The world is a strange place. And in amongst its oddities are abysses of absolute beauty and eccentricities, which Eugenia Loli handpicks and compiles into collages to make images that push boundaries and our perception of reality. From playing with the concept of love and showcasing how to reach a higher state of being, to creating what she calls ‘farscapes’ and exploring new mythology, Eugenia explores human nature and spirituality.
Eugenia’s story into art isn’t conventional. Growing up in Greece with an innate interest and talent for drawing, she developed an overriding passion for technology, which went on to pursue a career in. It was only when she moved to America with her husband and got over some health problems that she rekindled her love affair with art. “I was a prisoner in my own home for years,” Eugenia tells me. “So art started coming back into focus.” Two months later, Eugenia encountered an otherworldly experience, which would carve her path into the artistic world. “Every time I’d close my eyes,” she explains, “I’d see abstract art. It was surreal; it was like a trip without any drugs of any kind!” And thus began her collages, offering snapshots into her mind and her view of human behaviour.
Today, she works from her home studio in Tracy, California. “Some people wake up in the morning and need coffee; I needed to make 1-2 of these [collages] instead,” Eugenia explains. She rifles through her collection of 750 magazines and looks for an image to use as a base image to build on. Then comes the collaging process: she superimposes other cut outs and variations on top of the base image, using a computer. “My collages are digital, but they’re no different than paper collages. I still have to use physical vintage magazines, [but] I simply cut them on the PC instead of with scissors.” The computer opens up the creative process for Eugenia, allowing her to manipulate each part of the image until she is absolutely satisfied. For her, the random juxtaposition of images often lead to great results, with individual images stuck on top of one other, which may at first look jarring, but end up making sense. In ‘Growing Love’, a lady waters flowers that are covering two lovers kissing; ‘Medusa’ is a giant woman emerging from a wave, with a overlaid and oversized eye, a snake-wrapped arm and hair made of fire, overlooked by surfers; a child carrying olives, patterns, a slice of orange, some material and a roll of foil is entitled ‘Hoarding’.
Many of Eugenia’s images burst with irony, humour and intelligence. “[My inspiration] used to be political themes, but now it’s mostly spiritual and human behaviour themes.” She finds a lot of stimulus in her spirituality, which was brought about by a series of lucid dreams that made her question the idea of God and her view of the cosmos. Three Minutes To Nirvana (page X) is one of her most prized artworks and perhaps her most contemplative. She explains that it is “about the journey humanity must take towards ascending into a higher state of being.” It is clear that Eugenia’s view of the world is reflected in her images, working from the subjects and themes that she contemplates herself.
While she certainly shows absolute originality and incredible creativity, Eugenia finds inspiration from collage artists like Magritte, David Delruelle and Cur3es. Each of these artists has an overriding surrealist approach to their art, which cleverly entices the audience to question reality and the boundaries of the human world. From Magritte’s use of clear, crisp, simple windows into another image and the creepy and dark nature of David Delruelle’s work to Cur3es’ collages that focus on landscapes and cosmic images, this boundary-pushing and contemplative notion is also reflected in Eugenia’s work.
A master of the modern technological age, Eugenia exclusively showcases and promotes her work through the Internet and will categorically not work with galleries. “I do everything online on my own, via social networks,” she tells me resolutely. “I despise the old way of doing art business, where the artist had to stay in a single style just because their gallery told them so.” Her websites and social media account are her galleries, attracting an international audience to resounding acclaim. And with her computer at hand, she is free to express herself as she pleases. “I like my artistic freedom,” she explains.
Find out more about Eugenia’s work here…