In Which An Artist Discusses Making A Particular Work
Lizzi Bougatsos is a pervasive figure in New York culture. As a musician, she is a member of Gang Gang Dance and I.U.D., two groundbreaking musical groups in which she passionately drums and sings with a primal, wailing sort of joy. Like her bandmate, Brian DeGraw, she is also an artist exhibiting at James Fuentes gallery, in lower Manhattan. She’s known for her idiosyncratic approach to appropriation, and her use of found materials—advertisements, mostly—to construct absurd collisions of commercial images. The works seem, on the surface, like subversive jokes, but they never point to any kind of direct interpretation or commentary, which is what keeps them open-ended and potent and able to undermine a viewer’s daily, rote consumption of visual culture.
THE BELIEVER: Do you think of your visual art as connected to your music?
LIZZI BOUGATSOS: I do, I do now more than ever. I think it was a personal struggle for me for a long time because I was putting so much energy into Gang Gang Dance, and managing them, and doing all the busywork that it took me away from my art-making, so I could never love them as one thing. But gradually, I’m starting to think of them in the same way. It’s just about me opening my mind more. I think I had a lot of resentment toward the band for a while, because I never got to make any art. Everything took so much time—the rehearsing and the writing and just the whole thing.
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