Joshua Abelow is Willing to Risk Everything

It’s a party, so Artsy mingled with Whitney Art Party artist Joshua Abelow. Here is what he had to say:

Artsy: Who tried to talk you out of pursuing a career as an artist, and why did you persevere?

Joshua Abelow: Fourteen years ago Ross Bleckner told me to stop painting and get into something else. In a way, it was good advice because it made me want to do it even more. I'm very single-minded about art. I think you have to be single-minded to keep doing it. And, of course, you have to enjoy what you do and also be willing to risk everything.

Artsy: What tools are essential to your practice as an artist (anything from the Internet to paintbrushes to a particular Pandora station to create the perfect atmosphere)?

JA: The usual stuff like brushes, oil paint, palette knifes, and palettes. Bounty paper towels. A good sized garbage can along with black contractor bags. My notes on color. Nice light and a decent sized room with white walls. A bar of soap and a sink to wash my brushes. My laptop with a fast Internet connection. Peace and quiet.

Artsy: As you know, the Whitney is soon to open a new location, which has been coined the “Whitney of the Future”. What does the future of art look like? And what's in your immediate future—upcoming, shows, projects, etc.?

JA: I'm optimistic about the future of art and the future of painting. This summer, I'm showing alongside my grandmother, Paula Brunner Abelow, at the Prague Biennale (June 6th - September 15th). Paula was born in Prague (1923) and was fortunate to get out of the country with her immediate family before the Nazi invasion. Her work has never been exhibited in Europe (or New York for that matter) so this opportunity is special. I put two images of her work in a recent publication called ART BLOG ART BLOG which is available at Petrella's Imports (a project by artists Anne Libby, Elise McMahon, and Sophie Stone) at the corner of Bowery and Canal St. in lower Manhattan.

Explore the Whitney Art Party Sale.