Sophie Sevigny

SophieAschauer-SerpentSea

Sophie Sevigny at home

Sophie Sevigny is an artist living and working in New York City. In 2011, she founded SerpentSea, a company that makes mats and other wares from reclaimed marine rope.

When did you first start making art?

When I was a child, I created hundreds of imaginary portraits of imprisoned women. I painted their imaginary children, parents, and their own portraits in various stages of life. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I think I was the best artist as a prolific and innocent child.

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Sevigny's recent paintings in her studio

SerpentSea is defined by its unique medium, which is reclaimed marine rope. What drew you to the material?

I like working with the rope because of its limitations. Each mat I create is completely unique but there is only so much variation between the ropes. I order the rope by weight, so every time I receive a new box the colors are a surprise and I must work with what I am given. I have to constantly find new patterns. When I receive a new rope variation that I haven’t seen before the possibilities are exciting. If I happen to dislike the rope, I still have to make it work. Often in the end, these are the mats I like best.

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Serpent Sea mats made from reclaimed marine rope

You interviewed Josh Smith while working at Luhring Augustine in 2007. Was it a coincidence that several years later Paul decided to commission his work for Paul’s Baby Grand?

It was less coincidence and more of a natural fit. I had met Josh through Luhring Augustine and we became friends. Then I introduced him to Paul and they became friends as well. However, it was a coincidence that Josh happened to be making his palm tree paintings while Paul was working on the design for Baby Grand.

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Work by Josh Smith in the Sevigny's personal collection

Do you and Paul live with art? If so, by which artists?

Yes! We live with work mainly by our friends or artists with whom I worked at Luhring Augustine like Josh, Reinhard Mucha, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. I also brought a big painting with me from Austria by one of my favorite Austrian artists Peter Sengl.

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Work by Peter Sengl in the Sevigny's personal collection

Favorite art book?

Anything by Sophie Calle!

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Work by Rirkrit Tiravanija in the Sevigny's personal collection

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