Interview with Peregrine Honig
Photo credit Anna Petrow
Describe your typical week--in the studio, at home, doing other activities, etc.
“I have a tendency to wake up around 4 o’clock in the morning and then make work or draw and go back to sleep after a couple of hours and then I wake up around 8:30 or 9 o’clock. I seek out coffee, either by my hand or by somebody else’s. Then, I have a small business that I run that opens at noon but if it’s not my day to work from noon to 4 then… I kind of don’t know what my day is. It’s often, when the phone starts ringing I find out what I’m supposed to do. So, there are days where I have meetings and stuff like that scheduled in advance but sometimes it’s something as simple as: something has broken, I need to repair another artist’s piece or reframe it. So I kind of network assist on different things, curate assist on different things, solve problems. I draw and paint, and usually if I can’t make something intelligent I start off with like a poster for my small business and then I work up to harder thoughts.”
Describe your influences--what sources, artists, places, objects, etc do you look to for inspiration?
“I’m really influenced by costume culture; I’m very inspired in New Orleans, and in Cuba, and I really am interested in how people dress themselves and tell stories with their bodies. I really like extreme craft. Like, I’m always jealous of things I can’t make, so I’m kind of inspired by things I don’t have the capacity to make yet. My art collection doesn’t look like my art, because it’s stuff I don’t know how to make yet.”
Study for The Rape of Zeus
Ink, silverpoint, pigment, enamel on Hot Press Cotton Rag
11” x 14” unfr./20” x 23” fr. 2018
photo courtesy of E G Schempf
Where is your studio, and what does it look like? How do you find materials & resources to make work?
My studio is a renovated Black Baptist church where, the congregation left a couple of years before the building sold, and it looked like Heaven on Earth. It’s got my work in it, and I recently moved all of my studio into that space. So I have, Ross Redmon, about 200 of his porcelain birds hanging from my ceiling, my artwork, my costume collection, and my bed and closet are on the second floor.
Most of my materials are pretty formal, I guess… Like, I have hot press paper, and pigments. But then in terms of like, glitter, that’s from a costume and fabric place in New Orleans. And when I travel I get a lot of different stuff.”
Photo credit Anna Petrow
How do you balance your art practice with other jobs, art- or non-art-related?
“I just wear a lot of hats. I curate a lot, I do workshops, I do some interior work like helping people pick colors and spatial things; artistic direction for spaces.”
What opportunities for professional development have been most helpful to you? Which were more helpful earlier on in your career? (Print exchanges, workshops, conferences, etc.)
“Residencies. Residencies have been the most immediate, and kind of forced the strongest change. I think curating large shows for fairs, like for Chicago and Miami, were really great for my practice, because curating kind of puts you on both sides of the wall.”
What sort of research do you use for your practice? If you don’t, what research practices have been helpful to you in the past?
“I like to look at a lot of medical illustrations and botanical drawings. I’m interested in pop culture, but more like popular culture, not really pop culture. So, I like listening to songs that have been played over and over again, I really love looking at social media as a material. Like, why does somebody like one thing and not another, and, based on time of the day, based on who they are… I’m really interested in the gray area of things, so I’m always reading about court cases that don’t quite resolve properly. And science, science and ritual.”