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Artist Profile: Carolyn Oberst - as part of the series on arts by GeoBeats.
My name is Carolyn Oberst. I am an artist here in New York City. I have a studio in Tribeca I have had for a long time. I am a painter and some of my paintings have gotten more sculptural lately but I had still be considered a painter. I also do collage. I came to New York originally as a fashion designer. I was doing women’s wear. My partner and I were doing a line and we wanted to come up with some interesting fabrics. The way we discovered was you could paint with a brush directly on the fabric and once I picked up the paint brush and started using it, I realized I was in the wrong business. I just so fell in love with painting that I disbanded my fashion business and started taking classes in painting and drawing at the Art Student’s League and the New York Studio School.
I usually start my studio day around eleven or twelve. I try to always have something that I am working on so if I am working on something, I just dive into whatever it is that I have been doing and mostly I spend at least four or five hours every day. Sometimes if I have the energy after a break in the evening, I will come back at night and spend a couple more hours. I make these complicated problems for myself and then I solve them and for me, the satisfaction comes from just doing the work. I really have the most fun when I am in my studio.
I have been focusing a lot on toys in the last couple of years, mostly vintage, outsider art toys, things that are hand made. They have a nostalgic quality for me that represents how kind of life used to be slower, little less complicated. The proudest moment for me was this year when I had a two-person show with my husband in Seoul, South Korea. It was a major show and a beautiful gallery and it just was so great to be somewhere as exotic as Korea and I was very proud of that. My drawing teacher said to me there are two worlds. There is the world of art which is the art that you have when you are in your studio having a good time or enjoying what you are doing, and then there is the art world. The art world is a business and so it is run on different parameters, but the studio is the time to really enjoy yourself. So you have to understand there is two different worlds, the art world and the world of art.