INTERVIEW // Ana Benaroya

March 7th 2020 // Interviewer: Shane Allen // Art

What was the last thing that made you laugh?

The thought of one of my close friends becoming a regional bank manager.

Do the characters in your work all this in the same world? Do they live on earth?

They definitely all live in the same world...but it's not earth. It's like a weird reflection of our lives here on earth.

Did you have imaginary friends growing up?

Sort of. I played with my action figure collection all the time...made up entire stories and worlds with them, as many kids do. I guess they were my imaginary friends? I really thought they were alive and moved around when I left the room. I'd leave them in very particular positions and then check to see if they shifted at all while I was gone.

A lot of your work seems to be a moment in the middle of an intense scene. Do you come up with backstories between your characters? Do you ever reuse characters?

I've only re-used characters a few times...but it's something I've thought about doing more. I guess I like keeping the narrative somewhat loose and open to interpretation. I think I would get bogged down creatively if I had this specific story I needed to follow. It's more of what you mentioned before - they all live in this same world. I can turn my head and see something else happening...or walk into a different room and find a whole different side story. But I do like having these characters in action - doing something - and you as the viewer just happened to see them at this moment of intensity.

Do you remember your dreams?

Sadly most of the time no. I wish I did...I always tell myself to keep a journal by the side of my bed and write things down...but I never do.

Do you ever find yourself seeing other art through the eyes of an artist or through the eyes of an art lover?

Hmm, I guess both? Although I am an artist so can I ever see things as not an artist? But yes, I guess when I fall in love with a painting it happens on an emotional level and not a technical I guess that would be the art lover? Unclear where the boundaries between those two are for me.

What’s your biggest motivation to get up in the morning?

On good days, excited to work on a painting. On other good see someone I love. When its neither of those...I guess to have coffee.

(If it's a different answer than the one above) What’s the best part of your day?

Let me just describe my perfect day to you...I wake up, treat myself to a bagel with jalapeño cream cheese and an iced coffee...walk to my studio, listen to music...have the most productive and amazing painting day...leave the studio and head into NYC to meet up with friends for dinner and drinks.

What’s the strangest part of life?

Trying to understand your place in the world.

Do you have a favorite childhood memory?

Hmm...I think playing outside with my brother. Drinking slurpees in the summer.

Go to take-out food?

Always Chinese.

Do you remember the title of your first painting?

I don't know if this was the first...but this is the first title I remember..."Reclining Mom"

Do you ever spend too much time thinking about titles?

Yeah I definitely give it a lot of thought...sometimes it comes to me right away...but sometimes it's a struggle and can take a few days.

Coffee or Tea? Why?

Coffee. It's delicious - I like mine with French vanilla creamer. Light and sweet.