02 Jun Daisy Solis Interview: part 1
recently I had the chance to interview the talented artist, and my good friend Daisy Solis about her work and artistic process. she’s DS and once again I’m LG. here’s the first part.
LG: So Daisy, how do we know each other?
DS: I think we met at a newsstand, when you were working there.
LG: And what were you doing there?
DS: Getting a snack after a hard day at work.
LG: What sort of work were you doing at the time?
DS: You know, some airbrushing and hand painting. It was kinda like a sweatshop.
[LG & DS laugh]
DS: I’m just kidding.
LG: No you’re not.
LG: Well that’s not the most interesting meeting story… do you remember when we first started talking about art. Did we go to a gallery opening or something?
DS: I think it was at my Thesis Show at Cal Arts.
LG: That’s right. All your work at that show had a very defined style. How did you go about developing it?
DS: Well even before college, I was collecting images that I liked. I felt very comfortable with this technique. And I enjoyed it, so I kept doing it.
Then at Cal Arts, I showed it to my Mentor and she thought it was a very interesting way of putting ideas together. So she encouraged me to continue doing it but to also be more aware of the types of images I was collecting.
To focus on specific images instead of just collecting random ones. Animals, patterns and faces were my main focal point.
And I filled up a couple books doing this.
LG: Collage plays a big part in your style. What else contributed?
DS: In my time at Cal Arts, during my Art History classes I became very interested in the nude. Like Velázquez’s “Venus at Her Mirror” is a good example. I found that I really enjoyed drawing the nude female form.
“Venus at Her Mirror”
LG: So on one hand you have these collections of images, and on the other hand you have your drawing of the nude female figure. When did you start marrying those two ideas together?
DS: When I was on exchange at the Glasgow School of Art I had enough time to reflect and digest the various projects I had been working on over the last three years at Cal Arts.
I was doing research on “masks” and the history of masks. And I became very interested in the rituals or the spiritual aspects of the mask.
So I started making these collages where I was doing a nude and collaging a face.
And for that I settled on birds, it’s a natural fit with the head and beak and eyes.
That style I developed in Glasgow was the work in the Thesis show that you saw.
a sketch for “Side Kick”
LG: Great. Why don’t you tell me a little about what you are working on now?
DS: For the last six months or so I’ve been working on new collages. They’re a lot different than what I’ve done before cause I’ve incorporated a lot of new objects and landscapes.
With these, I’ve taken a lot more chances and lost a lot of fear about how things are “supposed” to look. I’ve found that I’ve been able to let go and let the paper be.
It’s become more about the paper. Like I have a piece of paper and it’s an odd shape and I try to make something of it. And see where I can place it in the collage. It’s more fun that way.
LG: What’s the scale like on these new collages?
DS: They are a lot larger. Six feet by two feet.
LG: Very cinematic.
DS: And I like the interaction that the viewer has with them. I feel that it draws in the viewer and makes them ask questions or interact with the work. And I don’t think my work had that before.
LG: Is it because there is more room for the eye to travel, or because you are using more “loaded” imagery?
DS: I think it’s a little bit of both.
LG: When you are placing these images, do you have a story or emotion that you want your viewer to come away with?
DS: Well I’m very interested in the emotions that make us different than animals, like greed, power, lust, envy and I try to include those in the work. But I’m not sure if the collages tell a specific story.
I never really know what the collage will look like at the end, I don’t allow myself to go that far. Because I want to be surprised, and I want to push myself.
[end part one.]
next week we’ll chat about motivation, current projects, and of course…her favorite episode of The Real Luke.