Jun 1, 2009

Interview With BOS Artist: Nesta Mayo

**Nesta Mayo will be showing her work at 796 Broadway, 2nd & 3rd fls**

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I spent most of my youth in Houston. I came to NYC to attend Hunter College, finishing my MFA in 2005.

What project(s) will you be showing during this year's open studios festival?

I have been working on a long series about Flounder, the flat fish that garbles up creatures at the bottom of the sea floor. To me, I find this creature incredibly curious in that its evolution has been so seemingly uneventful. It is a very primordial looking fish, not terribly attractive. Why have other kinds of creatures, such as peacocks, giraffes or bees for example, developed very intricate behaviors and features that for us become defined traits of beauty? The flounder needs no such frills.

What inspired this project?

The idea began as an autobiographical side project, an old memory. When I was small, my father would take me out to the flats of the Gulf of Mexico where we would set up camp on the beach, wait until sun down when the water would become calm and clear. We would very quietly wade out a hundred yards or so with a lantern and a spear. Eventually, we would see movement in the sand, just enough to hint that a flounder had burrowed itself there. Wham! We’d spear it, making all kinds of sudden ruckus, wade back to camp, clean it, cook it and go to sleep. It was quite a thrill, but strange. I didn’t quite understand the point of the whole thing. The memory is very surreal. I thought it worthy of a few drawings though now the series seems to have no end.

Any plans in the works?

I continue with the Flounder Series though literal depictions have begun to evolve into more abstract investigations of the subject. I’m starting to explore other such odd creatures that challenge my ideas of memory, ritual, beauty and behavior. Porcupines, buffalo, fleas, blowfish and vultures come to mind.

How long have you lived in Bushwick, and what initially drew you to the neighborhood?

I officially moved out here about a year ago. I had a tiny, overpriced spot on the Lower East Side for too long- totally unfit for a live/work space. I’m much happier in Bushwick where a layered sense of history has yet to feel so swept under the rug by prefab facades and, well, I won’t get into it…

Can you recommend any Bushwick artists or art venues that you think we should check out?

During BOS, the space where I work will be open. I invite you to stop in! We’ve called it Hotel. We should be on the map. Here you will find Rahul Alexander, Ken Madore, and Roy Stanfeild’s work. Having spent time with each of their work and sensibilities, I can confidently recommend the work with high enthusiasm.

Thank you Nesta!

To learn more about Nesta's art practice, check out her website.

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