Postcards: Luci Riffel

Postcards: Luci Riffel


I’m from Virginia,
Minnesota, just up north   on the Iron Range.   And my preferred
mediums of creation are   printmaking and drawing.   When I was growing
up, I was kind of,   thought I was a
little more artistic.   I was always like,
that kid that can draw.   If anybody had a
cartooning request,   they would ask me.   And I took a lot of art
classes throughout high school.   My high school
didn’t offer many,   but I was also in community
college just taking PSEO.   So I took some there and
when I came to Morris,   I figured studio art,
that’s the way to go.   It’s a U of M campus,
which I was interested in,   being from Minnesota.   And it’s pretty far
away from my home,   and I was interested in
getting some distance.   Just to experience a
new part of the world.   Even if it’s not that far away.   I guess a way I would
describe my art,   without having to see it,   is very minimalistic
and design concentrated.   You can tell I’m
putting a lot of thought   into composition and
every individual mark.   Because I don’t make
a whole lot of marks.   I want it to be able to breath   and see the process
that I’m doing.   ‘Cause really, the process
is the product in my work.   My creative process
mostly consists of   thinking in my head.   I take a lot of
time to think about   what I’m doing before
I make any marks,   print anything out or even
make a sketch of anything.   I take a lot of
inspiration from the design   and really anything
I see everyday.   If I see maybe like a
spot on the sidewalk   that I really like.   Where it’s placed like
within the square.   I’ll be like, ooh, that
would be a great composition.   I should work on that.   So it takes me a
long time to kind of   think about the best
and most minimal way   I can show that inspiration.   I think drawing has
a really wide range   of things you can do with it.   I mean, I draw with paint.   And I still don’t
consider it painting,   it’s just mark-making,
which I think is   more drawerly I suppose.   And I like the
physicality of it.   I like to be really involved
in the process in my drawings.   Printmaking is a little
bit more detached,   but I still feel like
I’m very involved   because you physically
have to pull the prints   you’re making, all
of these things.   But you have a
little bit less of   your own hand in it.   And I’m interested
how that contrasts   with my drawings.   Yeah, I think living
in rural Minnesota   for all of my life, even if
it’s in two different parts,   has heavily impacted my work.   I feel like if I was in a city,   I would be creating
just as much,   but I don’t think I would
have the concentration   to take the same
time I do out here.   To really think
about everything.   so long before I make a mark.   Because in the city,
there’s so much to do   and so much to pull your
eye, and all of that.   And I think rural Minnesota,
maybe the sparseness   of the community
has kind of inspired   more room in my work ’cause   there’s more room
to breathe out here.   A project that I’ve worked
on this year is Twist.   It’s a tryptic with
three screen prints.   I took a class in
Icelandic language   and got to go to Iceland.   But on my way out, I took
a loop through Scandinavia.   So these photos were
taken in Stockholm, Sweden   at a theme park I stumbled
upon while I was there.   I wasn’t sure what
I wanted to do   when I was taking these photos.   I was just like, these are
a really nice compositions.   I know I’ll use
these for something.   So, I came back to
Morris in the fall.   Thought I would
try something new   and dove into CMYK
printing, which is   spitting an image into
basically primary colors,   cyan, magenta, yellow
and key, which is black.   I was really drawn
to taking pictures   of this theme park
because it had a kind of   older feel to it.   And I really like
that and I think   in terms of printing,
they turned out   to look kind of nostalgic.   A little bit like
sun-kissed a little.   Faded like a memory.   And I think a lot of my
prints have that quality.   And I was kind of arranging them   to see if I could
display them together.   Or if they would have
to be separate pieces.   But, they made this really
great line in the middle.   And I was sold on it.   I feel like working
in abstraction,   I want them to take away
whatever they want to.   I always have a very set idea   of what things are about.   And then people talk to me,
and it’s totally different.   And it’s kinda
like, good at least   they’re getting
something out of it.   And that makes me
happy that they   can appreciate it
in their own way.   To quote one of my
favorite artists.   Her name is Agnes Martin and
I’m a little bit paraphrasing.   I don’t remember
the actual quote.   But she’s creating
things that are   completely abstract
as to provoke   completely abstract thought.  

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