#187: Chloe Wise
Chloe Wise on Midtown, Not Using Shampoo, Her Sourdough Recipe, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Chloe Wise to share a taste of her taste on Perfectly Imperfect.
Chloe Wise is a New York City-based artist who specializes in sculpture, oil painting, video, digital art, and more. Most people probably know her from her incredible still-life paintings, but she’s also made bagel bags & caesar salad chandeliers, clothing with designers like Jacquemus, delicious sourdough (more on this below..), and some little songs with her friend Eric Wareheim. Her latest book, Second Nature, is a sprawling collection of the last five years of her career that includes solo exhibitions with Almine Rech Gallery as well as essays and behind the scenes photos from her midtown studio. There are few living painters as celebrated and talented as Chloe, and lucky for us, she’s here to tell us what she’s into.
Without further ado
Chloe Wise (instagram)
I recently made the very (self-proclaimed) avant garde decision of leaving lower Manhattan and moving to midtown (k-town to be exact), and, while I know this may be shocking, I love it. The Empire State Building, while I have never technically visited nor entered her, is very fun to proclaim one’s residential proximity to. Walking outside, I am not at risk of running into anyone, and not because I live in a residential strollers-and-young-parents way, but because like, truly no one goes there without a work or errand related reason. All the loud, absurd, hectic New York you know, without the downtown overlappy social geography you (pretend to) hate.
🍩 Bear Donut in Midtown
Korean donut spot that just opened, masquerading as an American chain, merch and all. Their Donuts are made w mochi, so so good. They also have flavored oat milk on draft that I have yet to try. As I left there this morning I heard myself saying “love you” on the way out.. that kind of thing
📚 Reading fiction
Here’s something I thought I had sworn off, I mean, I hadn’t touched the stuff in years, not on the physical page at least. As a *painter* (looks down at paint-splattered jeans, bites lip, giggles) I use my hands for touching paintbrushes, resulting in a high improbability of actual page-turning, thus making me the single highest volume consumer of podcasts and audiobooks in the known universe. I’ve always found it hard to find the books I want to read on audiobook, and after years of attempting to copy and paste entire PDFs into various text-to-speech apps (yes, listening to Bataille’s Story of The Eye in a monotonous Australian robo voice does have its appeal), I’ve recently turned to the technology of Words On Paper. Hey, I love the stuff! I usually find myself doing word-listening to books about history or theory but suddenly I’m finding fiction to be riveting. I know, I know, its hard to imagine, but you gotta believe me mister, I really do enjoy this activity! I’m just concluding my Nabokov era (Pale Fire blew m’mind) and am knee-deep in some really big thick girthy book by Proust or whatever.
— sponsored by generic brand adderall
🎨 KAMA pigments
The best oil paint brand. Handmade in Montreal, Canada, where I was born. The paints are made with walnut oil, which is less toxic and provides a very mmmmmffff luscious slidey-glidey texture. The colors are stunningly vivid. It truly sucks to paint with other paints once you’ve painted with these paints. Canadian painters will agree.
🙂 Smiling and nodding
You’d be surprised! Very effective! Versatile for any occasion.
I think this may be a suitable place to insert my focaccia recipe, seeing as I do get asked about it often*.
Sourdough focaccia is so easy and great. I do 20% active levain, 75-80% hydration, 2% salt, which amounts to 200g levain, 750g water, 20g salt and 1000 g flour. I literally use AP flour, nothing fancy, but consider this my announcement that I would happily accept some cool fancy fricked up local flour if anyone wants to provide that to me. Anyway I stretch that stuff, I dimple it up, and boom, gorge focach.
Disclaimer: one would be wise to wash ones hands when oscillating between oil painting and hand-kneading bread, but following my own advice is not my strong suit.
*well, I offer it up verbally at the slightest mention of any carbohydrate, but let’s just say everyone’s always asking me, so this can feel as though I’m giving back to the bread community.
As I type this I am wistfully mourning the 24 hours I spent fostering a bb raccoon child who I witnessed become orphaned in Long Island. I’m a sucker for a mammal infant and immediately my maternal instinct goes into overdrive and I would do ANYTHING to tend to a baby animals needs. 24 hours later the baby is in good hands at a shelter and I am completely covered in scratches and peepee (but I don’t have rabies, to my knowledge, yet) and I now carry the intimate empirical knowledge that baby raccoons purr, and my heart will forever remain echoing that beautiful sound.
Update: I have come across a wonderful instagram account: @louietheraccoon and I can’t stop crying because I think I’ve made a terrible mistake and I should have kept the bb Roger Raccoon and domesticated him. My cats could use a new kinky brother. Does anyone want to drive me to the wildlife conservation center and aid in a classic kidnap/rescue? Let me rephrase: I recommend driving me to the wildlife conservation center and seeing what happens ..
🦦 Not using shampoo
Admittedly the first few weeks suck but then you’re free from the shackles of sulfates. Conditioner has cleansing properties, I think, so just use that instead! Big Shampoo is a scam!
🧥 Which reminds me….Scamming
Not that I’ve successfully executed any (blows kiss) but it seems like this country has been ostensibly built on a continuous series of scams since it’s conception, making scamming an arguably patriotic endeavor. My scamming mostly manifests in the hypothetical realm, but I’d argue that a detailed brainstorming session is almost like the real thing. Tax evasion scams, like starting a “university”, sound very cool and modern, or maybe producing a human child via the sex-pregnancy-birth means of production, that would be a very cool tax write off, and when they get old enough they could become an unpaid intern for the (eventual) family business. The best I’ve done so far is pretend it’s my birthday at a restaurant, hoping for free cake/candle/song. Sometimes it works. Maybe I’d like to perform an art heist unto one of my own paintings. I’m not sure what would amount from that situation but I do foresee an art heist brainstorm in my immediate future. It’s a dog eat dog world baby (I have heard)! Until any one scam materializes, I cannot speak to whether I would recommend the undertaking, but I can recommend the research and development stage, for now.
Honestly, it works great
🍗 Super Pollo
Rotisserie chick plus green sauce is perfect food for the mouth. Buy a bottle of their green sauce to go and apply liberally to eggs every single day of your god-blessed life. This makes the trip to Ridgewood worth it, as a long term spicy sauce investment strategy. I do not recommend eating rotisserie chicken the day you are adopting a small animal, however, as you may encounter dreams where you are eating the small animal you have adopted in the same manner one would consume a chicken wing. If it is unavoidable, consider investing in a dreamcatcher.
☕️ 🍸 Espresso liquor + tonic
I don’t know why this isn’t a more popular beverage, but a cold brew alcoholic splash into a nice glass of tonic will swiftly usurp the place in your mouth’s heart that’s been hitherto reserved for espresso martinis and/or Diet Coke.
Follow Chloe on Instagram.
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