RMW: I create sculptures and installations. Because the installations I create transform or respond to a specific space, they’re mostly site-responsive or site-specific.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
RMW: While I think that all artists are constantly looking and absorbing information from the world around them, I think that the seed of my inspiration is in human psychological states—perhaps my own. I want my works to evoke the boundaries and limits that are imposed upon us or that we place on ourselves. Clothing and architecture—two structures that house us—are also both inspiration to me since they represent external structures and limits.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
RMW: When creating a sculpture, I often start with a concept, sometimes physical, like a window for example, and work to create an object that encompasses it. Then I try to represent it physically through my materials. I’ve sort of developed my own language through materials: frames in maple and walnut enclose; rock and cast cement obscure; threads and leather chain restrict or hold in place. Installations almost always start with the architecture or environment that will surround them; I think about the natural pathways or characteristics of that space and try to highlight or interrupt them.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
RMW: I use my material language to evoke ideas or objects that are already embedded with meaning for People. So I hope that people can grasp the concepts behind the work; then I know I’m being at least somewhat successful. But overall, I try to make those references loose enough that people can bring their own experiences to the work and still find something relatable in it.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
RMW: Ah, well, artists in NYC—and probably everywhere—are always hustling. I wish I could say that it’s a glamorous job because I think that’s what non-artists want to believe—but it’s a lot of hard work, work that’s never ending. That being said, it’s pretty awesome to be your own boss.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
RMW: I think that making successful work is about achieving a balance between direction and intuition. Finding that balance has always been a challenge for me. I think I often get wrapped up in planning or in my preconceived notions of what a piece should be that I end up not spending enough time listening to the thing as it’s getting made, telling me what it wants to be. I think good artists can sort of gracefully oscillate back and forth between those two states throughout the creative process.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
RMW: Just one?! This past month has been full of back to back installations and I’ve probably learned the same few lessons that I’ve been re-learning for the last 8 years: it always takes longer than you think it will; you’re always going to need the one tool you left in the studio; don’t over-estimate what you can do on your own; don’t under-estimate what you can do on your own.
RMW: Everyone has their own aesthetic. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not good.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
RMW: There never seems to be enough time. 10.What is one thing you love about being an artist? Being an artist I hope means that my work can transcend boundaries and affect people from all different walks of life. Especially now, it feels important to try and speak a universal language.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artists that inspire you in any way?
RMW: Jesús Rafael Soto, Alex daCorte, Tatiana Trouvé, Nick Cave, Janet Echelman
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
RMW: While I don’t rely on it, technology is creating new languages for artists to work in, which is really exciting.
RMW: I think I’m an artist because I view the world differently rather than that being an artist has allowed me to think differently.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
RMW: I do, but finding the time is hard. I loved Istanbul.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
RMW: David Foster Wallace is a genius. I wish he were still alive and writing.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
RMW: I’ve got my fingers crossed for some upcoming opportunities.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
RMW: I think it’s really all about transcending barriers to communication. I’m focusing a lot more on large-scale and public artworks these days in the hopes of being able to put art in places where a more diverse crowd can have access to it.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
RMW: Listening to a lot of ANOHNI these days.