The L: What inspired your new large-scale floral abstractions?
Megan Pflug: The initial inspiration came from the geometric shapes of Chinese tangram puzzles and Japanese Ikebana flower arrangements. I'm really interested in abstraction, but this work also has a narrative inspiration from Bret Easton Ellis's Luna Park.
You use a lot of found imagery in your work. Where does it all come from?
Mostly from magazines. A lot of this imagery is from the 60s, but it's the late 60s. The primary colors and clean lines are something I really like in that era of photography because it somehow mirrors the hard edges of the tangrams or the abstraction. Every generation is looking toward their childhood or slightly before their childhood, and maybe as an artist I'm trying to make an idealized version of that past.
Why did you start working with Xerox?
Well, there's a simple logistical reason that it allows me to work on a monumental scale, and to use this imagery as a raw material so that it becomes almost abstract, rather than being confined to smaller, more precious, figurative images. It's also partly inspired by an article by Svetlana Boym, "The Off-Modern Manifesto," which is all about embracing the error in the modern.
What made you decide to go even bigger with this new series?
The paper could be delicate or small, but when you're dealing with big sheets like this they have a certain body or presence. It's almost like the image is an object. My process is very much like building a picture, rather than say painting.
Are there other media you'd like to try?
I want to explore sculpture and dance, both of which I'm going to get to explore with this show. I'm building a bench embedded with flower pots for the gallery, and there are two events associated with the exhibition. First a dance performance on opening night, which will be a kind of invocation about growth with performers wearing masks that I'm designing. And then a plant exchange at the end, which is just a plant exchange. I'd really love to do set design for a ballet or something like that one day.
Inside the Artist's Studio: Megan Pflug