L.A.-based artist and activist Christine Tien Wang makes maddeningly pointed paintings and banners that serve as critiques of the state of American incarceration and income inequality. She recently closed a solo show at Night Gallery, and is preparing a solo exhibition set for January at Nagel Draxler in Berlin.
How do you know a work you’ve made is good? When I laugh out loud.
What teacher did you learn the most from in school? Andrea Fraser and Rodney McMillian at UCLA.
How do you find inspiration? By writing stuff down in my journal.
What was your first gallery experience? An installation at Night Gallery in 2012 with my friend Abigail DeVille. We did a two-person show, and it was really great.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? Amy Sillman told the class to get a skill, so they could get a day job to support them and make work at the same time.
Do you have any unrealized projects? I have a list of paintings in my sketchbook that I really want to make.
How did you fund your first works? Through a generous grant from my mother and father. When you aren’t in the studio, where are you? Sleeping in my bed.
In your practice, what comes naturally to you and what do you have to force? What comes naturally is listening to audio books every day, and what feels forced is washing my brushes.