Wednesday, February 4, 2009

K Space Q & A series, with artist Erin Mahoney

Local artist Erin Mahoney, answers some questions about her influences and her graffiti style art.
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K Space Contemporary: Can you describe yourself and your work?
Erin Mahoney: I am a migrant farmer and gardener, traveling between Southern Colorado and South Texas. My art is what I am compelled to make, using the tools I have, in the environment which I find myself. Acrylic paint, watercolor, ink, enamel paint, house paint, and spraypaint are mediums that I utilize. I LOVE printmaking.
K Space Contemporary: How long have you been making art?
Erin Mahoney: I have been making art since I was a child. My four sisters and I were brought up by artists in Corpus Christi, Texas. Our parents always encouraged us artistically. During my college education, I had plenty of time during lectures to draw. This is when I began the style of script that I do. Since 1997, I have been steadily and consistenly painting. I am giving up excuses as to why I can't. Being an artist invloves doing, making, creating, and not stopping.

K Space Contemporary: You use a lot of color in your work. Do you have a favorite color or color palette?
Erin Mahoney: I love color. I often use paint that I am given and objects that I have found to paint upon. I use what colors strike me when I am creating a new painting.

K Space Contemporary: When and how were you influenced to the graffiti or mural style in your artwork?
Erin Mahoney: I love art found outside of museums, art that is accessible to all members of society. Being in cities has given me a true love for graffiti, especially train pieces. It is inspiring to me, the time and energy that people put into outside works. These outside pieces are not for sale, I think that makes them invaluable. Graffiti artists are not being commissioned, they are painting because they have the passion and will to do so. Margaret Kilgallen, Shepard Fairy, Barry McGee, Lady Pink ,and Os Gesmos of Brazil, are some of my favorite artists.

K Space Contemporary: You have two murals in downtown Corpus Christi, TX. How did you get those gigs?
Erin Mahoney: Norma Urban, of the C.C. Downtown Management District, offerred the People's Street Wall to myself and Kenny Harrison. He and I started the piece, then Kenny collaborated with other artists to finish it. KSpace artists donated their time to paint the south facing wall of the Lichenstein building, in downtown Corpus, to improve our downtown's visual aesthetic. I think that it has helped. Our downtown has more than it's share of buildings in need of care. Kenny and I collaborated there on the Paz piece.
K Space Contemporary: The mural you did on Peoples Street in downtown CC was recently tagged and essentially ruined. Does this change how you feel about during murals for the public? How old was that mural?
Erin Mahoney: The Peoples Street mural was begun in the Spring of 2004. I would love to paint this wall again. Any public art is at risk of being defaced. It takes motivation, care, and often money to make public art available to our society. The benefit is a more beautiful world that we can take pride in.
K Space Contemporary: What is your greatest influence when making art?
Erin Mahoney: My imagination and desire to create what I see in my head.
K Space Contemporary: You use a lot of flowers in your imagery. Do they symbolize anything significant?
Erin Mahoney: I am a flower and vegetable farmer in Colorado. Flowers are a beautiful example of the cyclic, life and death process of all living things. They give me a great respect for the transitory nature of our lives. They inspire me to live my well and to the fullest while I am here.

K Space Contemporary: Who are your favorite artists?
Erin Mahoney: The deceased Margaret Kilgallen, Renny Russell of Questa, New Mexico, Joshua Williams of Denver, Colorado, fellow Corpus Christian's Loring Baker and Jimmy Pena. I am most inspired by my friends who consistently, continually make their art.
K Space Contemporary: What is the best artwork you have ever seen in person?
Erin Mahoney: In Flagstaff, Arizona, behind the Late for the Train Coffee Shop, there is a outdoor mural by Joe Soren that is an inspiration to me.
K Space Contemporary: So, how do you survive the battle of being an artist? Do you have any favorite jobs?
Erin Mahoney: Having patience, endurance, and surrounding myself with supportive people, helps keep me making art. My farming and garden designing is work that I love. I will continue growing food and flowers my whole life long.
K Space Contemporary: You are a traveler. Where have you been and where are you currently living?
Erin Mahoney: I am currently living in Texas, anticipating a beautiful Spring in Colorado. I love both coasts, especially Portland, Oregon, and New York City. I am inspired by seeing new environments. Cuba is the most interesting country that I've been to. Italy, Ireland, and India are places I anticipate traveling to.
K Space Contemporary: If you could do a mural anywhere, where would it be and what would it be of?
Erin Mahoney: Doing a mural in Europe is a dream. I would do flowers and my script.

K Space Contemporary: How do you keep up the endurance to continue to make artwork?
Erin Mahoney: I see the benefits of continuing to make art throughout my life. My mental, emotional health is sustained by making art, and it's fun. I have no intention of stopping.

K Space Contemporary: Thanks Erin. We love your work!
Erin Mahoney: I appreciate the Kspace, and all of it's members, for being so supportive of art in South Texas. The Kspace keeps hope alive for Corpus and the Third Coast art community.

To see more of Erin’s work, go to


Anonymous said...

Erin, your work has geatly evolved. I found myself pulled into the pieces..remembering watching the process...together up in the KSpace when it was freezing cold..yet you were "fired up", inspired and needing to release your ideas onto the board. You were working in house paint then. Later I tried to build up my paint as I saw you do. Takes patience. I did do that piece Sojourners and thought of you. Love you, B

Matthew said...

Love you Erin!

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