Naomi White is an artist from NYC in the process of making a second home in the great city of LA. She has a full, busy life, being a proud mama and happily married to a supportive husband. Naomi has an amazing eye and imaginative mind. She is a true cheerleader to her sister, Molly, who is an artist, as well, a gorgeous musician. If in LA, Naomi and Molly White should be in your radar. Talent, great energy, and a striking presence; what else could you ask from artists whose work you appreciate.
are you a full time artist or do you support your art by being involved with side projects?
I am now teaching as part of my artistic practice. I guide and enable students to find their voice and give shape to their projects. I am also a freelance photographer and am usually hired for portraiture, though I also shoot some table top (jewelry) and fashion (look books).
What is the direction of your photography?
My late mentor, Diane Buckler, believed in the power of surrealism to raise a photograph into the world of art. I am indebted to the surrealists, Rene Magritte and the Baroness Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven.
What are the dynamics of mom/artist titles and how the two roles affect one another?
My experience of being an artist has always required me to wear many hats. Motherhood is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. And yet it has taken a few years to make space for myself and my work again. I am working on a long form project of my son’s traces as the subject. I get a lot of perceptual and imaginative ideas from our play together that I bring to my work. And when I am working, his spirit and curiosity are present. He is never far from my mind.
I experience a lot of guilt being apart from him, even though intellectually I know that it’s healthy for both of us to have independent experiences. But as he gets older the separation is getting easier. I know this is natural, and I try to be kind to myself.
How would you describe the art scene: photography, visual arts, music in LA? Is there noticeable interaction between artists of different mediums in LA?
There is a dialogue between varying mediums and influences here. For example, one of the first group shows I participated in here showed a mix of drawings, photography, installation, video games, and pole dancing.
How does the NYC art scene compare to that of LA?
The art scene in LA seems more casual, more relaxed. (Pole dancing at an art opening, I have yet to see in NYC). For example you go to openings on the weekend instead of during the week. I see similarities more than differences though, a lot of play in the work, and questioning of the medium, which I value.
Who are the people or groups/organizations supporting photography? How do you reach or aim to increase your audiences?
The local art scene has support from galleries and art fairs like NYC, art collectives and residencies. I had participated in some shows in LA before moving here and was warmly received by those spaces on arrival. There is also the 18th street Arts Center in Santa Monica which offers studios and residencies, and an LA Chapter of ASMP. Meeting with curators I admire is always inspiring and helpful too.
Do you have any short term projects and long term objectives you'd like to share?
I am at work on two different projects, in addition to a continued exploration of Plastic Currents and Z’s Tracks. Everyday is a gift and I do my best to live in the present. My long term objectives are to continue making and showing work, and spend quality time with my family.