Allison Sommers was kind enough to share some of her beautifully dark artwork and some words via email interview.
How did you get your start doing art?
I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I was a small child; I can’t remember a time that mark-making wasn’t part of my day.
Who are your biggest influences?
They’re manifold and ever-changing. The last few years, I’ve drawn enormous influence from the German Expressionists and Dada– Dix, Beckmann, Hoech, etc.
What was your first tape or CD?
The first tape that I can remember is Simon and Garfunkel’s Central Park Concert. Or Bach? I can’t remember.
You can take three things to a desert island that aren’t your phone. What do you choose?
A healthy (or magically self-replenishing) supply of pencils, the same amount of paper, and I probably should say sunscreen or a machete here, but I suppose I’ll need to have a great deal of reading material– maybe a set of Norton Anthologies? Is that cheating?
How do you find inspiration or is it something that has to come naturally?
I like to think that the process is one of consumption and distillation– you have to feed your brain in order for it to digest and put out new ideas. I draw all the time, which helps make sense of whatever I’ve stored in the brain-pan, and go to the Met (which I call “going to church”) and other museums quite frequently. Thank goodness for “pay what you will.”
Kevin Bacon or Patrick Swayze?
I have to choose?
How has art influenced your world view?
Greatly– it’s more or less fundamental to it. Art has helped me learn how to disengage from capitalism and its social aspects and expectations– the concept of productiveness, the concept of usefulness, etc.
What’s your favorite documentary?
I watch a lot, so it’s hard to have one; one that deeply affected me is “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth.” Absolutely gutting.
What music do you listen to?
Heavily; classical, jazz, and the experimental space between them. A bit of classic rock, and a great lot of New Wave/New Romantic/English post-punk stuff.
Puppy dogs or kitty cats?
Dogs. Emphatically. Exclusively.
What’s coming up next for you?
I have a solo show at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles in September for which I’m in full gear.