2014 SwatchRoom Salon Emerging Artist: Carolyn Becker

We took a few minutes to sit down with recent American University Studio Art grad Carolyn Becker before her first solo exhibition at Tabula Rasa down in Eastern Market on November 6th. Becker, a young emerging artist on the DC art scene, deals with the complex yet timely ideas of fashion, beauty and societal constructs in her bright and modern collage pieces. She hopes to become a self-sustaining artist one day, and we have no doubt she'll a 4 foot, 9 inch force to be reckoned with.

ArtSee: What's the last show you saw (not yours) that inspired you? 
Carolyn Becker: This past weekend I had the opportunity to see Mia Feuer’s “An Unkindess.” I had Mia Feuer as a sculpture professor at AU several years ago and she was one of the best teacher’s I had there; she was so encouraging and open-minded. Mia showed me that sculpture could literally be anything and everything. Ever since, I have seen Mia grow fast as a popular and successful artist in the DC area, transforming materials in unimaginable ways. Whenever I am unsure about what materials to incorporate in my work, I look to hers for inspiration. 

One thing I really enjoy about Mia’s new show, is her ability to play with movement in many formats, both through the literal movement of the black ice rink, to the looming destruction if the chandelier type mass above.

AS: What's your favorite place to see art? 
CB: I love the Portrait Gallery in Chinatown. I have always been a big fan of portraiture, so this place is really the central hub of my artistic interests. Their permanent collection is outstanding, and their transitioning shows are always top notch. Another great thing about this museum is that it’s free, and right in the middle of commotion in the Chinatown neighborhood. The Portrait Gallery is a place for me to take a break from that neighborhood.

AS: Do you collect any artwork? 
CB: I do collect artwork, mostly prints. I have a super tight budget so I am really into drawing, or print trades where I trade my art for other art. I have prints and drawings from many artists throughout the country including: Aly Sims, Sarah Diamond, Torrell Arnold, Matt Hotaling, and more.

AS: What are you looking forward to most about your upcoming show at Tabula Rasa? 
CB: I look forward to finally sharing with the world my prints, drawings and paintings as a collection. I do a lot of performance art throughout the DC area, but I have always been nervous to show my works in other mediums. I am really excited to see what people think about my work, and obtain valuable feedback of how to move forward in the future.

AS: If you weren't creating art, what would you be doing? 
CB: I would be thrift shopping 24/7, trying to find the most glamorous vintage and designer clothing to wear and to resell online. I LOVE to shop! 

AS: Since you're a young artist, what advice can you give to other emerging artists like yourself? 
CB: Do whatever you want, and don’t doubt yourself. Art is whatever you want it to be, and it is integral to explore every medium as much as you can. 

AS: Favorite place to eat in DC? 
CB: Busboys and Poets. I am an indecisive eater and a vegetarian so this restaurant is the place for me. I can never decide what to eat because there are so many yummy vegetarian options that just sit there starving myself looking at the menu. Busboys is really the only place where I eat a well-balanced meal. Their sweet potato fries are the bomb.