Instagram: @natgirsberger Website: www.natgirsberger.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I'm from Switzerland and I grew up there. I've always been artistically (and independently) inclined and felt that I needed room for expansion in a big, foreign and creative city, so I moved to New York right out of High School. I have been tested by its extremes and inspired by its diversity since. I found my artistic voice, which is intimately connected to my existential interests that have fully formed here.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.My aesthetic is a saturated retro-futuristic, 70-s inspired synesthetic journey into the realm of the transient, dreamy unconscious.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?My favorite medium is collage and installation (which is really just 3D collage to me). The infinite possibilities of the medium suit my world, while liberating my experience from the boundaries of rationalism. In collaging, the subconscious mind finds new relationships by juxtaposing what does not usually go together, it taps into layers of being that are unexplored. The modes of collaging mirror and explore the workings of the unconscious and real existence, so it's incredibly interesting to me. Collage layers materials the same way that the psyche stores what happens to us through life. Picking material is effortless, similar to having experiences. Assembling all into a composition then is the hard part, making something or re-understanding the set of materials, or experiences given. Some pieces emerge to the very surface, some are only partly visible. Collage lends itself to an instinctive, ‘automatic’ process of selecting and arranging, which is just like existence. It all feels very truthful and natural to me to collage.
4. What is your artistic process like?It's quite wild. I make a huge mess (after sourcing materials) in my studio. I select pieces of images based on whether or not I feel drawn to them. It quickly starts to look like a million magazines exploded all over the space every time. That's the expansion and that's how I start to see things. Then I slowly make my way across the hundreds of pieces spread out all over the floor and begin to see connections. It's more of a visual and organic process than actually coming up with an idea, that's the bi-product that is less planned. Usually, I end up with something that I only understand once it’s glued.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?What inspires me the most are fewer pieces of art (although I do get inspired by artists such as James Turrel, Dalì and Pippilotti Rist) than pieces of life, and specifically the exploration of the unconscious and collective unconscious. Having been exposed to mental illness in my immediate family since I was a teenager, I became fascinated with psychology and art as a way to delve into worlds that are hidden to the ego. Another piece in my inspiration puzzle is yoga, which I practice daily before my creative practice. It's a direct access point to my own inner world that I observe in fascination and explore through my work. I also get inspired by travel and nature. I think nature has a lot to teach us, and really we're just nurturing ourselves. Travelling allows me to invent new worlds in my pieces because I keep exploring places I never knew existed. So I can only imagine what else is out there. I also get inspired by my amazing city (NY) and the ridiculously talented people in it.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?I'd say it's my way of existence. It's the process that everything I experience undergoes and it is ultimately what lets me understand my inner and outer world, and on a more objective plane, it's also my job and passion. I can't really picture a different way of seeing the world, so it's hard to say, but I think it is an intensely beautiful format to experience life through.
7. Where did you study?I studied at New York University, Gallatin.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?Although I want there to be room for things to happen organically, I definitely see myself doing more shows, making many album covers, and crazy 3D installations of my collages. I'd like to spend most of my year in the studio and the rest traveling to art residencies. Basically, I would like to have a business revolving around my artwork, so I am capable to hire people on the backend to have even more time to create and collaborate with more artists. I'd like to create a life that allows for freedom to express myself on every level.
9. What about in ten?I’ll know in five years.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I want to open viewers to their own inner world in a gentle and accessible way that leaves room for expansion. I think our world is a lot better off if everyone can connect to their psyche’s full potential and construct a reality they want to live in, which is my dream for the planet.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?I love Ethiopian food, we have an amazing restaurant in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, and I forever miss traditional Swiss food, truly (definitely including chocolate). I also love Thai and Brazilian food - I'm lucky to live around a diverse mix of delicious restaurants.
12. Favourite book?Two favorites! Patti Smith's Just Kids and The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
13. Favourite genre of music?Alternative rock, indie folk, and classic rock. Classic rock album covers were my first intro to collaging.
14. What are your hobbies?I do yoga daily, I bike everywhere, and I am part of a group that puts on dance art installation parties together. I also play a few instruments and I love to travel. Snowboarding is another big hobby in the winter.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?A psychologist or psychiatrist most likely.
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