Connie McSilver is an artist with an unconventional background. In addition to being an extraordinary sculptor and painter, Connie McSilver also is a noted psychoanalyst, acclaimed social worker, and a philanthropist. Combined with her indelible sense of humor, her work reflects her fascination with people, her belief in the sole spirit and soul whether interpreted through happiness and joviality or sadness and sorrow. Her art dictates this partiality for people through inherent humor and colorful extravagance. Her drawings and two and three-dimensional works depict a camouflaged and masked human figure that transcends into a fantasy world.
Connie McSilver, whose bold and colorful sculptures and paintings were exhibited in the venue, was the Featured Artist, selected by Bernard Markowicz, owner of Markowicz Fine Art, who exclusively curates the art at the Next Generation Green Room for every new show of the Florida Grand Opera; as a special guest for a pre-performance private dinner and sharing the motivation for her emotionally charged pieces.
McSilver, takes a que sera, sera approach to her artwork by sketching out her first draft with her head turned away from canvas. Thereby, allowing her subconscious to guide the direction of her work. Le CITY deluxe had the pleasure of speaking to Connie McSilver and delving deep into her artistic process.
When did you realize that you want to be an artist?
Let me tell you how I started this. This will go all the way to my grandmother. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s. I was about 8 years old and my job was to take my grandma out for a walk. We would go for a walk and she would hold my hand and she would see things. “Connie, there are men in the trees! Be careful,” she’d exclaim. I’d tell her that I don’t see anything and she would point at the branch and outline the figure of a man for me.
Do all of your sculptures start from your initial painting?
Yes, indeed. All of my sculptures start from a painting. If am going to do a 3D sculpture, I sculpt out all sides, but I always start with a flat and go from there. I have loads of fun doing it all.
Both your drawing and sculptures are very colorful. Have you considered doing black and white pieces?
I do have some black and white pieces, but they all have at least a touch of color.
Where do you take all of your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from people around me-from people in general. You use little pieces of everybody. I don’t do much thinking; I just sit down and start working on the piece. I’m in my mid 70s at that age, you know a lot of fascinating people, and so my pool of inspiration is never dry.
You are 74 years old and you are so youthful and active. What is your secret?
The secret is to keep busy; every second of every day. I just had an amazing thing happen to me that doesn’t usually happen to women. I have been made a Vice Chairman on the board of New York University. I am really thrilled about that. So the profits of my artworks go towards NYU student loans.
Interview by Claudia Trimde// Marius Koller