Today we’d like to introduce you to Pash Galbavy.
Pash, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up on the Southern California coast as a wild child, latchkey kid. In my early teens I got sent to a rural, Northern Arizona boarding school, which possibly saved my life. As a kid, I loved art, but it wasn’t until my thirties that I re-discovered my creativity through expressive art, movement, dance, theater, and modeling for artists.
I learned to make masks from my stepmom, who was a therapist experimenting with helping clients give their inner parts voices through mask making. After making about 50 masks, I decided to create a one-woman show, called The Body Reclamation Project, which includes masks of all of my body parts. The presentation about my personal healing process that the masks represent, includes issues with my body that I’ve worked with through nude modeling.
I’ve always cared deeply about the earth and its inhabitants. When I was 16-years old, I was arrested a couple of times for blockading at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant. Lately, I’ve been using my art to demonstrate how our inner lives impact the world, and how the problems we’re seeing out there can and should be addressed both within and without. A recent example is a mask presentation and exhibit piece I created for the Hope and Trauma in a Poisoned Land, Navajo Reservation uranium mining contamination education project, which was put on by Coconino Center for the Arts.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I make masks, generally of my own face, using a special plaster cloth, which is part of a mask kit I co-developed. The masks are archetypal and relate to personal and universal emotions, symbols, or inner characteristics like the Critic, Child, or Love. Although I usually know a rough outline of what I will offer, my formal public presentations are always spontaneous and improvised. When I put on a mask, I try to get out of the way and let the energy, movements and voice of the archetypes emerge from their own authentic place. My hope is to make a visceral connection with people and to express some inner aspect of themselves that they hadn’t identified or articulated. Ultimately, I endeavor to inspire a more understanding and compassionate view of ourselves, humanity, and the world. I also offer workshops where others can make and explore their own masks and meanings.
When I model for artists, I also try to get out of my head—where I can be overly self-conscious and self-critical. I attempt to let my body speak for itself, in terms of character and emotion, and with an added awareness of form and shape. I see it like a meditation on motion and emotion within stillness. When I work with photographers, especially in nature, it’s also about demonstrating a relationship with the landscape. Always, I’m seeking to connect both with the other artist or artists and the surrounds in order to hopefully co-create something that ultimately evokes a strong mood or feeling, an “aha!” moment of relatedness in the viewer.
I also get hired to create or dress up as characters to interact with attendees at various events. Again, this for me is always about demonstrating and making some kind of tangible connection both with the event theme and with its participants.
The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
It’s cliché, but do your artwork out of your love for it, not for money. Money may come or not. Figure out how to make time for it. Don’t allow yourself to be crippled by the critics, especially the ones in your head that say if it’s not about money then it’s not valuable and other awful untruths. Do the work because the world needs you to do what you’re passionate about and because in order to stay sane you need to artistically express what you must. This is essential.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I plan to debut a new mask presentation in Sedona or Los Angeles this winter. Demonstrations of some of my past presentations, and photos of my masks, are on the Videos, Galleries, and Archetypes pages of my mask website, www.unmaskit.com. I’ve also written in more depth about some of the mask characters in the Notes on my Pash Galbavy UnMasked Facebook page: www.facebook.com/unmaskit/.
I have a life drawing group that I host and model for most Mondays from 10am-1pm at the Sedona Arts Center. Participants bring their own supplies, easels are provided, and all skill levels are welcome. If you want to attend, just contact me first to make sure that the group is on. I also regularly model for various artists that teach at the Arts Center and other venues, and offer modeling services to artists. Info and samples can be found on the Home, Events, and Portfolio pages of www.artofpash.com. I also regularly update my Art of Pash Facebook page, www.facebook.com/artofpash/, with photos of my work with artists.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you want to: be added to my mask or modeling related eblasts; have one or more customized characters interact with participants at your event; enquire about artist modeling services; host a mask making workshop or a mask presentation; or talk about a collaborative idea.
- Website: www.unmaskit.com & www.artofpash.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/unmaskit/ & www.facebook.com/artofpash/
Susie Lang, J.D. Peterson, Bob Coates, Alba Elena, Larry Pollock