Habitat is a weekly series that visits with artists in their workspaces.
This week’s studio: Sara Cwynar; Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I met Sara Cwynar on a humid day in July at her studio on the third floor of a warehouse building near the Gowanus Bay. The space is only temporary for her since she is heading back to Yale to complete her MFA at the end of the month. It’s surprising that she’s only been in the space since June since it’s full of countless trinkets and objects. “It looks like I’ve been here a lot longer,” she admitted. “I got a car when I moved to New Haven and I can get so much more stuff now. Until last year, I used to carry suitcases on the subway filled with materials.” Cwynar tends to buy her source material from dollar stores, drug stores, eBay, and, recently, candlestock.com, a candle company based in Woodstock, New York. Photographing those objects and combining them with found images through rephotography and collage, she makes intricate, otherworldly still lifes, which she has shown at Cooper Cole in Toronto and Foxy Production in New York.
Cwynar studied English Literature and Political Science before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, which continues to inform her process. She then went on to work as a designer at The New York Times Magazine before shifting her focus to an MFA. “I’m not a morning person, so normally I’m here from around 12 to 9 or so. Sometimes I’ll stay here all night,” she said. “I don’t have internet in this studio, which is good, but not being able to procrastinate at all can also feel really daunting.” Cwynar is currently preparing for an upcoming show at Retrospective Gallery in Hudson, New York, in September. In the slide show below, a little insight into her process and her surroundings.
ALL PHOTOS: KATHERINE MCMAHON