Virtual gallery: Inside the Podesta studio
At first glance, artist Alex Podesta's studio appears to be arranged in no methodic fashion. Tubes and tools and drills and jars are strewn about from top to bottom, wall to wall. Old works, new works, molds and plastic composites are spread across every surface -- even hanging from the ceiling. It's impossible to visually absorb the space in its entirety at once, or even over the course of an hour. But as I found myself wandering through the workbenches, I couldn't help but realize that the sculptures and materials are, in fact, arranged in a definite order -- that Podesta knows where every single thing is at any given time. Whimsical, organized chaos at its best.
Podesta's childhood is pervasive in his work, a quality that comes to life in the studio. Sitting in his work space is a bit like taking a behind-the-scenes look at a child's fairytale that has breached a wall into the adult dreamworld. His facial duplicates sit on pedestals and workbenches, waiting to be painted, while a bunny sculpture perches on a high shelf. What are those antlers doing on that wall? Why are these hands hanging from the ceiling? Meanwhile, a true relic from his past -- a charcoal drawing of Mark Twain -- watches the action of the studio unfold.
There's a saying I've heard that says a person's living space is a reflection of their state of mind; rigid organization can be indicative of a control-oriented personality, while a messier room may suggest a more laid-back psyche. If I were to judge Alex Podesta's character based on his studio, I would say he is nuanced, creative, thoughtful, and very, very talented.
As it turns out, that saying really does ring true.
Learn more about the artist in Nolavie's interview with Alex Podesta.
Hanna Rasanen is a photography intern at NolaVie. Contact her at [email protected]