Artist Interviews 2021
By Julia Siedenburg
Alice Mizrachi is the name of this badass Queens-born artist with Israeli roots, whose art is focused on female faces and personalities. With personalities I do not mean known or famous people..no no. I mean strong, beautiful empowering female personalities with messages, expressions, feelings and goals.
Some of their mission statements are written on the walls around them, some you have to find out yourself.
Anyways, I am very happy she agreed to share more about her style and background with me and with all of you. So please keep reading and enjoy.
Describe your style?
My style is a mix of folk art, urban art and something I like to call automatism which is defined by mark making created in the moment it is made. It is a detachment of expectations or what you strive for and instead an honest interpretation of your expression in that very moment.
Who do you look up to as an artist?
I look up to many of my friends/peers who have paved the way and created community alongside me. As far as my influences go- I love Marisol, Kienholz, Picasso and Bearden.
What motivates and inspires you?
Nature and beauty inspires me. I enjoy history and investigating past lives, worlds and stories. I am motivated by my desire to live my true purpose in this lifetime while also honoring my ancestors and matriarchs who sacrificed for me to be able to show up as a true expression of self. As a woman in my culture, I am making sure to live my dream life fully in a way they might not have been able to.
What is your process like?
My studio process includes observation, discovery, wander lusting and then creation. I like to be full of life and ideas when I’m in the studio as I create mostly from a visceral place. In my public art practice, I often work with community to develop ideas and concepts as we consider creating a new image in their environment. I like my mural work to be relevant and inclusive of where it is placed.
Has art always been a part of your life or did you find your way to it later?
Yes, I grew up in a DIY household so making or fixing was a way of life. As a child, I loved drawing and painting and always had encouraging art teachers. In high school, I made a decision that I would pursue a career in the arts because it made me happy and I felt obligated to live my truth.
Why is art important for society?
Art is everywhere, from the building you work in, to the house you live in, the chair and table you eat at, the packaging of products we consume. It is all around us so it’s not just important, but it is essential to humanity. I also feel art is a sign of the times and as humans we have to preserve our histories for the growth and development of future generations to come.
What do you feel when you work on your pieces? What do you want people to feel when they see your art?
I try not to dictate what I want people to feel or see. I am more interested in hearing and observing how they respond without any motive. I enjoy hearing a variety of perspectives since we all see things differently. I know that when I look at my work I see my vision as I peer into the souls of individuals I connect with or observe. I often depict eyes in my pieces that draw you in to question what the subject is feeling or saying.
Nowadays, do young people have it easier or harder to make and be successful with their art?
I’m not sure, but I do know that when I was growing up I didn’t have access like today’s youth. The internet has provided an abundance of reference images, information about art, social media platforms for networking and access to the art market. This is a huge advantage- I remember having to go to the 42nd street library to look for image references in their picture catalog. That process took a day, today you can google an image and you have so many choices.
What does success mean to you?
Tell us a little about your childhood and your background.
I grew up in Queens, NY to parents who migrated from Tel Aviv to provide a better opportunity for their children. My mom and dad’s lineage lasted generations in Israel, so they witnessed the change from Palestine to Israel and the onboarding of Zionists to the local Israeli population. Both of my parents are amazing people who have old school traditional values that I appreciate now more than ever. Their honesty, work ethic, and integrity are some attributes they instilled in me.
As a young girl, I enjoyed watching my older brother breakdance on cardboard to this new music called hip hop. I loved watching the style of handwriting and fashion develop in this new cool subculture. This period greatly influenced me as I still love graffiti and hip-hop culture. As a sister of this generation, I gravitated towards finding a style of my own that embraced my traditions, values and newfound love of a city that was so new to my family. I moved to NYC at 18 to attend Parsons School of Design and The New School and that had a great impact on my trajectory as an artist.
Besides being an artist, which profession interests you and why?
I was always interested in history, and I thought maybe I would be a good archaeologist. The idea of discovery, traveling and digs always sounded intriguing to me. Today I feel like I am an archaeologist of sorts… I travel, discover and capture images that I share with the world.
What is next for you? What are your plans for the future?
I’m currently working on a mural project with Arts Horizons x DOE. In the fall, I’ll release my first public sculpture “Renaissance Women” at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. I also have an upcoming solo show at Bell Ans located in the Hudson Valley.
I am releasing two resource texts for high school students with Davis Publications featuring women artists and contemporary artists.
My plans for the future include more happy moments, more art making, and more opportunities to create magic in this abundant universe. That’s a nice way of saying, you’ll have to wait and see…. Lol.