INTERVIEW // Lola Gil
April 1th // Interviewer Shane Allen // Photo Series
Exploring worlds other than our own...
In Intimate Flowers Bloom, There is an emphasis on eyes and gaze. Can you tell me about the significance of what your characters are looking at with eyes that may be looking at them?
The gaze has many points of significance for me. Much of the undertone for my work is seeking understanding for things. And in Intimate Flowers Bloom, I happened to unlock certain doors, giving me better sight into what I was questioning. Many of the seemingly directional stares in the paintings for this show are to signify awareness. Others are simply, acknowledgement of what's being sought.
Do you always know what your characters are looking at?
Mostly they are looking for answers. It's not a literal gaze, but rather to see beyond seeing. I sometimes share a personal message in some of the work, which highlights the fragility of eye sight. A few years ago, my youngest child contracted a virus and had a rare reaction where his antibodies attacked his eyes. Putting pressure and subsequently scaring his retinas. He lost a significant amount of vision in both eyes, and because it was so rare we were left with little answers.
A lot of the paintings, you’re looking at the characters through a lens or translucent object. Is this how they are supposed to be seen?
I stumbled upon glass figurines while going through my grandparents collection. Very serendipitously, I had taken a picture of one while I was sat at my easel and discovered such a beautifully distorted mix of portraits running through the glass. It lends itself well to the complexities of humans, so it's something I've been using in my work since then.
Do all of the paintings live in the same world or all different? Are the worlds connected in any way?
Hmmm, I would say yes and no. I don't really see my narratives living in a particular time or place per se. But all of them are definitely traveling in a similar direction, and come from a deep subconscious place which all flow from visions that harmoniously spend time together before I create.
What was the last thing that made you laugh?
This may sound silly to say, but the other night I was watching Lethal Weapon 2 and there's a scene where a wife jumps off a diving board in her backyard and then it explodes. It's in slow motion, and for whatever reason I can't stop laughing about it. It may be because we've been in quarantine for so long now that the little things tickle me.
What’s your biggest motivation to get up in the morning?
It's definitely to get to work. I often find my best ideas when I wake in the night, and want to rush in to work stuff out.
(If it's a different answer than the one above) What’s the best part of your day? Do you have a favorite childhood memory?
The best part is when we've all winded down from work, and my husband and I turn on music and pour a glass of wine while we cook together. He makes me laugh and recharge.
Do you remember the title of your first painting?
I don't! But I still have it. It was just a little painting of a sun, I was only 12 or 13 when I created it, and I haven't stopped working since.
Coffee or Tea? Why?
Tea during the day, because coffee makes me too jittery to work. But I do love an ice coffee as a little pick me up sometimes around 3 or 4 so I can keep going a few extra hours!
Are you afraid of the future?
Before Covid-19 I would have said no.. now I don't know. I worry about our fellow humans, people's health, people surviving while not working. I don't have much faith in our government, and do fear what is ahead. I think good people will prevail however. We have to all be on the same page and take care of one another.
If you could choose any animal to be a pet, which one would you choose?
I love little goats! I would have a big countryside home with lots of fuzzy little goats running around nibbling up the grass.
If you could be any animal what animal would you be?
I'd love to be some type of bird! I want to have a view of the world from the sky
What’s the strangest part of life?
That the concept of time isn't real.
Do you like camping?
Love love love camping. I'm happiest in nature.
Do you believe in aliens?
I believe something is surely out there. When I was a teenager, a few friends and I saw a very unusual light show within a few dozen feet of us.. to this day it's completely unexplainable, but I can remember it as if it just happened.
What music have you been listening to lately?
I mostly listen to jazz and orchestral music.. Especially old timey stuff. My absolute favorite composer is Bernard Herman. I love complicated music scores, and find that it's easy to get lost and find visual stimulation
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Instagram // @lolagil