Desk drawers! Shelves of books! Stacks of boxes! Jordan Buschur's paintings are as energetic as they are familiar, admitting a sense of small adventure in being able to peek at someone's stash of office supplies, or the titles on their bookshelves. Buschur has a unique ability to discover the patterns of daily use or inhabitance, suggesting depths to these scenes beyond what we initially might see. I love-love-love the ghosts of fingers reaching for the books in the bottom image, Double Time from 2014, in which the abstracted spines seem to present other places altogether, like perhaps a seaside, or a modern building somewhere. And the angles are dynamic and just shy of confusing, allowing us to really feel these miniature collections, and in no small part because of Buschur's understanding of color.
I was really happy to see her work, and to ask her a few questions about her practice.
Can you tell me a bit about your process or studio routine? What is your studio like?
I just moved into a new studio space in an old school building. I have yet to fully set up and establish a routine there, but typically I work best when I can show up for longer stretches of time and make myself be there whether the work is fast and easy or dragging. Music and snacks are essential studio companions. I've had a home studio in the past- it's more of a challenge to get as much work done when I can easily leave the studio for the comforts and distractions of home.
Who or what are some of your major influences?
Painting is the thing that moves me, especially personal narratives tied up with expressive color, weird space, and areas of abstraction. Early on, I was so into Alice Neel's use of emotive color, graphic line and unfinished space. Tracing influences to the present, much of that interest is still there. Contemporary artists I admire are Judith Linhares, Elena Sisto, Kyle Staver, Mamma Andersson and Matt Bollinger - to name a few.
What about your subject matter; where does the inspiration come from?
Recently, my paintings have been in the world of objects and collections. Specifically, I've been making paintings of junk drawers. I'm drawn to depicting both the desire to hold on to objects (whether useful tools or sentimental scraps) and the burden that amassing junk can bring. Paired with the drawers are a group of paintings of empty boxes- evidence of a purge, a death, or a space waiting to be filled.
What do you find to be most challenging about working as an artist? What do you consider to be your greatest success so far?
Success is a moving target. Finding a good balance of time in the studio, time at a job, and time enjoying life has always been the most important task; it's also the biggest challenge. I need all three elements to be fulfilled. I feel fortunate that I've been able to have a career as an arts educator and administrator and still had sufficient time in the studio. I usually take summers off from art making and spend as much time outdoors as possible. That break can feel really good, especially since I rarely take a day off from work or studio during the rest of the year. I'm continually searching for the right balance, but when things are humming along I feel the most success.
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Buschur earned an MFA in Painting from Brooklyn College - City University of New York and has exhibited nationally, including solo shows at Realform Project Space in Brooklyn, NY, The LUX Center for the Arts in Lincoln. NE, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, NE, as well as numerous group exhibitions. You can find many more examples of her work, and more information at jordanbuschur.com.
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Continue the conversation! What do you find most challenging about balancing your art-making and "real work?" Do you consider a day job to be a necessity, or do you feel that you actually need to balance the two to be productive? Leave a comment below.