We had the good fortune of connecting with Chalda Maloff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chalda, how do you think about long-term goals vs short term goals. What do you spend most of your time or resources on?
I am a digital artist, and my work involves several distinct stages. I need a more complicated planning horizon than I did when working with oil paints or acrylics. I create my image files on my computer in my home office, using an electronic tablet and stylus. I usually work on several images at a time, and in a good month I complete one or two. After a first draft computer file is finalized, the next step is to print it, a process in itself. I have a home studio with a large format art printer, which is about the size of a refrigerator. Often, I need a number of test prints, with subsequent adjustments to the file. When I have a perfect print, I outsource the final mounting, where the print is adhered to an acrylic sheet using a large press, and the hanging mechanism is applied to the back. After I have a group of artworks ready to hang in an exhibit, then depending on the venue, I am sometimes personally involved in the nuts and bolts of the layout, installation, and lighting. Distributing my energies among the short, medium, and long-term aspects of the process is a constant juggling act. At times, one group of pieces is being hung for an exhibit, another is in various stages of unfinished digital files, and another is a gleam in my eye. I am tempted, of course, to focus on the current exhibit. But I try to keep some consideration on the very long term, mentally percolating the future directions of my next group of paintings: deciding which digital techniques I want to explore, which palettes, which themes. This longer-term strategizing is an important part of the development of my work, and this stage cannot be rushed or condensed.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I consider my work optimistic, a quality especially relevant in these strange times. I use specific techniques to put the viewer in a positive frame of mind. For example, I create the illusion of backlighting or inner glow, which I believe elicits a universal feeling of warmth and gratification. The palette is important in creating this response, because too much dissonance is disturbing, not enough is lackluster, but the spot-on amount is uplifting. I avoid tying my work to any cultural frame of reference, intending that it can speak to viewers of any time and place. Nonetheless, I take note of the attention span of contemporary art viewers, and I strive for compositions that have a short-term payoff. I create pieces that have an immediate impact yet reveal more of themselves over time. My artworks are abundant with detail that invites closer scrutiny, and with compositions designed to shift visually with change of perspective and viewing distance. I began creating digital art in the 90’s, and have worked exclusively in the medium since 2002. In the early days, acknowledgement as a valid artform was slow to come, even as other alternative media such as photography were considered mainstream. People often used the term “computer-generated” to describe my art, as if the computer had done all the work while I watched from my lounge chair. But these days, acceptance and appreciation are more widespread, especially among younger viewers. I love the digital medium, and the beautiful and interesting aesthetic effects that can be achieved with contemporary art-making tools.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I live in Austin, and I relish my trips to Dallas. I enjoy the energy of the city, and the endless attractions. In Dallas, I am represented by Mary Tomás Gallery, and my first shout-out goes to the owners Mary and Alberto Tomás. On a professional level, I value their receptiveness to alternative art media, the meticulousness of their installations, and their willingness to take aesthetic risks. They have staged a number of knock-out exhibits. On a personal level, I appreciate their warmth, humor, and encouragement. My second shout-out is to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. I wish I had discovered it sooner! For years, people had been telling me to see the Dallas Arboretum, and I had been placing it low on my someday list, since my schedules while in the city tended to be densely packed. When I finally pulled myself together to visit this destination, it was a revelation. The grounds were so magnificent and visually stimulating, that this single first visit inspired an entire new series of my artwork, which kept me busy for the better part of a year.
Facebook: Chalda Maloff — Digital Artist
Other: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalda_Maloff http://marytomasgallery.com/?page_id=2234 https://ceresgallery.org/maloff.html https://gestaltprojects.com/collections/chalda-maloff https://www.saatchiart.com/Chalda
Portrait photo by Max Yawney with superimposed artwork by Chalda Maloff
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