Interview with Parametric Artist Mary Wagner
I get to meet so many freaking cool people. I love the interwebs. Definitely wouldn’t have been able to pull something off like this interview today with Mary Wagner twenty years ago. First problem would have been, Mary? Mary who? So, to find out that someone like Mary even exists is so über I don’t even know where to begin. So, yeah, thank you Al Gore.
Probably the most thing I can do in this entire interview is to schelp her website for her. So first and foremost (after reading the cool interview… so, I guess that should have been, Second and Secondmost after reading the interview – but I digress) check out her website. She has so many more cool things there than I could have ever shown you here in this little interview space. Here. Click this – parametricdrawing.com – Great. Where’d everyone go?
Probably the next thing I ought to do after schleping her site for her, is to show you some of her stuff. And this is when you do your double take and then go schedule your next trip to the chiropractor, because, these aren’t the drawings of your youth that you did at the age of ten. These are something entirely other.
See? Gorgeous stuff. I could totally see one of these massive pieces hanging in my office. (Right next to my new standee of Kylo Ren – but please pay no mind to reality.) It would be cool. Admit it, you want one. Maybe not half as badly as I do. But admit it, you could see yourself with one of these up somewhere prominent in your house.
THinc. – “When I first saw Ben Butler’s drawings I really had a hard time grappling with the how. And although I understand the technique you use, I still find myself saying, “How”. What do you want the viewers of your work to come away with?”
Mary Wagner – “Will all your questions be questions within questions?”
THinc. – “Yes. They will be. Wait, should they not be? How do you feel about it? Maybe I should do it differently? I jest. Please continue…”
Mary Wagner – “At the very least I’d like the viewer to enjoy a sense of optical pleasure. More so, it’d be great if they noted the elegance of a particular curve, how a simple form becomes complicated through continuance, how a drawing changes nature as you approach it from afar.
Better still I’d like the viewers challenged by the concepts of unseen force, meditative repetition, and cosmic what-have-yous.
THinc. – “I love that, the ‘cosmic what-have-yous’. Brilliant. How long have you been doing these types of works, as a new comer to your work I’m completely in the dark as to your history. Maybe you could fill us in?”
Mary Wagner – “I’ve been meticulous my entire life. Apprehensive about putting pen to paper and calling it art, because my hand lacked the ability to do what my mind wanted. Then the work-around hit me. I realized my first drawings in this style about three years ago.”
THinc. – “How did you first start crafting your own patterns? And along with that, I know you sell your drawings on Etsy, have you ever sold your custom large scale parametric patterns as well? I’m definitely interested!!”
THinc. – “Hahahah, exactly…”
Mary Wagner – “I sell my drawings wherever I can: Etsy, Saatchi online, in person, in shops, on consignment, as commissions. Are there any gallerists out there? Hello… I’m waiting. Small drawings… big drawings… any excuse to make more drawings. What would you like?
THinc. – “Ooooh, totally love that idea… a custom Parametric drawing from Mary Wagner. It’d be cool to get one that matched the highlights and colors of the rooms, and then blew it up with reds and hrm… I need more money in my life.
“Oh yeah, where was I? That’s right, I’m interviewing you. That’s right. You seem to be quite the thing on Pinterest… And from a marketing standpoint that is gold. What do you see your relationship like with social media and other social marketing avenues?”
Mary Wagner – “Social media gets the work seen. By more people than ever could have a decade ago. I sell work to people all around the world. Still, the computer can’t replace in-person viewing of art, particularly my kind of drawings, but that’s a further reason for fans to buy something.”
THinc. – “I just have to ask, because this question has been bothering me. When I first saw your work, my first thought was… Not a single mistake?!? When I fiddled with the toy parametric tools, I seemed to always scribble out chaos eventually after letting the rhythm get away from me. How!?
THinc. – “Hahaha, fair enough. Have you ever done any shows at all? Seems like the type of work that would be a hit at a gallery.”
Mary Wagner – “I’d love to exhibit more. I’ve got some great ideas for large-scale drawings, installation pieces, and performative work that would require space and time. Too detailed to be conveyed in an image… things that should be walked through. That’s one of the downsides to the internet and social media… the entire world is open to us, but only through a window the size of a screen.”