Interview With Molly Dilworth

February 11th 2010

Interview With Molly Dilworth

Molly Dilworth is fast making her mark on the New York art scene….literally! However, Dilworth has a larger audience in mind. With a little help from Google Earth, this artist is going Global.

There’s only one drawback….

She’s afraid of heights.

547 West 27th - Day 7 - Sunday 11/22, Molly Dilworth

IS: Your recent works deal with the idea of claiming a territory and leaving an imprint on a space.  How do these ideas relate to how you consider your own role as an artist?

MD: I think about my Paintings for Satellites as a poetic gesture, an assertion of a physical presence in the digital landscape and a practical beautification of overlooked spaces. I do want to claim that territory, but not exclusively – there’s plenty of overlooked space to go around. I’d be happy to see artists taking over these spaces rather than fighting over the same privileged spaces. Digital technology has fundamentally changed daily life for most of us now living. I’m interested in understanding the philosophical implications of those changes. On a practical level, working on rooftops in an increasingly green and energy conscious era has taught me a lot about building co2 emissions and potential solutions like solar-reflective paint which I’m working to use in future projects. The amount of energy we passively waste in our buildings is literally crazy, and some very interesting minds are coming up with clever solutions, so it’s a pretty interesting time for a project like mine. I never imagined I’d be avidly reading the new NYC Greencode Taskforce Report!

Painting for Google Earth 547 West 27th street and 548 West 28th Street, Molly Dilworth

IS: I read recently about your work being the seen from space via Google Earth. How do you feel about the use of digital forms, and the Internet, for sharing your work?

MD: It’s pretty exciting that my 70-year-old stepfather or 2-year-old niece , neither of whom are climbing on any roofs these days, can experience the work virtually. The Internet and digital technology has made sharing work inexpensive and easy which is great. There are drawbacks – like shooting a million bad images instead of a few carefully – but for me it’s been a net positive. My flickr site has compelled me to photograph and document every project, that’s something I never seemed to do before.

IS: How do you think things like social networking sites and blogs have altered how we build networks as artists?

MD: In my experience, artists have a medium to high level of social awkwardness; so networking sites are a nice way of swapping info before we meet in public. The rise of the art blogs is really interesting, even breaking stories in some recent cases. I think it’s a significant change in the status quo like the rise of the non-profit institutions in the 1970’s.

Drawing for 547 W 27th Rooftop Painting , Molly Dilworth

IS: Due to its site specific nature, most people will only experience your work through documentation.  How do you feel about this?

MD: At first I thought the satellite view would be the privileged view, but after watching viewers interact with the actual painting on the roof it’s clear that people enjoy being surrounded by a lot of color. I think I’ll have to make a lot more so everyone can experience them.

IS: What artists and spaces based in New York would you recommend looking into?

There’s a new public residency in SOHO, the current artists in residence are the Bruce High Quality Foundation:

In DUMBO (Brooklyn) Smack Mellon and the DUMBO Arts Center usually have good shows:

Spring is a design shop I like in DUMBO, Steve and Anna have great eyes and are nice people:

The Flux Factory just got a new space in Long Island City, Queens (close to PS1 and the Sculpture center, which also have consistently good shows)

Also, the Dream House on Church Street in Tribeca is an institution (a permanent sound art installation by La Monte Young). It’s open Thur-Sat 2pm to midnight: