Mo Costello

Mo Costello, “Untitled (Kong),” gelatin silver print [courtesy of the artist]

Art Papers: Describe your studio when you’re working. 

Mo Costello: I’m currently working from my home in Athens, GA. This allows for flexibility and spontaneity. It is also practical and financially necessary. For a time, I worked out of a shared warehouse space. There was room for excess and simultaneity and endless opportunity for improvisation. In the end, however, the space was unsustainable. If local studio rates were not prohibitory, I might look for something similar again. For now, I am content continuing to work from home.

AP: How do you know when a work is finished? 

MC: If it has been around for a while—say, two to three weeks—and there is still joy.

AP: What is the most important tool you use to create your work? 

MC: The same camera I’ve always used—an analogue 35 mm that would be of value to few.

AP: Read anything good lately?

MC: “‘Once,’ Pearl confesses, ‘she had thought that she was crazy and that she might get well. She thought that she had to be herself. But there was no self. There were just the dreams she dreamed, the dreams that prepared her for waking life. . . The children had their lives too, new forms by which the future would be accomplished.’” (The Changeling, Joy Williams).

. . . stray dogs—pink sky, blue sea, red boat.(From the diaries of Elizabeth Bishop).

Passages torn out of books in a moment of exaltation, and which now remain taped to my desk.


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