Dwora Fried is an assemblage and collage artist. Born in Vienna, she studied art at Israel's Avni College and received her B.A. at Tel Aviv University. She has been living in Los Angeles since 1978.
In July she will have an exhibit of her mixed-media assemblage boxes at the Woolfson and Tay Gallery in London.
The Advocate: Why are you an artist?
Dwora Fried: I have always felt like an outsider, growing up as a Jew in Austria, being a woman and a lesbian, and my art allows me to reflect that perspective. My collages start with photographs, which are extended with watercolor. This blurs the boundaries between photography and painting, reality and imagination. The boxes attempt to capture the same seamlessness in a more confined space.
What catches your eye?
I collect moments and glimpses of forms, colors, and objects wherever I go, photographing things that are pieces of a puzzle to be put together later in an art piece. Lately I have been obsessed with vintage miniature dolls, scouring flea markets and antique toy stores. Many of them end up in a scene in my boxes.
Tell us about your process or techniques.
I love working with small glass-fronted boxes, reducing events or stories into a miniature symbolic world. Using nails and hammers, glue, photographs, paint, fabric, toys, and found objects, I get immersed in this little world until it reflects the feelings I wanted to convey.
How do you chose your subjects?
The subjects may vary from piece to piece, but there will always be this feeling of displacement, alienation, and entrapment.
How do you describe your work?
I'll be honest with you — I hate to describe my work. It means different things to different people, and I like it that way.
What makes a good artwork to you?
Any artwork that makes you look again.
What artists do you take inspiration from and why?
My first art teacher in Israel, Okshi, taught me that there are no mistakes in art. He made us take photographs, project them onto canvases, and paint over the image. Nothing was too serious; everything was allowed. The other artist that I worship is Hockney, whose love of life and inexhaustible inspiration is one of a kind.