“Something glamorously not right… That’s what I find beautiful. I’m making pieces about tension and detachment, discomfort, power, all of these things through my personal lens.” Explains Thacker to METAL. The melancholy nonsensical compositions made us this of AI generated art, but Thacker is deeply apathetic towards technology and social media. Nor does she care for political art. Speaking from Brooklyn the art tells its own story and the artist gives a glimpse of hers. This interview evokes her piece Emergency spite consult (I love you more when you’re spiteful) from her show Radical Privacy Star.
Could you give us a brief introduction to your work and your journey as an artist so far?
I am a painter, I make figurative work. I studied Printmaking. I’ve had two solo exhibitions so far and a few group shows.
You’ve been quite critical of social media in past interviews, referring to it as performative and addictive among other things. Although this is a sentiment I largely agree with, it was being discovered on Instagram that enabled you to get a studio space in the first place. Do you think social media has impacted the art world positively? Or does it just inspire creatives to produce ‘grammable’ work?
I mean everything is on social media. It is what it is. It’s ingrained in everything. I don’t find value in complaining about it at this point. I hate it I like it I use it it's there. Whatever. It’s whatever at this point.
How long do your paintings generally take to produce? Will you have multiple works on the go simultaneously?
It really varies, I like taking my time though when possible. It’s nice to sit with a painting and see something you could do with it that you needed time from it to be able to see. I like working on multiple things at once for that reason, yes. I have fluctuations, I feel like a different version of myself every day so I like to work however that goes.
Was your decision to move to New York City specifically a career move? Or were you just naturally drawn to the Big Apple, like so many others are?
I vaguely knew that New York was where you went if you wanted to make a thing happen. I had no concept of how to go about that.
You mentioned in a previous interview that you want to get into sculpture at some point. Is this an artform you have a background in? Or are you planning to go in blind?
I’m not really interested in pursuing sculpture at the moment at the time of that interview I guess I thought I might have been, I change my mind all the time.
One of my first responses upon seeing your work was thinking that its melancholy nonsensicalness somewhat resembled that of AI generated art, which has been particularly popular at the moment. Do you think that something created by an automated machine can truly be considered art?
I think machines are art. I think the obsession humans have with making machines more like us is a fascinating psychological condition. I wonder what that's about. But to answer your question, I don’t really care about it.
According to a previous interview, after graduating you didn’t create any serious artistic output for 2 to 3 years. What did you do in this time?
I was making ends meet in New York, that required a lot of my concentration. I also had some personal things happening that took a while to recollect myself from.
Is your work supposed to be a reflection on yourself? Or on the zeitgeist of today? Or both?
Sometimes there are parts of myself in my work. The pieces that are more directly me don’t necessarily resemble me but there was some type of self examination that they originated from. All of the pieces are an examination of some type of definition of beauty I have in my mind. Something glamorously not right, or jarring. I don’t really know how to put it into words but when I’m talking about beauty I really mean tension. That’s what I find beautiful. So anyways I’m making pieces about tension and detachment, discomfort, power, all of these things through my personal lens.
Ai Weiwei famously said, “Everything is art, everything is politics.” Do you believe that art is inherently political?
No. I mean a lot of it tries very hard to be.
Where do you see yourself taking your work in next few years?
I'll take it where it goes.