Tell me a bit about yourself. (a quick history/bio, where are you from?, what's your backstory?, how did you get to BFP?, etc.)
Annesta Le is a contemporary artist who bends and shapes neon glass and works on canvas with heavy acrylic and oil paints. Her abstract aesthetic is characterized by her use of strong, bold, expressive marks. The resultant compositions are intense, energetic, and interconnected, highlighting the spontaneity and uniqueness of her work. Her work is dynamic in its creation—an open, experimental, unpredictable method balancing the intentional and unintentional.
Living and working in Brooklyn since 2006, Annesta is a first generation American born to Vietnamese immigrant parents who escaped the country in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Her formative years were marked by emotional turbulence and her art is fueled by the grit and determination she developed in her capricious upbringing, often torn between the tempest of chaos and responsibility.
Where are you from?
I’m Vietnamese but American born. I’ve lived in seven different states and gone to four different high schools. I’m currently living in NYC for almost 12 years now. I don’t even know where to say I’m from anymore. I would say a bit Texan and a bit New Yorker.
What’s your backstory?
I’ve been doing some form of creative work since my teens. It started with graphic design and art direction but I wasn’t happy just strictly staying in the commercial side of things. After a life-altering trip to the Amazon rainforest and going through major personal changes, I decided to get a studio and just start working. I didn’t realize it would become anything, it just took off and now we’re here.
How did you get to BFP?
I outgrew my beloved but much smaller original space a few blocks away. One day I came to Brooklyn Fireproof for a studio visit with another artist in the building, saw the large spaces and decided to move in shortly after.
Can you describe your work? What do you do? What's your process?
I tend to experiment with a variety of different materials and I also paint. Right now I primarily work with neon due to my obsession with the interplay of light, gases and elements. My work is abstract yet sometimes suggestive of symbolism. Neon is typically used for beer signs or representational objects. I use it to create abstract lines and shapes in order to evoke a feeling or presence.
I approach each piece or body of work organically and in the moment. It always starts with some kind of concept or theme -- then when I’m ready to create the work, I use flameworking equipment and custom tools specifically used for glass to make the piece.
What artists do you think about most / what artists are you looking at?
I identify with any artist whose work is infused with some psychological content or symbolism.
Do you have any shows coming up?
ATM Cigarettes Flowers Lottery at Wayfarers opening September 30th
Transcendence of Us at Brooklyn Fireproof’s Gallery 104 opening September 22nd
I also have a really exciting project coming up in October that I can’t announce just yet but will soon on my site.
What advice would you give to other artists?
Work hard, show up on time, be professional and kind.
More information at www.annesta.com