Interview: Lily Koto Olive

Lily Koto OliveLily Koto Olive, Pelo Amor de Deus, video still

Interview: Lily Koto Olive

Luca Curci talks with artist and writer Lily Koto Olive during Contemporary Venice EXTENDED exhibition in Venice on January 2015.

Lily is an Australian-born, Brooklyn-based artist and writer. In 2013 she received her MFA in Painting from the New York Academy of Art. Lily completed the Pilotenkueche Artist Residency in Leipzig, Germany in the Summer of 2013 where she lived, worked and exhibited for four months internationally. This past August, she travelled to La Romana, Dominican Republic on the Altos de Chavon Teaching Residency she was awarded from her alma mata, the New York Academy of Art. There she lived, worked, and taught a History of Painting Techniques and Contemporary Art course at Altos de Chavon, the Parsons Design School Affiliate based in La Romana. Currently Lily is living in NYC, having recently returned from Leipzig, Germany where she completed another round of the Pilotenkueche Artist Residency and exhibited her artworks in Germany at the Spring Spinnerei Rundgang (January 10th, 2015).

Lily Koto OliveLily Koto Olive, Rise

Lily has exhibited her artworks at Sotheby’s, HERE Arts Center, Sloan Fine Arts, RH Gallery, Kleio Projects and ISE Cultural Foundation in NYC, The New Britain Museum of American Art in New Haven, CT, the Dumbo Arts Center, Trestle Gallery and Janet Kurnatowski Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, Marketplace Gallery in Albany, NY, One Mile Gallery in Kingston, NY, Index Art Center in Newark, NJ, Miami Dade College Museum of Art & Design in Miami, FL, Kamakura Performing Arts Center in Kanagawa, Japan, The Museum in Leipzig, Germany, Pilotenkueche/Halle 14 in Leipzig, Germany, and more. Olive writes for the arts publication Brooklyn Rail, and runs the online art publication Art-Rated.

Lily Koto OliveLily Koto Olive, Aleah, 2013

Luca Curci – Your work has been exhibited during Contemporary Venice EXTENDED exhibition in Venice on January 2015: can you talk about your personal experience in Venice with International ArtExpo?

Lily Koto Olive – The Contemporary Venice: It’s Liquid Hybrid Identities exhibition in Venice was truly an honor to be a part of…it has been my goal to exhibit my work in Venice, Italy, and you facilitated this and made it happen! Having my video piece Pelo Amor De Deus (https://vimeo.com/75676338) projected inside the Palazzo Flangini was a dream come true.

Lily Koto OliveLily Koto Olive, Inside Out, video still

L. C. – Can you talk about the artwork you presented in Venice? How is it linked with the festival’s theme?

L. K. O. – My video piece Pelo Amor De Deus that was exhibited in Venice at Palazzo Flangini was shot and made in Venice, Italy and Leipzig, Germany last summer. The footage of the figure is a performance I did revolving around the ideas of love spells and alchemy. The idea of melding life experiences in different locations and living in different countries is expressed through performance and captured footage. The premise of examining and exploring cross-cultural dialogues behind the Contemporary Venice: It’s Liquid Hybrid Identities exhibition struck a note with me and the work I have been making lately. Having recently lived in different countries in the world, I felt that the opportunity to exhibit work that tied into these experiences was a unique opportunity; the exhibit was especially well suited to the content of my recent video works which were created in different countries and directly address those experiences.

Lily Koto OliveLily Koto Olive, Thank You, 2013

L. C. – What are you currently working on?

L. K. O. – Currently I am back in NYC after living and working for 3 months in Leipzig, Germany. I am experimenting with sound recordings for future video and sound installations I am creating. Also, I am working on a series of paintings based on images that come via meditation. It has been very interesting to see what surfaces into the mind’s eye and my subconscious from these sessions.

Lily Koto OliveLily Koto Olive, Pelo Amor de Deus, video still

L. C. – What is art for you?

L. K. O. – Art is how we can truly live more deeply, how we remind ourselves of the fact that we are breathing and surrounded by others all living the human experience. I try to find ways to communicate what connects us all universally, and reflect that through images that explore the metaphysical and spiritual realm.

Lily Koto OliveLily Koto Olive, Epilogue

L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo organization?

L. K. O. – I think the exhibitions that the International ArtExpo organization has been curating and organizing have shaped interesting dialogues by collecting work that centers around themes concurrent with global issues today.

Lily Koto OliveLily Koto Olive, Pelo Amor de Deus, video still

L. C. – Do you think International ArtExpo organization can represent an opportunity for artists?

L. K. O. – Yes absolutely. It is a great opportunity to have work hanging with other international artists in shows that really can leverage exposure and visibility for artists in cities that are not so easy to get work exhibited in. In this way the organization and careful curating provided by the International ArtExpo organization provides a great platform for artists.

more. lilykoto.com

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