Yannick Lowery Interview - The Hopper Prize

Yannick Lowery

Yannick Lowery discusses early memories of making art, exploring analog animations of paper collages, the way we use digital gestures to communicate a collective of understanding, & a practice rooted in commonalities.

How did you get into making art?

One of my earliest memories of making art was a summer visit to my grandmother’s house in Detroit. She would hand me a bible and drag me to the Kingdom Hall. I used the bible as a sketchbook and would draw portraits of the speakers at the pulpit. Although both of my parents were artists, growing up I never considered it a carrer path, it was just what you were. It took a while to realize I could be what I was for a living.

What are you currently working on?

I’ve recently started to explore analog animations of my paper collages. It’s been exciting implementing movement into this practice and the different methods of display. I’m working on a project where I’ll be able to share these animations in a physical format very soon. I’m also beginning to work on an installation for the upcoming CowParade, which I’m pretty hyped about. A few other things I wont jinx.

I’ve been thinking about memes and gifs and the way we use digital gestures to communicate a collective of understanding.

Yannick Lowery

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

I’ve been thinking about memes and gifs and the way we use digital gestures to communicate a collective of understanding. In my collage work I use images as references to reshape and reveal narratives. Adding motion allows these narratives an infinite loop of experience. My goal by using traditional animation techniques, is to allow the viewer to see the physicality of each page and pay closer attention to each moment, something I think the world has learned collectively we can’t take for granted.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

I would say its a much broader experience. A major source of my practice is an ongoing collecting of sensations to document-so no matter the project, my approach is always rooted in commonalities.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

A typical day for me begins with music and tip toeing over the scattered pages from the previous day. I wake up thinking about adjustments and revisions. I usually work on about 10-15 collages at once and its a process of narrowing down to the strongest few. There are days where I just read, write, and source material. I think of those days as the actual work and the compositions as fruits of that labor.

Who are your favorite artists?

In no particular order, these artists have made me grateful to witness…Kerry James Marshall, Emanuel Admassu, Garrett Bradley, Jazz Grant, Akeem Smith, Ekene Ijeoma, Terence Nance, Titus Kaphar, Amanda Williams, Toyin Ojih Odutola…too many more.

Where do you go to discover new artists?

Social media has really been the only way possible but sometimes it feels like running through the MoMa with 15 minutes before they close. There’s just too much work to digest the way it deserves. I’ve discovered a few accounts where I listen to artist talks. Studio Museum’s Studio Live with Legacy Russell has been one of my favorites. I actually love artist interviews and have discovered a bunch of awesome artists here through The Hopper Prize.

Yannick Lowery is an artist based in Philadelphia who recently won The Hopper Prize. To learn more about the artist:

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