Interview: Nancy Oliveri

Nancy OliveriNancy Oliveri, 3 wise monkeys

Interview: Nancy Oliveri

Luca Curci has a discussion with Nancy Oliveri about her experience in MORPHOS – Sustainable Empires.

Nancy Oliveri is an artist and psychotherapist who lives and works in NYC. She was introduced to experimental film makers, conceptual art and the New York art world by her teachers at the time, Jack Goldstein and David Salle. It was a logical transition for her to move from art to psychology so she began taking courses in psychoanalysis at local training institutes. Today she maintains a private practice in Manhattan where her clients include artists, writers and creative entrepreneurs and specializes in treatment for Affective Disorders including Bi-polar and Depression. She has been selected to show her work in numerous juried shows around NYC, the US and prestigious international art exhibitions.

Nancy OliveriNancy Oliveri, Butterfly

Luca Curci – Your work has just been exhibited during MORPHOS – Sustainable Empires in Venice: can you talk about your personal experience in Venice with International ArtExpo?

Nancy Oliveri – It’s been an exciting adventure and opportunity to exhibit my work during the Morphos – Sustainable Empires Festival. The level of professional efficiency, conceptual intention and artistic integrity have been remarkable and I’m proud to be a part of. But it’s been most beneficial to have my work shown in an international context with artists from around the globe, outside of my culture context here in NYC. I don’t know the photographers placed next to my work but there was a relationship  between the works, that showed me my work in a new way. My work looked masculine and very American to me in the photographs of the show. It raises a lot of questions about nationalism as an artistic identity and art as a communication and connection beyond language and borders.

Nancy OliveriNancy Oliveri, Sea Sprites

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

N. O. – I presented 2 photographs black and white ink jet prints Hive and Black Rectangle. The Hive is an early morning photo at Grand Central Station during morning rush hour. It was taken in late winter and it was very dark except for intense sunlight blasting from one end of the hall. People were gravitating towards the light and snapping pics with their cell phones. I first thought it was a film set because of the brightness and high contrast. It felt like being in the middle of vast human organization of energy, consciousness and personal spiritual energy. The figures still and appeared to gravitate towards the clock, the cult of time. I think human consciousness is the key to sustainable empires – through understanding the collective and individual unconscious there is Sustainable thinking. The second photo is titled Black Rectangle was also during rush hour at Grand Central. This photo captures what I think about unconscious fear and anxiety. There is a pronounced fore and background and the figures appear to be running and suggestive of a horror movie. But it’s just daily life for commuters which can be filled with corporate dread and terror. The black rectangle shape and delightful architectural curve above offer comfort and familiarity. I submitted this particular work to the Morphos Festival because they emphasize the psychological and emotional relationship between the human figures in man made spaces that have the capacity to create oppression or an atmosphere spiritual transcendence.

Nancy OliveriImage courtesy of Nancy Oliveri

Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?

N. O. – I currently just finished a black and white photo poem consisting of 8 small black and white photos for the Pixels of Identities – Istanbul which I am thrilled about. I was thinking about the absence of human figure in Islamic art and ended up working with shadows and silhouettes. That opens on July 1 which is the same date I have work opening in Budapest. I have 3 photos similar to Hive and Black Rectangle in a show called Harmony at PH21 Gallery, Budapest (Hungary). I’m currently included a show of nudes at 1650 Gallery in LA and recently at Laura Haber Gallery in Buenos Aires through International ArtExpo. My summer project is to shoot nudes in the Connecticut countryside. It’s an annual project that I do every summer with a group of women from childhood. We’re all over 55 – the age where women in my culture become invisible. Then I hope to get back to sculpture for the rest of the summer.

Nancy OliveriNancy Oliveri, Crow

Luca Curci – What is art for you?

N. O. – Art for me has always been a way to live in, experience and process existence and the world. I’ve moved freely though several mediums over the years, including film, ceramic sculpture and painting. My early art education was in photography with film, the advances in digital technology have been too exciting to ignore. My work is seasonal and comes from a deep respect for the power of the individual and collective unconscious mind.

Luca Curci – What do you think about International ArtExpo organization?

N. O. – International Art Expo is a wonderful opportunity for artists. It also might be the way of the future. It’s funny, but I was thinking about “Doctors Without borders” for art.

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