Los Angeles, CA|
Oils & Acrylics|
View Artist Statement
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Gallery Direct Interview with IONE CITRIN|
Ione is an avant garde artist whose artistic expression takes fantastic shape through her diverse oil and watercolor paintings, bronze sculptures, found object collages and mixed media assemblages. Her contemporary paintings and sculptures range from abstract to realistic to impressionistic - all visionary interpretations from her imaginative soul.
I understand you have not always been a “visual artist.” Could you tell us a little about your life before you immersed yourself into the visual arts?
Before “visual art” I was an actress. I began in Hollywood doing bit parts in TV shows and movies and then moved to Chicago with my new husband and started performing on radio/TV commercials. I also had a morning television show, “The Prize Movie With Ione”, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. five days a week on WLS-TV Chicago. (Channel 7) It was the highest rated show in that time slot for 7 years until it was replaced by “Good Morning America”. During the run of the show I continued with my voice-over work, so I was very, very busy.
How did your career in television, radio, theatre and film prepare you for the world of visual arts?
I don’t think it did. Visual art (painting, sculpting, etc.) is something you have to have a natural ability (talent) for. It has nothing to do with performing. Performing is getting up in front of people, assuming a character or personality, and delivering it. Whereas, visual art is a solitary profession based on internal visions and the ability to transfer these ideas onto canvas or into clay, etc.
Who encouraged or inspired you to direct your diverse talents to the visual arts?
Noone. I was searching for something to unleash myself upon and gradually tried painting. After the first painting, I knew I had found my passion.
You say that being an artist is a life force, not a career of choice. Could you explain this statement?
I would be very depressed if I couldn’t express myself through art. It offers me an outlet for my imagination. It lets me bring life to my ideas, dreams and past life experiences.
How did you approach visual arts in the beginning? What was the first media you used and what was your subject matter?
A friend invited me to her painting studio to paint with her. I professed complete ignorance, having never even held a paint brush in my hands before. She said, “Don’t worry, you can use my supplies”. “But what should I paint?” I exclaimed. She answered, “Bring a picture from a magazine and you can copy that.” At the end of the painting session my painting looked exactly like the picture I had copied. We were both amazed. Naturally this whet my appetite for more and I was and still am, “hooked”.
Your work includes a number of media. Could you tell us which medium you have found the most rewarding and why?
They are all rewarding. Each one brings out a different aspect of my talent. I seem to do different things with different mediums. I’m never bored. I just move onto a subject in a different medium. I have a complete set of encaustic tools and paints which are staring me in the face, compelling me to delve into this medium, so the next time the “itch” occurs, I believe I’ll dip into encaustics.
What life experiences have most influenced your choice of subject matter?
Who knows what’s in my psyche? Whatever I’ve experienced is stored within my memory chip, and is brought out by a stimulation concerning the subject. Also, my past experiences influence my new ideas. Hard to peg. I’ve always enjoyed beautiful, decorative art, and still do, and find myself creating this style most often. A:
What are your favorite pieces of work you have done and why are they your favorites?
I have no favorites. I gave birth to all of them. The labor was difficult on all, and I love all my children equally.
When you reflect on your other careers, how does your career in visual arts compare and what do you enjoy most about being a visual artist?
First and most important, I’m doing my own material and I’m not subject to directions or other people’s opinions on my performance. I can do my art without having to wait to be called for an audition/interview/job. I just waltz into my studio, my cherished space and dive in. Visual performers need to be called by an agent, friend, etc. for an audition/job, and you better perform exactly as the directors/producers want you to perform, otherwise you’ll never work for these people again.
During your career as a visual artist, what have been your greatest success and your biggest setback?
My greatest successes are the awards I win in art competitions, and the sales I make. The biggest setbacks? None. I’m not dependant on the awards or sales to enjoy the creative process.
How do you think or want other people to respond to your work?
They all seem to appreciate it.
You have had a very successful career as an artist; what advice would you give someone just starting out in their career.
Just work at it as much as possible. It is a labor of love.
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