Ian Strange – Finding a new canvas in American suburbia.

Ian Strange – Finding a new canvas in American suburbia.

Originally from Perth, Australia, Ian Strange is a multidiciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, New York. He is well known for his monumental 'Suburban Intervention' projects which use suburban houses as a canvas to explore the theme of 'home'. We spoke to Ian about how a new home in the USA has influenced his work, and some of his personal favorites in New York City and Brooklyn.

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ON WHERE YOU’RE FROM

I grew up in Perth, Western Australia.

ON YOUR CURRENT NEIGHBOURHOOD

Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

ON WHY YOU CHOSE GREENPOINT

I originally moved to Williamsburg but was priced out. I like being around peers and community – all of my friends all ended up in LES, Greenpoint and Bushwick – so that’s where I gravitated to.

 

Large scale artworks ‘Harvard Street’ and ‘Corrinne Terrace’ by Ian Strange

ON WHY YOU MOVED TO AMERICA

New York was always a goal for me, most of the creatives I grew up admiring came from or spend time here.

ON NEW YORK IN ONE WORD

Cold.

ON WHETHER YOUR PERCEPTION OF NYC CHANGED LIVING THERE

Absolutely. It’s also a city of villages and tribes, so all I can really speak about is my tiny corner.

Moving to the US gave me perspective on my upbringing and Australia over all. That was when I started thinking about home and how that could be a part of my work.

ON CURRENT PROJECTS

The projects I’m most excited about are a new book project, a feature film project looking at ‘Hold Out’ home-owners as well as a collaboration with a dance company. 

ON THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING ABROAD

That I can be nimble and let my work dictate where I am.

ON THE THEME OF HOME IN YOUR WORK

Moving to the US gave me perspective on my upbringing and Australia over all. That was when I started thinking about home and how that could be a part of my work. I also came to the US in 2009 right after the GFC, so the housing crisis here was front of mind.

 

Large scale artwork ‘Number Twelve’ and Ian Strange on location in Akron Ohio, USA. Photo credit: Jedda Andrews

ON NEW YORK FEELING LIKE HOME

Not really. I still travel half of the year for projects and exhibitions.

ON CREATIVITY AND LIFE ABROAD

Regardless of where you are I think a local support network is important. Being around peers who push you to be better and keep you sane. If you can’t find that at home I would recommend looking for it.

ON WHERE YOU GO FOR CREATIVE INSPIRATION

Museums and to the cinema. The Whitney is my absolute favorite.

New York was always a goal for me, most of the creatives I grew up admiring came from or spend time here.

ON ONE THING TO DO WHEN YOU FIRST MOVE TO NEW YORK

Go out drinking and meet people. The first 8-months is the best time for meeting new people and building a community around you.

ON A MUST KNOW

Have a clear idea of what you want from moving here before you move here.

ON FINDING A PLACE TO LIVE

Facebook groups or friends of friends are always a good start.

ON SOMETHING TO BE PREPARED FOR

Winter can be rough.

 

Photographic works ‘Shadow’ and ‘Lake Road’ by Ian Strange

ON A MUST HAVE ITEM FOR YOU

My notebook.

ON VISAS FOR PEOPLE WITH CREATIVE BACKGROUNDS

The 0-1 is the best bet.

ON FAVOURITE GALLERIES

The New Museum and Whitney.

ON GOOD FOOD

Sweetwater, Williamsburg.

ON GOOD DRINKS

Lucky Dog.

ON GOOD COFFEE

Blue Bottle.

ON YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO BE

My studio.

 

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Nuggets in this interview

inspiration

The Whitney, New York

"Museums and to the cinema. The Whitney is my absolute favorite"

–Ian Strange

neighborhoods

Greenpoint, Brooklyn

"All of my friends ended up in LES, Greenpoint and Bushwick, so that's where I gravitated to"

–Ian Strange

food and drink

Lucky Dog, Brooklyn

"Good drinks... Lucky Dog (Williamsberg)"

–Ian Strange

food and drink

Sweetwater, Brooklyn

"Favourite restaurant... Sweetwater, Williamsberg"

–Ian Strange

food and drink

Blue Bottle, Brooklyn

"Good coffee.. Blue Bottle"

–Ian Strange

inspiration

New Museum, New York

"Favourite galleries... New Museum and The Whitney"

–Ian Strange

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