When you see Chloe Wise roaming around Art Basel, remember to wish her happy birthday. The 24-year-old artist turns 25 this week–still a remarkably young age for her string of achievements. The Canadian-born multi-hyphenate (she digs into painting, sculpture, and video work) made a name for herself in 2013 with her tongue-in-cheek Bread Bags series, following a heritage of artists like Cary Leibowitz and Tom Sachs who also spoofed luxury goods for the sake of social and consumerist commentary. This week, you can find some of her work on display as part of our Artsy Projects: Nautilus series. Here, we talk to the New York City-based artist about “It” bags, Drake, and semi-reluctant trips to the gym.
Tell us about your work appearing in Artsy Projects: Nautilus.
I’ll be showing some pieces from my Bread Bags series, as well as some other sculptural works that also contain fake sculpted-food items. The Bread Bags are part of a series that I exhibited at Division Gallery in Canada earlier this year. The series of hand-painted plastic sculptures of food, fashioned into the shapes of iconic “It” bags, serves to examine the intersections of consumption and desire by comparing the not-so-disparate worlds of fashion and art.
What medium are you most interested in presently?
I work between painting, sculpture, and video very fluidly. I never favor one medium over another because, in my practice, all of these media inform each other and are part of one cohesive–although vastly different–body of work. I’ve been really loving spending more time on oil painting lately, however. Usually I make very quick paintings, but recently I’ve slowed down and am learning a lot in the process.
What’s a day look like for you, from start to finish?
I usually start my day pretty early with juice and a lot of coffee. After, I head to the gym, which is so weird because I’m not athletic, nor do I care about fitness, but I find it helps me focus once I get to my studio. I usually get to my studio by 11 a.m. and stay until 10 p.m. I’m obsessed with making work. I change into my insane-looking camouflage painting onesie and paint or sculpt feverishly for hours with several hundred efficient Snapchat breaks. I am always at my studio. Always. And then I usually go get late-night sushi at Takahachi with my very beautiful, talented, intelligent squad of friends, including my sister who I am inseparable from.
Where is your studio and how did you find it?
Bushwick. Craigslist. The usual.
Do you listen to music when you work?
In the summer I listened to a lot of Drake. Love Drake. Lately I’ve been listening to ‘80s Cold Wave like The Cure, Suicide, and weird one-hit wonders that I have combined into the ultimate playlist. When I’m really trying to concentrate, I listen to Angelo Badalamenti.
What are you looking the most forward to during Art Basel?
I have a large painting in the Deitch/Gagosian show which is exciting. Interested in seeing what drama plays out with the relocation of NADA to the Fontainebleau. So many rappers stay there–can’t wait for the seen-and-heard! Also looking forward to my birthday. Last year’s was definitely the most fun birthday I’ve ever had. Hopefully this year will come close to that!
Photo courtesy of Théodoros Gennitsakis.