Love, sex, and eye contact by Molly (Moollz) Kirschenbaum

ART TODAY 07.22.17: Love, sex, and eye contact by Molly (Moollz) Kirschenbaum – with Acrostic Interview in its entirety

Thank you Molly for sharing your music, art, and heart with us this week!

This is my most recent piece. I recently became more open about being queer, and have had a lot of really great conversations with friends about dating and intimacy in the queer community. I also have found that, for myself, my own nervousness and confusion about my sexual orientation, as well as others’ confusion, have fueled some problems in past relationships and in my pursuit of new ones. This piece is meant to kind of represent, from my own personal perspective and experience, the beauty and love of queer connection and intimacy, as well as the difficulty and stress. (Molly)

Acrylic, charcoal on newsprint

TribeLA Magazine Artists, Authors, Musicians Acrostic Interview Questionnaire

by Natalie Durkin

Tagline: Give yourself and your work a tagline.
Perhaps something like: “Portraits of the Woman as the Inner Goddess”. (It’s so strange and wonderful to be talking about my visual art in such a focused manner, I always treat my painting as a hobby/way to acquire cover art without having to pay!)

Rest: How do you spend your time off?
As a college student, musical artist, and writer, a lot of my “time off” actually goes toward painting and drawing! Visual art usually helps me find some “zen” and gets me out of my head. I also love walking/hiking, movies, reading, and cooking for the same reasons – I need my time off to be dedicated to me getting out of my head and focusing on something that takes me to a different world or just makes me happy!

Influence: What effect do you hope to have on us?
I think one of my main goals in my art is to celebrate the female form in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I, myself, have struggled a lot with body image and feeling comfortable in my skin as both a woman and a queer individual, and I want my art to celebrate the power of womanhood and non-conforming gender-hood, as well as sexuality and intimacy. I also tend to explore the relationship between personality and color, womanhood and nature, and bodies and moon cycles.

Back: If you could choose a past literary/art/music movement to be a part of, which would you choose?
Oh man, so many! How do I choose? I suppose artistically I would choose expressionism or post-impressionism, probably since I love Schiele and Matisse and Toulouse-Lautrec. I also love surrealism! Big fan of Ernst, Magritte, and Dali.

Energy: What fires you up?
I’m an Aries, so…everything? 🙂 If we’re going with the positive “fired up”, being outside (especially at the beach), listening to the Talking Heads, and spending time with passionate people. Negatively (or maybe just more anger-related), I get very fired up when people are close-minded or dismissive of others.

Los Angeles: Where is your favorite place in Los Angeles? Where would you take visitors? If you could defend the city in one sentence to someone who doubts it, what would you say?
Favorite LA places are Chinatown, The Troubadour (just have a lot of good memories there!) Jitlada Thai restaurant, Glendale Center Theater, and the LA Downtown ArtWalk. My LA defense: Doing literally anything in LA always produces a good dinner-party story.

Advice: What is the best advice you’ve received? What is the best advice you can give?
I think the best “advice” I’ve received is just observing people I look up to, like my parents and friends. One line my dad always used to say to me was “No matter what, time always passes,” and that was always so helpful. He was an immensely positive and kind person and he taught me a ton by example. I think the best advice I can give is…this sounds cheesy, but “happiness is a choice”. I really live by that. I think there is always a way to flip a situation positively, and coming from a place of love at all times is a good way to start!

Aura: How would you describe your energy, style, etc.?
Bright! Colors (especially maroon and green) are super important to me and play a huge part in the way I think about art and music and people. I think my artistic style and personal style reflect this? I wear a lot of green eyeshadow…. I also swing between feeling extremely childlike and feeling like a grandma, which I think plays a huge part in my style, as well!

Room: Where in your house do you work? If not in your house, where do you feel most compelled to create?
I work mostly in my living room or in my backyard, but I think of my best ideas in my shower, my favorite “room” in the house. It has these floor-to-ceiling dark blue tiles and a little window filled with plants and you can see the tops of the trees through the glass, and I always just feel so at peace and very inspired in that space, as well as vulnerable, which is always important when it comes to creating!

Tools: What do you prefer to work with, physically and otherwise?
I’m very into oil pastels, compressed charcoal, and acrylic paints. I’ve realized I just always end up working with my hands no matter what I’m doing, I just end up using my hands to smudge or drip or finger-paint. I’m always a mess within seconds of starting a project. I love really big paint brushes, as well, and I also have been experimenting with collage! I also generally work with figure models to get the right energy and proportions, and have been working on increasing the personalization of portraits!

Indulgence: Do you cook? What is your favorite food indulgence? What is your favorite restaurant in LA where you indulge yourself?
I LOVE to cook. I find it insanely therapeutic. I have been a vegetarian since I was 9, and have recently become dairy-free, so I love experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes and flavors. My favorite indulgence is probably just chocolate. I love chocolate. My favorite restaurant is definitely Vegetable in Studio City, they specialize in vegetarian/vegan/gluten free food and their food is out of this world. The roasted Brussels sprouts, polenta cakes, and key lime pie-in-a-jar are the definite must-haves.

Special: Who or what holds a special place in your heart? How does this factor in to your process?
So many people and things! My dad is at the top of the list, though, of course. I miss him every single day. He was the most supportive and creative person, and also a huge fan of truly good music and good writing. Whenever I start something, I try to look at it with humor, excitement, and openness, and every time I finish any project, I always think about what he might say if I could run it by him.

Time: What is your all-time favorite piece of writing/art/music you’ve created?
I think my favorite piece of anything I’ve done is probably my live performance at the Tigris Records label showcase. That was the first time I successfully put together a visual aesthetic for my music, and focused on ethereal, outer-space-y visuals and alien costumes and glittery makeup and overall vibe. I felt like I had completely transcended reality at that show – it was a total out-of-body experience. I took the world that was in my head and brought it out onto a stage and made it tangible. For me, that’s the point of creating anything – to take all the wild, make-believe stuff that’s in my head and bring it out into the real world, and (for better or worse) take everyone with me!

Thank you!


Natalie Durkin
Photo by Lisa Durkin

Natalie Durkin is a content contributor and social media assistant at TribeLA. She is a student at Bard College in New York’s idyllic Hudson Valley and returns intermittently to L.A. to see her parents and black Labrador Retriever, Buoy. Don’t ask her what she is majoring in; she doesn’t know yet, but she plans on pursuing a career in drama therapy. Once, she was a debutante. Sometimes, she is an actress, waterskier, and snow skier. She is always a Sex and the City fan, animal lover, and proud Angeleno. Nat’s website is: https://nataliedurkinwriting.wixsite.com/nataliedurkin

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