Helena Emig: Georgia Henkel taught me art throughout my time in elementary school. To this day, my abstract work decorates my parent’s home. Through self-expression and oil based paint she gave me the confidence to think artistically and inspired my current day creativity in marketing. Some ten years later it has been exciting to reconnect with such an influential part of my childhood through the Lexington Art League.
INTERNOTES: What is your background with the Lexington Art League?
Georgia Henkel: My relationship with LAL has picked up over the past few years as their vision has become more manifested in contemporary, provocative art. I have twice contributed paintings for The 20, have exhibited in group shows, and always check out the variety of installations and events sponsored by LAL throughout the city.
INTERNOTES: What inspired you in curating CURRENTS?
Henkel: After Becky Alley asked me to curate this years CURRENTS, I ruminated thru all sorts of possibilities. It was an incredible and quite wonderful challenge to consider all of the variables that go into curating a show. The premise behind CURRENTS is to share the work of beefy local artists who have not had a lot of gallery time so choosing the artists was not an issue as there are so many! While reading 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I was struck by the density of his language. Everything was so layered and thick and multi sensory. The parallels between his writing and the visual world of many artist friends helped me form a focus. I finally landed on the idea of how sometimes artists find psychological comfort in extreme use of space thus the premise of Horror Vacui and it's antithesis Amor Vacui.
INTERNOTES: How long have you been working towards this project?
Henkel: The conversation began in September 2014
INTERNOTES: What was the first step when orchestrating this event?
Henkel: Landing on a theme that was not too narrow, broad or pretentious.
INTERNOTES: What are you most excited about with this project?
Henkel: The biggest thrill in pulling this show together has been the absolute participation of all of the artists. It feels like they deeply considered how they operate within their own spatial perimeters.
INTERNOTES: Generally speaking, what artists influence you?
Henkel: Artists that inspire me...there is a difference in artists who inspire my work and artists who inspire me to think.
Artists who inspire me artistically ... Jenny Saville, Marlene Dumas, William Kentridge, Jean Dubuffet, Bill Traylor, Sally Mann, Lucian Freud, Gerhard Richter and quite often, children's art.
INTERNOTES: What about their work particularly?
Henkel: I appreciate rawness, honesty, immediacy and courage in art.
INTERNOTES: Why do you do what you do? What is the motive behind your work?
Henkel: I don't really have a motive behind my work. It's just always been a chunk of my identity.
INTERNOTES: Could you choose anything else and be happy?
Henkel: I choose many things. My life is rich with work, family, neighborhood, painting, traveling, reading, walking, looking and participating.