a young child. He spent his formative years in Albuquerque NM and has lived in the Los Angeles area since 1991. Tristan believes that a true understanding of one’s own story is a key to understanding the world.

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