Cydney Camp in her studio.
Library Street Collective has launched a new video web series called QUEUE
which takes viewers into the minds (and studios) of artists. The first episode of QUEUE
was released on Friday, June 17, featuring Detroit painter Cydney Camp across five short episodes.
You’ll know a Cydney Camp oil painting when you see it. She has a thing for playing with proportions, often distorting her subject’s faces with one eye that’s bigger than the other.
In her season of QUEUE
, Camp invites the public into her space and shares everything from her journey leaving the corporate world to her diagnosis with Lupus. She also does some live paintings on-camera in the intimate, self-recorded series, talking viewers through her creative process.
Sometimes we forget that artists are human beings like the rest of us, and QUEUE
allows that mystery to fall away, revealing the very real person behind the work. You’d probably never guess that Camp used to be in a couple of metal bands, or that she has a background in classical music, which are all things she discusses in the episodes.
“I am an introvert, but I like people sometimes… usually,” Camp introduces herself in the first episode.
Talking to Camp over Zoom, she tells me about her non-traditional path toward becoming an artist. She’s a self-taught painter who has been drawing most of her life but got her undergraduate degree in political science. She never considered being a full-time artist as a sustainable career path.
After several years of working in project management and communication while painting on the side, she decided to dedicate more time to art in 2017. Now she’s a full-time artist who does freelance project management on the side. It’s funny how often in life the pathway we assume makes the most sense is the opposite of what our most authentic self desires.
Cydney Camp's "Tiny Dance" 2022.
Camp is currently pursuing her MFA in painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art.
“Being self-taught, you don’t know what you don’t know,” she says over Zoom. “I started feeling myself coming up against these, like, just invisible growth walls where I had never had a critique, I didn’t do studio visits, and I wasn’t talking about art with other people in a way that is more connected to the larger art world in terms of referencing art history so I decided to go the grad school route.”
On why she decides to incorporate distorted proportions in her work, Camp says it’s because life isn’t always perfectly neat.
“It looks funny. It looks strange, and being alive is a really fucking strange experience,” she says. “So there’s a strange kind of beauty to it that collage and proportion work nicely to emphasize. But I also have been thinking of it conveying a sense of the personal fracturing of the self or someone experiencing multiple emotions and having multiple moments in a single painting.”
Cydney Camp’s season of QUEUE
will be available to view online through July 17. You can watch all five episodes at lscgallery.com/exhibitions/queue-cydney-camp
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