SIX OF ONE: ANNIKA CONNOR
Six Quick Questions with One of My Favorite Artists
By Lori Zimmer
Annika Connor is one of the only true Romanticists still alive that is pulling it off. Her work is literal eye candy–gorgeously rich jewel tones depicting grandiose scenes that I could just dive into. I used to pore over books like The Great Gatsby (let’s not talk about the movie again), The Beautiful and the Damned, Franny and Zooey, and all those novels about the former glamorous life of New York. Connor’s idyllic scenes spark my daydreaming tendencies and transport me right smack into the middle of one of those novels, letting me escape my hustle and bustle of modern life for a moment (or four).
Her latest exhibition, “The Hitchcock Kiss,” just opened at QF Gallery. It’s worth taking a break from the beach to wander in and enjoy your vacation a little further with Connor’s idealist Romanticism.
LZ: What are you currently obsessed with?
AC: Hats! In my life I both literally and figuratively wear a lot of hats. I love them, and the size of my hat collection would certainly justify calling it an obsession.
Nothing creates flare, glamor, and drama better then artfully pairing a great hat with the right outfit. I am always so happy when I have a marvelous hat on my head. In the right hat, I feel delightful and giddy. It is impossible not to smile.
Currently I do some part-time modeling for two hat lines, Emma B and Giovannio, and because of this I own a lot of their fascinators, hats, and feather clips. I delight in working with them and I am really enjoy learning the ins-and-outs of the millinery industry. One of my non-painting-related career dreams is to design a hat collection. I’d love to have my own line, but since hats would be just a side project for me, I would welcome the chance to collaborate with an already established brand.
LZ: Describe your work in three words
AC: Contemporary. Romantic. Painting.
LZ: What are your favorite recent exhibitions?
AC: The “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity” exhibition at the Met this Spring was incredible. As a lover of paint and fashion, I couldn’t have been more enchanted with that exhibition. It was so well curated and presented. Plus, the Tissot’s there stole my breath away, they were so heartbreakingly beautiful.
Earlier this Winter, I was equally overwhelmed by the stellar Basquiat exhibition at Gagosian. I have always loved Basquiat’s paintings and boy did that show have an overwhelming assortment of masterpieces. I was there opening night in the dead of Winter and the line to enter the gallery was nearly 2 blocks long! Everyone from fashionistas to teenage hiphopers had shown up. The mix of the glitterati with the break dancers made for an equally fun, but unintended pairing of art and fashion on display together.
LZ: What is your favorite place and why?
AC: Hands down, Mustique in the West Indies is the most gorgeous place I have ever been. I often wish I could be back at Basil’s Bar with a Rum Punch in my hand.
Mustique is an island unlike any other, there is magic in the moonlight there, and the water is like what swimming in heaven must feel like. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the island on quite a few occasions and I have painted several pieces which take inspiration from the beaches, sunsets, and light there.
LZ: What is your go to karaoke song?
AC: Despite being a terrible out-of-tune singer who should never be allowed to karaoke, if drunk enough I will happily slip out my Southern accent and sing along to Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” or Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz.”
LZ: What book has most influenced you?
AC: My high school AP Art History text book: Art History by Marilyn Stokstad. To this day I refer to it often, and have it in my studio. It is filed with underlines and notes, and is beaten and battered from years of use.
Annika Connor is a Contemporary Romantic painter based in New York City.
Written by Lori Zimmer
Photography by Leandro Justen for PatrickMcMullan.com & All Art/Images © & Courtesy of Annika Connor
Design by Lulu Vottero
Annika Connor, The Frick Collection Garden Party 2012, NYC, July 2012, Photography by Leandro Justen for PatrickMcMullan.com
“Augustus” All Art Courtesy & © of Annika Connor
“Camus” All Art Courtesy & © of Annika Connor
“Embraced” All Art Courtesy & © of Annika Connor
“Scarlet” All Art Courtesy & © of Annika Connor
“The Women of Stone and Steel” All Art Courtesy & © of Annika Connor
“Wolf pack” All Art Courtesy & © of Annika Connor