is committed to a rebirth of thought through art and
culture so we always try to give people the opportunity
to express themselves. This time we sit with Nora
Carey, an artist from New Jersey who has a love for
the visual arts!
Tell us your name and how long you've considered yourself
Carey (NC) :
My name is Nora Carey; I also go by Nora Bella, and
what kind of art do you do and how did you get into
that particular art form?
: My forte
is painting, I definitely love it and have been doing
it the longest. I also work in collage, sculpture
and installation. Beyond fine art I also have a clothing
line, and write and perform music (mostly soul, hip
hop, and funk).
are you from and where are you trying to go?
: I was
raised in Medford, New Jersey, which is about 45 minutes
east of Philly. Philly was always a destination for
me when I was growing up because I felt so trapped
in Jersey. Also my sisters lived here when I was in
high school so it was my way to escape and be free
by hanging out with them in the city, at art galleries
trying to go as far as I can with my abilities. I
also would really like to make a name for art in Philly
because it's teeming with every kind of art imaginable.
Some say that's a tall order, or even impossible,
but nothing great was ever done out of self-doubt.
Immediately I'm trying to find some good galleries
to show in, and also work in my studio as much as
possible. Eventually Id love to travel all over the
world and have international shows. I know that's
not too far away as long as I don't stop creating.
there any inspirations and/or mentors then and now
in regards to your art?
: O my
god of course. I'm sorry but I have to say Madonna
because she's just a force of nature and lives life
on her terms and always follows her creative urges,
she's a brilliant businesswoman too. My grandmother
was the first one to put a brush in my hand so kudos
to her. There are just so many artists, musicians,
and people that keep me and my creativity breathing.
As far as contemporary art Jeff Koons, Lisa Yuskavage,
Wangechi Mutu and Ellen Gallagher are some artists
I love. Old school artists I love would be Louise
Bourgouis, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Alphonse Mucha
and Marcel Duchamp. Philosophers like Baudelaire,
Hegel, and Simone Debeuvoir. One of my instructors
named Dr. Kevin Richards was incredible. And musically,
whether I'm listening while I'm painting or writing
it Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Outkast,
The Fugees, The Cardigans, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone,
Billie Holliday, Bjork, the list goes on and on but
my new favorite is Gnarles Barkley!
: Is this
something you picked up naturally and/or did you receive
: I just
received my graduate degree in Fine Arts, an M.F.A.
from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, so
I've had a fair amount of training. But it's funny
because it's true the more you know the less you know.
The more I learn about art the more I realize I have
more to do. Whether you're trained or not I think
the most important thing to do, as an artist is to
do as much work as possible all the time.
motivates you to do your art?
all the stuff I said 2 questions ago, but mostly myself,
my reactions to my environment, and experiences. A
lot of my work is based around women, though I'd consider
it post-feminist as opposed to feminist work. The
mass media and consumerism in our country, and my
own reactions to it, trying to salvage my soul from
it motivates me a lot. It exposes my flaws and weaknesses:
violence, sex, and humor. Also I can't imagine
having to do anything else everyday for the rest of
my life and not getting sick of it.
long does it take you to do your thing and is there
a particular process you do consistently?
long you got baby? Just kidding. I can finish a nice
painting in an hour, but then I have some I've worked
on for one or two years. It is the same with my collages.
Sometimes the simplest work takes the longest because
you through everything into it then edit everything
away. I'd say my process changes but I usually make
a loose plan on how to begin a piece or series and
begin but always allow for changes and moments of
inspiration, frustration, and elation.
do you wind down? Celebrating (drinking), eating,
sleeping, or sex.
also been known to spend two hours on myspace after
I get out of the studio.
can you say about your experiences in Philly and other
places you've shown your work?
always had great experiences showing my work. The
first place I ever showed was Soma on Third Street
between Market and Chestnut (its now called A Bar
Named Sue) when I was about 21. It was so amazing
to see my work up somewhere and I loved the bar and
one of the DJs bought one of my pieces. I've had a
bunch of shows since then in galleries and its always
do you really like to work with (objects, tools...etc)
when you do you work?
