In the Studio with Andrea Mary Marshall

Filled with canvases, fruit & Toxic Women

An artist’s space can be a sacred thing so when we learned we’d be paying a visit to the studio of Boston-transplant Andrea Mary Marshall, we envisioned delicate pots of paint just waiting for us to accidentally tip over and canvases standing by for us to catastrophically burst through like circus clowns. Instead, we felt immediately at home. Filled with her beautiful photo self-portraits  and striking canvases, the scene is at once calm and intoxicating.

Morning Andrea! We love your space, how long have you lived here?
Hi! Thank you, seven years now.

Do you have a favorite room in the apartment?
The Cobra Den, that’s my name for the room I make my art in. If you had only seen it while I was making “Gia Condo” you would understand why I call it The Cobra Den. It has a good energy and a good history—a lot has happened in that room!

What or who are some of your favorite spots in the neighborhood, being Bushwick?
Bravo Café, Chimu Express, Guacuco, Roberta’s, Hana Natural Foods, Jenny at Perfect Nails on Myrtle Avenue, Abebe Oshun Botanica, and St. Aloysius Church.

What are you currently into?
Juice Press, Gina Gershon in Showgirls and as Donatella Versace in House of Versace, always Matisse, Mary Cassatt, Gauguin’s Tahitians, and the leather pieces by Saint Laurent. I loved Givenchy’s last collection with the masks and, currently, Nicolas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton.

This apartment doubles as your studio. How do you keep it so neat and tidy
Well, I admit while I am working it can look like a tornado has hit. But I clean up after every project.

Your work is arranged so beautifully around the space. What are some of your tips for hanging and framing art?
I prefer black or white frames—the simpler the better! I like arranging different artwork together according to the colors in the pieces.

OK, onto the art. Could you describe your work to those unaware?
Autobiographical, feminine, strong, sensitive, spiritual, expressive, complex, hopefully glamorous and humorous at times, and always evolving!

What’s the story behind these appropriated Vogue covers?
They were for my first solo show, “Toxic Women,” which was about women’s issues, layered with pop culture, social commentary, and fashion! Vogue seemed like a perfect subject matter for this show. I was not criticizing fashion—I was just commenting. I painted all 100 in 7 days—it was crazy but fun!

Do you have a favorite piece in the space?
Yes, Search for the Holy Grail (Self-Portrait) that hangs above my bed. My Rosemary Myst photographs and my photograph, Self-Portrait as Gia Condo as the Guerilla Girl.

Describe your creative process? How does each piece begin?
I rush into everything—sometimes obsessively. I have an idea and I can’t wait to start it. I won’t sleep until I finish it! I’m very committed.

What are you currently working on?
Artwork for The Creative Time Fall Ball on November 12th

Oh, not long off then! What do you do when you need inspiration?
I like to listen to music.

What are you currently listening to?
A mix of everything: The Rolling Stones, Jay-Z “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” Prince Purple Rain and “Erotic City,” Vanity 6, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Britney Spears, Sinead O’Conner “Nothing Compares 2 U,” Eric Clapton, Madonna, Black Sabbath, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott Supa Dupa FlyINXS, Salt-N-Pepa, Marvin Gaye, Celia Cruz, Aretha Franklin, Lynyrd Skynrd, Santana’s Abraxas, and Elvis Presley.

What a group! We just spied some incredible looking spoons, what’s the story behind those?
Well, this set is titled The Original Supper. It’s a thirteen-piece set of double-sided, hand-painted spoons inspired by the 15th century Apostle Spoons, symbolizing the Last Supper. I have replaced the Apostles with Hollywood sex icons portrayed by only their red lips and labia. Madonna is the larger Master spoon symbolizing Jesus, and Marilyn Monroe is the knife in the place of Judas. My mother had these spoons and she gave them to me to paint for this project!

That’s a lot of fruit on the kitchen table! What are you making with them?
Juice and smoothies! My smoothie recipes are from my good friend, Mika. Some of my favorites are:

Peach & Banana
Just blend 3 peaches and 3 bananas (simple but divine).

Banana, Blueberry, Dates & Raw Cacao 
Blend 1 cup of blueberries with 3 bananas, 4 dates and 2 tablespoons raw cacao.

Cherry & Grape
Blend pitted cherries and red grapes. I am also a sucker for fresh watermelon juice!

If you could host a dream dinner party at your kitchen table, who would you invite and what would you cook?
That’s easy: Madonna and spaghetti.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given and by who:
Everything my mentor and friend David Croland has ever said to me. Here are a few good ones: “Never guild a lily,” “Stay calm—be cool,” “You’ve got to be clean, to be dirty,” and “If you want to stand out… disappear.”

What’s your motto in life?
“Life is one” and of course “Elegance is refusal.” –Diana Vreeland

Coming from the queen of elegance herself! Well, thank you for having us! See you soon!

Photography by Lianna Tarantin

What are you currently listening to? We need a little inspiration. E-mail us at pippa@sousstyle.com and gillian@sousstyle.com