Picasso. Andy Warhol. Dalí. Start rattling off those names and you’ll form a list of the most famous modern artists of our times. Add the name Autumn de Forest as well. The 14-year old contemporary art star has been given accolades by The Vatican and Disney– and The Kid had the pleasure of chatting with her on a recent visit to Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. Five questions and tons of laughs later, here’s what she learned about de Forest- including who she’s taken inspiration from, what her favorite form of art medium is, and what she’s looking forward to in the future.
Q & A with Autumn de Forest
Who better than to interview a 14-year old teen artist than another 14-year old teen artist? Yep, this time The Kid takes the spotlight and was happy to ask Autumn about her art. The two got along so well and Autumn showed her around her first solo exhibit, Autumn de Forest: The Tradition Continues. She chatted with us about a few of her pieces, showed us around her exhibit space, and even let us in on how she feels her paintings should be treated- by letting young children touch them. No kidding. Autumn is hosting painting classes for local school children and she loves letting them touch her paintings.
Although de Forest has had no official training, she does take cues from modern masters and comes from an impressive line of family painters and artists. She said, “I love being inspired by all different kinds of artists. When I first started painting, I was mostly inspired by abstract artists. I, all of a sudden, saw a Dalí surreal art book and I realized there was so much more. There’s so many, all different kinds, of art styles out there. ”
The Kid, inspired everyday by the magic of Walt Disney, had to ask if de Forest has taken inspiration from the man who made Mickey Mouse. “Absolutely! I actually did several paintings. Disney commissioned me to do several paintings for the Disney Headquarters. I was also in Festival of the Masters in Disney World in Orlando, so it’s wonderful to be inspired by one of the biggest animation and story tellers of our time. ”
Using ceramic, acrylic, and even artistic gel for texture, her favorite “would probably have to be encaustic because I really love the textural effect after it dries. ”
What does the futute hold for Miss de Forest? She is “excited in two years to maybe drive a car, so in a lot of ways I’m just a regular kid.” As for the immediate future, she’s headed to the White House soon.
Showing off one of her later pieces, Time Square, de Forest gave both of us some insight as to why she paints what she paints. This particular painting was compliments of her Today Show interview.
Compare and Contrast
My 14-year old daughter is very much looking forward to pursuing graphic art when she graduates high school and, while both teens have a love of art, each one has her own individual style. Autumn actually took the time to check out The Kid’s art sketch book and my teen was happy to give the famous artist insight as to why she draws what she does.
Autumn de Forest: The Tradition Continues
Autumn de Forest: The Tradition Continues has been such a huge hit that its run at the Butler Institute of American Art has been extended through September 18, 2016. The exhibition is sponsored by the Park West Foundation and admission is free!
Thanks to Butler Institute of American Art for setting up an interview with the uber-talented Autumn de Forest!