December 2016_by Federica Tattoli
Rosha Yaghmai’s work stems from an ongoing experimentation with materials, most recently incorporating ‘elemental’ substances—each found in its natural state on our planet and those beyond—such as graphite, iron, aluminum, neon, copper, nickel, bentonite clay, and mineral pigments. Both the textures and concrete motifs of Yaghmai’s works tend to function as standings for something greater, drafting the ‘real’ as a malleable quotation. While drawing references to the tradition of West Coast conceptualism, Yaghmai’s vernacular also recalls the layered and crumbling façades of Los Angeles—from fringe mysticism to psychedelic drugs, yard sales to DIY architecture, led by the likes of dropouts, tinkerers, and cult leaders. Suggesting an arrested action in time and space, Yaghmai’s works reflect her conceptualization of sculpture as essentially depicting stilled movement or a frozen narrative. Often her exhibitions can be better understood as large-scale installations with many parts, suggesting silent scenes or an unknown series of events that take the viewer on an expedition through Yaghmai’s manipulation of form, motif, and material.
How would you present your work?
The importance of materials and colors in your works?
Everything I make is a material experiment, Im always trying to force materials to work together. Found, liquid, industrial, domestic…
I think the colors that emerge in the work tend to be more personal, intuitive.
Where do you make your works?
LA- I feel like anything is possible there. For decades we’ve heard artists mooning over the materials available in Los Angeles because of the various industries, and, its true. Working there you have the feeling that there is some dude working in some unmarked warehouse in Sun Valley that can help make your dreams come true. I spend a lot of time driving around and seeing what’s out there, in terms of production, and whats being cast off and just hanging around. I take great pleasure in the sort of trashiness of LA. Another major reason I stay here is the community of artists working here, many of which I met at or through CalArts. We are all finding our way, it is incredibly comforting to have friends around you who are navigating through many of the same issues around making work, and making it all work- living life, etc…
What can’t be missing from your worktable?
A collection you wish at least one work of yours was part of?
Whitney Museum of American Art.
A museum where you’d like to have an exhibition?
Fondazione Prada or Kunsthalle Zurich.
The market or your need to express?
Chasing the market has never worked for me, I have no idea how it works. I like to make people feel a little icky, and as it turns out, lots of people don’t like to live with that feeling.
Lightness or depth?
Both of course.
Day or night?
A question you’ve never been asked but one you’ve always wanted to answer? Answer that question…
Yes, its hard.
Could you briefly describe one of your latest works?
I’ve recently started to use body casting silicone to make architectural scale “screens”- I am still experimenting, but am very excited!
What are you reading?
Renata Adler- Speedboat, and Ken Kesey- Sometimes A Great Notion
Walkabout. I recently re watched, it is fantastic, Nicolas Roeg, 1971.
Where would you like to live?
New York and the Pacific Northwest- I want it all
Do you have reference artists? Artists you’d like to work with?
Odilon Redon, Ree Morton, Mike Kelley, Heidi Bucher (specifically, her latex works from the 70’s), Robert Gober, Alex Olson, Franz West, Hannah Greely, Francis Cape (Utopian Benches), Jesse Reaves, John Divola (Zuma), Matt Mullican, Hilma af Klint. So many more…
A project, related to art, that you’d like to do?
I would love to make a film.
If you weren’t an artist, what job would you like?
Architect or Therapist
Let’s imagine a group show. Who would you like to exhibit with?
Robert Gober, Odilon Redon, Diana Molzan.
Yes or no to curators? If yes, who would you choose?
Yes. Lauren Mackler (Public Fiction).
A dream of yours?
To stop time.
Inert #2, 2015, Neon, electrical components, transformer, Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles.
Optometer, Snake, 2016, Gas pipes, rust, assorted lenses, rubber, Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles.
Optometer, Staff, 2016, Gas pipes, rust, assorted lenses, rubber, Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles.
Optometer, Curtain 1, 2016, Assorted corrective lenses, steel, Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles.
Clear Day (Inverted) , 2016, Cast fiberglass, acrylic, Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles.
Panel, Flesh, 2016, Platinum Silicone with pigment, water line, Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles.
Panel, Green, 2016, Platinum Silicone with pigment, telephone line, hookah hose, Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles.
Cave by Fire (black awning) , 2016, Cast fiberglass, acrylic, Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles.
Mysteries of the Sea (copper awning), 2016, Cast fiberglass, acrylic, Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles.
Panel, Gray, Platinum Silicone with pigment, Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles.