We had the good fortune of connecting with Nestor Topchy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nestor, what’s the most important think you’ve done for your children?
Being there. We spent time together making pictures. An attitude more than a goal, a way of practicing together while young , and not handing off responsibility , especially to a cell phone screen. My daughter got to play outside and get messy. The early experiences of childhood are often overlooked. As Mr Rogers has said ” its about love, or the lack of it”
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There was never a question about making art , or being an artist , as it was the grounding foundation for my imagination, starting with early childhood art of Pysanky/Ukrainian egg decoration. Art as a practice, is for me ,a healing meditation and sanctuary. My family carried trauma forward from world war two, and as a first generation American I had an opportunity and privilege to be in two different cultural places mentally or simultaneously, so for me discovery and uncertainty, the mystery inherent in most of what we take to be substantial in everyday life is where I go. I don’t feel as if I am a professional with a career, rather more like I have a calling, though hard pressed to describe it. Most of my work vacillates between small intimate objects and paintings, perhaps my strength, occasional performative action that creates objects , and often failed attempts at larger monumental projects that are partially supported by architecture/sculpture involving community, which is admittedly odd because it’s a challenge for me to be socially engaged. I feel like I’m a late starter at this point having not perused a typical artist+gallery career in favor of slowly exploring whatever tangents interest me, but, that said , my best work is now before me. One doesnt have to perform like a rock and roll band touring long past their prime when it’s possible to form a group now, at an age when most folks start planning to retire.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d take them to all the questionable and off the beaten path places that reveal the conflicted realities of a city eating itself in a constant churn of speculative architecture and abused landscape. You’ll have to visit . The best Museum is the Menil Collection , Hiram Butler Gallery is great, Notsuoh and Avantgarden both exemplary social institutions favorite vegetarian food is at Pine Forrest Garden and Govindas , also Sinfull Bakery.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Yves Klein, Edward Albee, and my family and friends for day to day love and reality of distraction.
George Hixson, Wei Hong, Mark Monroe, Marne Lucas.