: I love
to work with oil paints on canvas or linen. I love
to use magazines, all kinds from Vogue to Japanese
porn when I do my collages. I usually use acetate
to paste or glue the collages on. I love translucent
materials. In my painting and my collage I ALWAYS
use this stuff called Galkyd. I love it! It's this
stuff that kind of looks like and has the consistency
of honey. Technically its known as an alkyd resin.
I use it in my paintings to make things look shiny
or make layers dry faster, and then I use it in my
collages to adhere the images to the acetate and also
create some goopy texture. Ill use anything though
if it appeals to me, for instance I used over a hundred
condoms filled with water to do this one installation.
you tell GeoClan about your current and Future project(s)?
I'm always working in my studio and I'm working on
a portrait of Natalie Stewart from Floetry that she
actually is going to get. I also just shot a pilot
for a Bob Ross-type of TV show where I'm instructing
people how to paint, but it has an MTV/TLC feel to
I used to do a live painting night at a bar called
North on South St. DJ Brendan (Soul Travelers) would
come in and spin and I would paint in the back and
bring in different artist friends each week to paint
with me. It was really fun and people loved it but
I had to stop to finish grad school. So I've been
talking to a friend of mine in San Francisco who does
a similar event and we were planning on starting some
kind of monthly night like that in September. It will
be called Sick and Loaded and feature DJs and MCs
also teaching an art class at the Youth Help Empowerment
Project which is an amazing non-profit organization
in Philly for at-risk youth and I'm working with people
there to get some art grants that promote art and
social change in the community. I also do some performance
art with a group called Mute-N-Heard which, is an
on-going project and you can check that out on myspace.com/mutenheard.
You might have seen us we get all green. Also I perform
as LexIcon so if you see that name come check me out.
can people get in contact with you regarding you art?
: I am
going to have my website up soon but you can check
me out on myspace at myspace.com/
do you think about the importance of Art and music
programs in schools and expression in general?
: I think
its imperative to have programs for art and music
in school, equal to if not more important than sports.
These kinds of programs not only develop a child's
creativity and individuality, but also are proven
to improve other areas of thinking like math and science.
I've done a lot of volunteering in schools and for
public programs for at-risk youth like the Youth Help
Empowerment Program. I see children from ages 5 and
6 to 20 and 21. I help them gain confidence and wisdom
just from tapping into the creativity that already
exists inside them. To cut programs like these is
a detriment to our society.
has the art game been surprising and/or disappointing?
from the beginning I knew I would have to have tough
skin, because it is so subjective, and all you get
is opinions and criticism, more negative than positive
on the professional side of it. However because it
is so difficult the rewards are more than double.
Also it's surprising how many people support you when
you truly follow what you want to do and persevere.
I can't imagine doing anything else everyday for the
rest of my life.
can the people and government do to help the promotion
of the arts?
can give me money. I'd say other than that stop cutting
funding to arts on a federal and local level. It's
really disgusting how much funding has been cut in
the past 5 years. Politicians barely ever see art
funding as important, which is a shame because in
the 1930s and 1940s during and after the Depression
the government had a program to employ people, especially
artists, in the arts called the Worker Progress Act
(W.P.A.) This was government funding for things like
murals and public works. It basically kicked off the
art world for the twentieth century in America.
do you feel about change (of course, thinking of GeoClan.com's
slogan, Uploading Change) and making positive change
: Is there
any other kind of change to support? I mean of course
plenty of people support negative change, but big
ups to GeoClan and Uploading Change and any and everything
in Philly that's about that. I actually believe people
can make a change. That seems to really oppose most
peoples selfish, sad, down on Philly and they views
around here. But we are planting a seed, making it
grow tall, and eventually it will infest the concrete
sure to drop GeoClan a line at firstname.lastname@example.org