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Art is every- thing
Photo by CJ Benninger
Here at Montserrat, we’re constantly looking to art to gain inspiration for unique pieces that push at the boundaries of contemporary jewelry. We’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some of our favorite artists and tastemakers along the way, and we’ve decided to highlight some of the work that they do through a new initiative called Art Lovers Society.
To kick off the series, we sat down with Olivia Guterson, a contemporary artist who uses black ink to negotiate her lived body experience.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get your start as an artist?
I am a self-taught creative. My earliest memory is of myself drawing in a little tent set-up in my family's living room. Then, and even now, I feel like my experience of this life is taking in so much and there isn't even words for it all. I want to share, process and express these things and so I create. All of my work is made from a deeply meditative space that allows me to be intuitive in how I paint or draw because I have spent so much in that experience, emotion, and/or space.
She Washes Over
The Postcard Olivia designed for us - which is including in your orders as a gift of art, from us to you, to be shared or hung up.
Q: What does art mean to you? How does being an artist impact your daily life?
Art is everything for me. There has always been a huge piece of my work that is about my own healing and truth-seeking. I'm even more committed to my practice in this time where I believe we are all taking in so much and finding new ways to be in this world. I’m grateful to have the ability to create and in doing so, connect with community, seek answers, ask questions, and continually push myself to grow and explore.
Where do you source INSPIRATION
for your work?
I pull from and have created my pattern language based on my lived experience. I was born in New Mexico and was deeply influenced by the patterns I saw there in the land, pottery, and textiles. My grandmother was a prolific quilter, collector of fine china, and had a lot of art that incorporated Hebrew and our Jewish heritage. The other side of the family has deep Southern and African roots, so I was exposed to African textile works and patterns, but also the plants and spices that make our foods. All of these rich patterns and shapes, but also techniques of making are deeply embedded in my works and because I have such a wealth to pull from I'm able to incorporate spontaneity and improvisation to create unique works.
Future Ancient Charm
The chamr Olivia designed for us - which is including in your orders as a gift of art, from us to you, to be shared or hung up.
Is there something about the accessibility of black ink that drew you to use it as a primary material?
I predominantly work in black and white for its stability, intensity, and honesty. With the obsessive style of mark-making and pattern-working that I have developed, this palette really emphasizes the delicate beauty and balance of the lines. I at times incorporate other colors, but they really have to be rooted in the essence of the work or they tend to add a level of complexity or noise. I also think the use of black and white calls in to view the negative and positive spaces and how they stand apart and even how they interact with one another.
Stability, intensity, and honesty.
Are there any upcoming projects that you’re looking forward to?
I’m working on a couple collaborations and large scale immersive installations that I’m really enjoying the process of working in and through.