Video Produced by Oliver I. Shipley
Sarah Sitkin opens her warehouse door with a huge, inviting smile. She is wearing her reading glasses and a handkerchief over her short hair, stretch pants, a t-shirt, and flip flops. She looks entirely and remarkably inspired. Outside her living space and studio, the dark blue sky holds the silence of a Monday night along with the buzz of the freeway overpass under which the artist lives. Inside the door, there is an incredible presence, and it is the life of Sarah Sitkin.
There is a wall and a beautiful mess of cameras, fake ponies, artificial body parts, and costumes. Sarah makes many of her props and clothes; she pins a fossilized fish to the lapel of a self-made dress that she pulls over her head. She assembles her space and we talk.
She cannot cook in her studio or do laundry but she can do pretty much anything else she wants. She can break things, fill the room with naked bodies, cover people in mustard, smoke like a chimney or slosh the floor with buckets of paint. There are no creative boundaries in Sarah’s domain.
The artist tinkers on the accordion she found. We talk about how she cannot dream. Sarah’s art seems to come from an ongoing desire to create the surreal from the banal. The mundane becomes the bizarre. In her words, it is a “conveyor belt” and it is “instinctual.” She must do it. She must continue to build and demolish the dreamscape of LA that she lives in, that is her psyche, and that she cannot access when she sleeps.
She loves the valley, the electronic scrapyard and her family owned shop that houses and sells all kinds of useful junk, glitter, fake models and crafts. Give her a dumpster, and she will glean its treasures.
But there is nothing typical about this junkyard diver. She is not a hipster, she is no kid from the la-art academy. She is not new to this city of angels. Sarah creates from LA as her home, as the place that holds her family history. Yet there is always something new for her here, always something to discover.
Ringmaster of a host of carnivals and participants, she loves the artists she works with, she celebrates her community, and you can see the joy in this artists’ eyes. If she eats Top Ramen nightly, it does not jade her. Sarah Sitkin’s artistic voice comes through loud and strong and untethered.
Article by Sofia Rose Smith, sofiarosesmith.com