Interview w/ Seze Devres by Abigail Feldman – December 2003
for The School of Visual Arts MFA Photo Program
How do you get you art seen?
In 1997, when I graduated from Bard College, I had a fear that no one
would ever see my artwork and I did not want to wait until I had a
gallery. So I taught myself HTML and made a basic website. It was my
first time ever using a computer for my art. I got a lot of replies
from people about my site and my work via email.
Where was your first exhibition and what was your experience?
My first major exhibition was a painting show in Istanbul, Turkey. I
sold seven paintings on opening night. It was the happiest night of my
life, and I was wearing black wings. It was a series based on the
language of angels called, “Monas Hieroglyphica”. I made the paintings
in the time after college when I lived in Providence, Rhode Island
where had a lot of space to paint. Although it was very successful, I
wanted to continue with the camera less photography that I was pursuing
at Bard College.
How did you come to work with your dealer?
My dealer’s assistant was a student at SVA. She knew my work and
recommended me to her boss, Jayne Baum. Jayne looked at my website and
we have been working together ever since.
What steps have you taken to promote your artwork?
I actively promote my art work by convincing other people to promote my
work. What I mean is that I believe that other people should do that
for you because it is more genuine and honest when someone else is
promoting and raving about your work. I am not at all shy or ashamed to
talk about myself and my work. I am always going to openings, art
walks, and lectures where I am meeting people and talking about art.
What were the first steps in supporting yourself as an artist?
The first step is to decide on a place to live where the standard of
living meets your needs. When I got out of college, I lived in
Providence, Rhode Island where I had enough time, as well as physical
and mental space to make my art. Also teaching has been very beneficial
to me in this way because it gives me the time to make art. I recently
got a grant the first time I applied from Kutztown University, where I
currently teach. It is a faculty grant that gives you the funds to
produce a new body of work. They say that once you get one grant, it is
easier to get another.
What advice do you have for an emerging artist?
Keep your options open and keep on making your work. Do not get
disappointed or disenchanted because once doors start to open, you will
want to have a good strong body of work to put out into the world. Build
your own art community. Surround yourself with inspiring and creative
people even if they do not work in the same medium as you. Go to a lot
of parties and art events. Meet people in the art world and do not be
superficial about it.
What are your likes and dislikes of the art/gallery world?
My likes are that there is so much art in New York City. I love that
there is a whole entire neighborhood devoted to art, as well as so many
amazing museums. New York is so full of art, it is impossible to see it
all. My dislikes are that the art world feels completely impenetrable.
It is such a small exclusive world when compared to film or other
mediums. There is just a very small population who are going to see a
show in the best gallery in Chelsea that it will never get into mass