Q: What's been the greatest challenge in your career?
The hardest things for me have been to not have to try to prove myself to anyone, and knowing that whatever you do, it'll be criticized. It’s not about not caring what people think. I don't necessarily want them to like it, but I want them to step into a new experience when they see a piece or a sculpture.
If I'm talking about things that are related to gender, or race, or sexuality, I feel like it involves more than just me and my own experience. That’s when I'm much more sensitive to what people think. It's not about not caring, it's about not making that a priority, which has been one of the biggest challenges for me in the actual process of making my work.
Another one of the hardest things has been kind of removing myself from my history, which I don't want to do because I believe it's what's built me so much, but it seems like because there was such a sort of like sensationalism attached to it, people are often like, ‘Oh well, you know, you didn't have a traditional segue into this world.’ I went to one of the best art schools in the world and even though I've worked at the best studios, and I've done all these things it's like ... It's never quite the exact formula the art world likes their artists to fit into. [I struggle] in finding a way to detach myself from that commercialized experience, but yet, still making it a part of who I am.
I come with a crazy PR story, I come with an insane childhood, I come with my immigrant story. I come with all those things and I've been challenged so many times to erase that from my past and I can't. I think that challenge, that second challenge is really kind of learning how to integrate it into who I am in my work. Take it or leave it.
Q:What’s the proudest moment of your career?
This last project that I did in Romania. That was one of the biggest highlights for me because it came at such a crucial time for me as a woman, as an artist, and just kind of proving to myself that I still have exactly the tools I need to do the things that I want to do. The city of Bucharest commissioned me to do this crazy installation. I basically produced eight sculptures ranging in size, average about 8 feet, in like three weeks. These are pieces that are being made for exactly the opposite reason of why most people think art gets made. This about having them being interacted with, having kids crawl on them. If someone wants to have a sandwich and a cigarette and put their butt out on it, great. They're meant to withstand the environment. I don't want people to feel skittish around them or to feel inferior to them. The whole point is that they can completely become a part of their space and their environment. There's no longer any sort of segregation.