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By: Joseph Licata

Guided by her materials, through a process that seemingly has no end goal, Sarah Reynolds works in a space that is founded in materialism rather than conceptualism. Pushing the boundaries of what materials can become, Reynolds transforms our perceptions, using charcoal and paper to unearth sculptural pieces that defy the constraints typically placed on these two materials.

If you can’t tell, we’re in love with Sarah’s work. So last month we sat down with Reynolds to speak a little about her work, her inspirations and where it all began.




Why become an artist… Where did it all start?

I don’t know if there’s a reason for “why,” since it’s not really a chosen skill, it’s something you’re born with. The difficult part is deciding whether or not you are willing to take the risks and face the difficulties of trying to make it as a professional artist.

Even as a kid, I added an artistic flare to everything that I did – the way I dressed, my birthday invites, my hair… but turning that passion into something that I could make a living off of, was a difficult decision. The way you view your art becomes a means to an end, and not only a pure form of expression. Finding a balance between the two is something that I think every artist seeks.


Can you tell me a little about your progression as an artist and how you’ve come to the style you’re currently executing?

I oscillate between figurative charcoal drawings and abstract charcoal and paper sculptures; both satisfy a different part of my brain. My figurative work allows me to focus on constraint and control through manipulating my medium to reach an end goal. It’s a similar practice to working on a challenging assignment or running a marathon—you push yourself to complete something that took long hours, and unwavering dedication; it’s a very rewarding practice.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, my abstract sculptures put my medium in the forefront. I don’t have an end goal in sight. The charcoal soaks into the paper and creates dark and light patterns, which then dictates how I move and fasten the paper to a wood mount. I surrender control over the final result and I just trust my instincts. This process if very humbling and liberating.


How would you describe your art?

I think my art honors an under appreciated medium and allows it to have the same vibrancy and energy that other forms of art have. My work has a lot of depth, but it’s also approachable. I want people to feel welcomed by my work.


What has been inspiring you lately?

It’s incredibly hard to be still in New York City. There’s always something going on, something you’re missing out on, something weighing on your mind…It’s in those rare moments where I’m completely still – before bed, when I’m utterly exhausted, or waiting for something, that all these pure visuals and new ideas appear in my mind. They’re triggered by stillness, and appear in shapes/forms when I close my eyes. I’ve been trying to figure out how to capture these moments through my drawings and sculptures. Stay tuned.