filed under: art, artists, let's chat!, mixed media
There is something about the perspective in the collection of the talented Kristen Neveu that makes me so inspired. I don’t mean necessarily the perspective within a specific piece; I am talking about the big picture here. Besides using deliciously tactile materials in the textural pieces she creates, there is so much that is inviting in Kristen’s beautiful work. There is a deeper mystery and emotion that is silently hidden away, waiting patiently to be discovered. It intrigues me. And I also find the fact that she works in both large and small scale to be equally fascinating. She doesn’t necessarily limit her imagination to a standard size, which makes me wonder why should you or I do it either? It unfolds before my eyes in each piece, that liberation. Let’s have a chat with Kristen and find out more.
Q: Where do you live, and where do you create your art?
A: Los Angeles (Studio City/North Hollywood).Â I’ve been here a year after living in Chicago for 14 years. I work out of one of the bedrooms in our apartment.
Q: Did you study art formally? How did you get from that genesis point to making assemblages?
A: I didn’t study art formally. In college I had a communications major and an anthropology minor. I didn’t start working on art until about 6 years after college. I started making collages only from old magazines, and then started adding the paint and found materials… I worked with found wood from alleys in Chicago instead of canvas at first. In the last couple of years I’ve started adding my own photography to the mix as well – slicing up photos I’ve taken into the collages.
Q: On your website, you say that your work is heavily influenced by time passages. Can you tell us a little more about how this provides inspiration and why its interpretation is meaningful to you?
A: I have a taste for nostalgia, and also I’m fascinated by the patterns that time creates. The future has a way of repeating itself again from past experiences. A sort of step-forward-and-then-a-step-backward type of momentum.
Q: You moved from Chicago to Los Angeles recently. Have you noticed any difference in that way you approach your work, now that you have changed your surroundings?
A: My work has become more colorful out here, and more influenced by nature – I’ve been inspired by blooming plants and flowers, and also the beaches. In Chicago, I was really influenced by the details of the city and there were more rustic and worn textures in my work, and also more muted tones.
Q: One of the things that intrigues me so much about your work is the way that you seamlessly blend masculine and feminine elements into one piece, e.g., a vintage car cut-out pressed against lace trimmings. Do you have a balanced attraction to both?
A: Yes; I hadn’t really thought about the masculine and feminine qualities, but you’re right… I do have a balanced attraction to the kinds of textures and meanings behind these types of elements. I think it’s also about the material icons (classy cars for example) of the past and relationships between women and men too.
Q: What is your favorite part of the process when you create a new piece for your collection?
A: The late beginning part of the process where I’m past the blank canvas, and into the layering and patterns. I tend to work more intuitively, and this stage is when I reach that “aha” moment where I figure out where I’m going.
Q: Where can we go to see your collection?
A: My Etsy shop and website. I also have some work available at Hazel in Chicago. I am happy to arrange visits to my studio in Los Angeles too! I’m applying for the Beverly Hills outdoor art show this spring, and hope to be in that!
Thank you Kristen!