Vanessa Prager


Portraits by Emman Montalvan
Fashion Editor Juliet Vo
Hair & Makeup by Jenna Kristina at Tomlinson Management Group

Vanessa, from a very young age, were you conscious of your talent?
Not so much. I remember in my pre teens getting interested in wanting to draw and make things but the whole process was a later development relative to some other artists. 

Your works have a very high density, a significant dimension that is isolated in your work. What is your relationship to these textures?
It’s just a back and forth process of building figures up. It happens the textures and depth help me make the forms.

How long does it take your pieces to dry?
So long. Months at least but they are touch dry before, a couple weeks maybe.

Do you work particularly on wood? Could you explain the creative process in determining this passionate entanglement?
Yeah I work a lot on wood because my paintings can be very thick. I’m trying to give them a good support. I basically will begin a piece and immediately start to see a shape or figure, sometimes just out of the pure white beginnings. And from there it’s just a process of freeing the creature thats trapped within.

Are your subjects simply a thought of mind?
Yes I make them up but they are all parts of me and things I see (or make up) in others around me. They are more emotive than anything.

Could you tell us a little about your upcoming group show, Behold! The Blob at the Richard Heller Gallery?
It’s a group show and all of the artists’ work share the theme of 'blob'. I guess that could seem pretty open but a blob is also pretty specific. It’ll be interesting to see how each person’s blob carries out.

Have you ever started or thought of venturing into commissioned projects, and what are you thoughts on this?
If so I imagine it including a large three dimensional form.

Lastly, from where do you draw artistic inspiration?
Right now travel, plants, food, and animals are top. I also tend to humanize inanimate objects. For fun, but it’s interesting because that’s basically what I’m doing with my work, trying to create life where there is none. Like my car is Benny.

Vanessa's group exhibition Behold! The Blob is on display at the Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica from June 13th—August 1st 2015

Special thanks: Kelly Tomlinson & Jessie Cohen