The Napping Wizard Sessions


Interview: Rachel Bacon

Season 2, Ep. 2


Have you ever crumpled paper just right, or covered a sheet from edge to edge with graphite, or, otherwise, protected a clean page from damage at all costs? Rachel Bacon has, and from the sound of it, she’ll continue doing so. She’s been experimenting with materials for decades, and she’s gotten it down to a science – the science of paper and pencil, trees and graphite, wood and carbon, pulp and powder. Just like diamonds and coal both come from carbon, and folklore spins yarns of devils shitting gold or turning gold into shit, Rachel’s drawings act out allotropic roles. They’re unique works that play with our perceptions of reality and confront us with lightness and dark, weight and scale, and encourage us to take responsibility for the materials we exploit. Her drawings operate on subliminal and individual levels and position us as guests on a planet that allows us to inhabit it for now.

She was born in NYC and moved to the Netherlands after earning a BFA at Pratt Institute in 1990. She currently lives and makes art in The Hague where she teaches drawing at the Royal Academy of Art. In 2016 she earned an MA in London at the Wimbleton College of Art. She reappears in New York City often as well as travels the world taking advantage of artist-in-residency programs. Most recently she participated in the Banff Centre for the Arts, Mass MoCA and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Art Center on Governors Island (where we met in 2010). In addition to The Netherlands and the United States, she has had exhibitions in France, the United Kingdom, The Czech Republic, Turkey, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden, among others, and she has been nominated for and received several public art commissions.

I encourage you to explore her website while we’re chatting:

Record Date: 15 April 2018

Air Date: 02 December 2018

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