Bettina Hubby is an interdisciplinary happy warrior. Though her practice is grounded in more esoteric, big picture concepts like personal and societal transformation, justice for every living thing, mindfulness and collective healing, her art manifests across many tangible forms. From cheeky collages using the materials of commerce to engineer a critique of social priorities, to a top-down renovation of the marriage ritual re-centering creativity and community, interactive/performative/video/text-based works interrogating everything from positive affirmation to emotional projection in pet psychiatry, and sculptural works that remind the mind of its tether to the body, Hubby takes every opportunity to serve the beautiful and the good. A new participatory photo/sculpture is currently on view as part of Maiden L.A., go get yourself(ie) a hug.
L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
BETTINA HUBBY: I drew and painted from a very young age, but when the church associated with the all-girls Catholic highschool I attended commissioned me to paint the Pietà, I felt a heightened realness to the path.
What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?
Through different themes and mediums, I playfully and aesthetically explore the power within to transform our experience of this reality. I am more and more interested in the actions we can collectively take to help this world in flux.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I would be collaborating with an organization that helps people get off the grid. Alternately, I’d be writing a book.
Did you go to art school? Why/Why not?
After my TWO eccentric college art professors, both named Michael, convinced my parents that I was indeed an artist and not an insane person, I was encouraged to go to The School of Visual Art in New York.
Why do you live and work in L.A., and not elsewhere?
I moved here in 1999 from New York after being fully immersed in the N.Y. art scene post grad school. I left my job as the Assistant Editor of Parkett Magazine and moved with my then-husband to organize an arts festival. I thought I’d try it out for a while to slow down my pace, all the while thinking I’d return in a couple of years. I just kept finding new reasons to stay.
When was your first show?
My first full-fledged solo exhibition was in Athens, GA where I exhibited large photographs of medically realistic anatomical details that were painted on the bodies of many of my friends.
When is/was your current/most recent/next show?
I am currently a part of the Maiden L.A. citywide public art event. I created a light-hearted interactive text painting called Self(ie)Care – you can literally put your face and arm through the painting and take a picture of yourself and be surrounded by words that self-reflect wellness, resilience, and calm – a counteraction to the current climate. The piece is in the MOMED restaurant courtyard in Atwater Village through the 20th of this month.
What artist living or dead would you most like to show with?
At the moment, it would be Kusama. I feel that my current text paintings would pair beautifully with her patterned pieces to create a powerful meditative and fully immersive environment of word and image.
Do you listen to music while you work?
I love listening to music when I’m home and am blessed to live with a partner who has an extensive music library and is consistently finding and making new music. When I’m at the studio I prefer to swim in silence.
Website and social media handles, please!