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Autumn de Forest – “Whatever You Love…You Can Do It”

We recently had the opportunity to sit down and spend some time with Autumn de Forest, the art world’s prodigy phenom at a Park West event in Minneapolis, shortly after she paid a visit to the Walker Art Center not far away.

When Autumn first walked in, she worked the room with the deftness of a seasoned pro, and yet still maintained the enthusiastic innocence of her youth. Making eye contact with both sides of the assembled group of 100 or so invited guests, she punctuated her delivery with the engaging flow of her arms and hands, choreographing a new work of art out of thin air for each and every one of them, unable to take their eyes off of her for even a moment.

We had the opportunity to experience, first hand, some of her work “behind the curtain” in the showroom gallery prior to the public access, and when we entered, there they were, shimmering, glowing, standing at attention, or hovering like suspended life forms waiting to dematerialize and reappear again elsewhere at the wave of a hand or nod of the head. We’ve posted a few here, documentary style, on our site and we’re hoping to show you, and feature many more of Autumn de Forest’s work in the future. In person, each painting bore witness to the brilliant imagination and gifts of this amazing soul.

We asked Autumn how she finds time to work on what must seem like an endless tour – with all of her events maybe distracting and even overwhelming her at times.

“Oh, no” she said smiling , ” this is what I do, I like it – and I create every day no matter where I am”. Autumn seems unfettered by the promotional schedules and personal appearances, and takes it all in stride. But she also has other things on her mind.

” I love to inspire people with art, especially children and young people. I hope all people create art around an activity of theirs or maybe some other thing that appeals to them, and want something more than just piece of refrigerator art”

And, she’s not confined by any medium or style – in fact her native curiosity inspired her to invent one of her own techniques, what Autumn calls “Pull Painting” using a long wire in concert with different paints including oils and acrylics, in what she describes as having the paints “talk to each other” and “encouraging the oils to blend.”

Autumn’s iconic Barbie Marilyn seemed like the brightest star in the room – until the young artist walked in herself. The youngest artist at the time invited to speak at the National Art Education Association’s annual convention, appearing alongside internationally renowned artists, Peter Max and Chuck Close,  Autumn has also supported charitable and humanitarian efforts including arts education, and relief efforts in Haiti and Japan, and continues to do so.

And it seems as though her creative energy has no boundaries. We asked her what new ideas she might share with us during the time we spent talking and getting a personal tour of her work. Leaning back in her chair, Autumn pondered a few thoughts for a brief moment, then looked us in the eye and said “Sculpture – I think I’d like begin doing some sculpture”. Her Dad, Doug de Forest, squeezing off images and shooting video nearby suggested that science might also be an area of interest, so we’ll wait and see – but hopefully not too long.

When asked what she would say to any young person if she had the opportunity, Autumn said ” Every child should have their own passion.  Whatever you love – you can do it. Don’t focus on how good you are, but how much you love what you’re doing.”

It appears Autumn de Forest lives by her own advice.

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  • Tom

    Amazing artists. It’s encouraging to see young people with so much talent. I’ve seen Autumn’s work before, and I believe her vision is limitless. I’d love to own some of her work. Great story, thanks!

  • Stacy Carter

    I have been following Autumn for some time now, and really appreciate this article. Sounds like she is expanding her boundaries – again! Sculpture and Science – wow.
    Really looking forward to seeing what’s next.

  • Jennifer

    It’s always a pleasure to “discover” artists, especially young artists. I’d read a news clip or two on her before, but this is the first time I took the time to read more about her. Thanks for including the link to her remarkable web galleries. Love your site, hope to see more.

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