Artist Abby Goodman on Mishkalo

Abby Goodman

New York, USA

A Metallurgist and an Artist

Abby Goodman utilizes dedication to process in a material based practice to emphasize content. Daily life experience, dreams, and journeys, create an autobiographical pastiche complete with beautiful beasts, barren landscapes, and a cavalcade of misfit champions. Goodman uses this illusive world as a platform to address the human condition. This imagery acts as a harbinger, yet functions as a symbol of hope.

Abby Goodman – mixed media artist!

A metallurgist from the age of twelve, Abby grew up in an old barn in the outskirts of Philadelphia.  A nomadic nature drives her to work and study alongside masters around the globe, collecting knowledge in exchange for labor.  These experiential travels forge the basis of Goodman’s work.  Scavenging the streets for discarded materials, she utilizes her skills transforming found objects into freshly minted works of art.

Artist Abby Goodman on Mishkalo
At what age did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I can recall making art from my earliest memories. My mother was an artist, so I was always encouraged to create things with my hands. As a child, I took a lot of ceramics classes, and as I got older, I developed an interest in metal work, which led the way to sculpture and painting.
What is the earliest artwork you did that you can remember?
When I was twelve, I took my first metalsmithing class. I remember the smell of the studio, and the feeling of cutting the metal with a saw. And then the thing that really excited me was being taught to use the torches. I was so excited to be able to control the fire at such a young age. It was so different, and I felt really lucky to have that experience and freedom. I made a lot of small pieces which I turned into jewelry that my friends and family still have and wear.
Which classical or contemporary artists have inspired you?
Fred Tomaselli, Rebecca Horn, Takashi Murakami, Kiki Smith, Margaret Kilgallen, Chris Ofili, are just a few that come to mind. There are so many artists that inspire me, and all for very different reasons. Sometimes it’s their unique iconic imagery (Murakami, Kilgallen), other times, it’s the feelings that their work inspires (Horn, Smith).
How would you describe your artistic style?
The work is a combination of abstracted and imaginary flora and fauna, created thru the assemblage of mixed media. A variety of technique and material use in my practice allows each work to feel unique. The work is a combination of both raw and refined.
When did you first sell an artwork? How did you feel?
The first real piece of art I sold was at my first solo exhibition, in the gallery of a sculpture foundry where I was an apprentice. An artist who commissioned us to cast his monumental bronze sculptures came to check out the progress of his work. He saw my work in the gallery, and bought it right then and there, taking the artwork off the wall. He paid me in cash, it was the most amazing feeling. I always knew that I would be an artist, only this was the first time I could visualize the possibility of making a living from it.
What's your workstyle? Do you work on one piece at a time or work simultaneously on multiple pieces?
I usually have a few pieces in process simultaneously. Each piece informs the others. Sometimes I create an element for one work, which surprisingly works better in a different piece.
How do you get the inspiration for a new piece?
I draw inspiration from my life, so whatever I am invested in personally at the time finds its way into the work.
Tell us a bit about your personal life ...
I live and work in one of the few remaining artist’s loft buildings in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Most days, I spend working in my studio, alongside my mascot and muse, Vincente, (a liberated bodgea cat). I love going out to hear live music, going to museums, and reading (lately inspiring autobiographies of artists). Travel is an essential part of my world. I especially enjoy working abroad, because I am able to experience new places like a local. Also, meeting people when you are far away from home creates strong bonds in short times, and those friendships are lasting.  Most recently, I had the good fortune to have worked in a creative capacity in Hong Kong and East Africa. These experiences are still influencing my own work today.
“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist” – Oscar Wilde

A few pieces from Abby Goodman’s gallery

A dozen red roses by Abby Goodman on Mishkalo

Lisa's Backyard

A Dozen Red Roses

More about Abby Goodman

Shows & Exhibitions

2015  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

     Black Hearts, Refinery Hotel, Solo Exhibition

     Uprise Art, Norwood Club, NYC, NY

2014  Uprise Art, Norwood Club, NYC, NY

2013  Scope NYC

2012  Wishing Tree, Solo Exhibition, Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn, NY

     Winter wonderland, Uprise Art Gallery at Chelsea Market, NYC, NY

     Underline gallery, Souk: And You Shall Find, NYC, NY