Five Alive is where we ask creative people we admire five questions about their practice. Today we are featuring Katya Grokhovsky. Born in Odessa, Ukraine, raised in Melbourne, Australia, Katya works and lives in New York. Her practice spans various mediums including performance, video, installation, photography, sculpture, drawing, painting and text. She has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BFA from Victorian College of the Arts, Australia and a BA in Fashion from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.
Katya's work deals with alienation, gender politics and identity through a displaced female body. Often mesmerized by the future promise of yet another place to conquer, Katya becomes conscious of the duality of the mind and body in the process. Whilst the mind clearly follows instructions to build a better stable secure life, the body wildly suppresses the sensory memory of a place once native. The liminal space between being there and being here becomes full of tense emptiness and possibilities.
What is your favorite art making tool?
My favorite art making tool is my body. It is often my starting point of reference, which lends itself to other mediums. My other favorite tools are scissors, pen and pencil, fabric, thread and sewing needle, glue, brush and a camera.
What music/band/artist are you listening to the most right now?
I tend to be quite eclectic in my music choices and I love to mix and mash many styles and artists up. My current mix includes Gogol Bordello, Shostakovich, The Great Beauty soundtrack, Dolly Parton and Antony and the Johnsons.
Where do you go for peace and quiet?
My first choice would be my bed. I am an avid and obsessive reader and a daughter of a librarian, so since early childhood, my true retreat from the world has always been to read, whilst lying in bed. Another way to regain my balance is to go for long walks, anywhere.
Where is your next dream travel destination?
As a traveler, that's a very difficult choice, as there are still so many places I would love to visit. However, a few of my top international destinations where I haven't been yet include Japan, Iceland, Argentina and Greece. In USA, I would also love to explore Alaska, Arizona and Utah as well as revisit New Mexico, which captivates my imagination.
Is there a color or palette that you are drawn to?
Currently, I am drawn to Gelato colors such as dusty pastel dirty-sherbet pinks, lavender, minty greens, murky acid yellow and orange as well as baby blues.
Grokhovsky has received support through grants and awards such as Dame Joan Sutherland Fund, American Australian Association, Australia Council for the Arts ArtStart Grant, NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists, Chashama space to create grant, Freedman Traveling Scholarship for Emerging Artists, Australia and residencies at Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska, Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Ithaca, NY, New York Residency and Studio Foundation, Brooklyn, NY, Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico as well as Watermill Center Summer Residency, NY.
Her work has been shown in venues such as HERE Arts Center, New York City Center, Soho20 gallery, NARS gallery, Watermill Center, Chashama, Ukrainian Institute of America, Fountain Art Fair, Gallery 151, Fowler Arts Collective, Museum of Russian Art, Grace Exhibition Space, Chelsea Art Museum, Galerie Protege, Defibrillator gallery amongst others. Her work can be seen at upcoming exhibitions in New York at Governor's Island Art Fair in September, Art in Odd Places in October and at ISE Cultural Foundation later in 2015 amongst others.