Artist Eugenia Loli has brought a new style of collaging into the art world. After working in the tech industry and battling with health issues for over 10 years, in 2011 she decided it was time to make up for time she felt she had lost. With an interest and collection of vintage magazines, she discovered a passion for collaging.
Many of her pieces reflect ideas that have been inspired by her dreams, whereas others express more of a comical or sarcastic concept. With a very unique, and sometimes bizarre narrative of these collages, her work is often described as pop art, dada, and surreal. She challenges the viewer to look deeper into these images than just what appears to be obvious at a first glance. There seems to be a deeper message than just what is on the surface. Although originally from Greece, Loli is currently residing in California.
We caught up with Loli to get a bit more information about where her ideas stem from, her interpretation of her work and the art world, and what type of work she hopes to do in the future.
When was the moment you knew that you wanted to dedicate your life to the arts?
Shortly after I found my health in 2011. I’ve been very sick for 10
years prior, but after I got healthy, art was all I could think about.
I put a goal in my life to become a popular collagist, and I worked
extremely hard for it. It paid off within 2-3 years time.
You wanted to become a popular collagist? What triggered that decision?
My primary goal in life was, and still is, my health. Art is secondary
to me. As treasonous this might sound to fellow artists, it’s the
truth in my case. I became a collagist only a few months after I found
back my health, after 10 years of living hell. So when I was back on
my feet again, I wanted to do something with my life. I had literally
lost 10 years of my life, and I had to make up for them. Collage was
the right medium, at the right time (it started exploding in
popularity exactly the time I started making collages). So it all fit
together for me.
How do you feel your art has developed since you first started?
It has become more “pop”. Easier compositions, that viewers can “get
it” while they only see it for no more than half a second. Also,
funnier and more sarcastic. I’d like to do more abstract “serious” art
though, but that would never get me the same success.
You’ve noticed various themes are more successful than others in your art career (i.e. pop/funny/sarcastic vs abstract/serious). How do you balance between creating what you want vs creating what you think will be popular?
I make experimental pieces 2-3 times a month, and the rest of the time
I do the type of pieces people want to see. This is the balance I
found, and it has worked for me so far, although obviously, I’d rather
make more avant garde work than pop.
What does the creative process look like for you? (Not how do you make a collage, but your process. Do you turn on your favorite music? Go to a specific place to work? How do you get into your flow state to create?)
I don’t really have a process. I go through my vintage images, and
which ever picture pops up to me, I just collage it. I rarely listen
to music when working.
What has been the most rewarding part of being an artist?
Popularity. To put it bluntly.
What do you hope others see when they look at your body of work?
Chaos, I think. If you check my Flickr, where all of my images are
shown as a long stream of pictures, it looks pretty chaotic I think.
Other artists have more central themes and colors, and their work look
more uniformed at a glance.
I noticed one of your cosmic collages had the title of “Lucy & DiMiTri”. Have you ever taken DMT? If so, what was your experience like?
I have never taken any “drugs” or entheogens. I have not even smoked
pot. I also don’t smoke tobacco, or drink alcohol. However, I have
researched DMT online, and I’m mesmerized by its capabilities.
Having said that, just because I haven’t taken DMT, doesn’t mean that
I haven’t had my share of out of this world experiences. You see, I do
a lot of such “tripping”, via lucid dreams. I’ve met a lot of
interesting characters (aka entities) so far, with valuable
information. Remember when I mentioned above, that a lot of my ideas
for my collages come from my dreams. That, and often, simply pop up
into my head out of nowhere, as if someone is whispering them to me.
Here are two examples of my lucid dreams:
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you. (I know it’s an inspiration question, but specific about one moment in real life that you drew inspiration from)
I don’t remember any real-life situation that inspired me. However, I
have made some nice collages out of ideas that I saw in my dreams.
Like my recent collage, “The Cellist”, the idea was presented to me in
a dream. Besides, surrealism is the art of the dreams…
If you had the ability to create anything what would your dream project be?
I don’t think I have a dream project. I’ve done quite a lot of
projects so far (album arts, book covers, magazine articles etc). What
I’d really like instead, is to have the high resolution versions of
the images found on vintage magazines and books, re-scanned from the
original film. That way I’d be able to create huge collages, while
with the current scanning of magazines you barely can create anything
bigger than 12″x18″ without creating artifacts.
What is one of your favorite quotes?
Ta panta rei. Ancient Greek saying: everything changes.
What role do you feel the artist has in today’s society?
The role of the high artist is to provide new ways of thinking and
ideas to the masses, while at the same time improve the arts
themselves. The artist that does that best today, is Banksy. Which is
why he’s so popular. Many artists hate him, but the reality is, Banksy
is what the world needs right now, and he delivers. Creating a
painting of beautiful flowers (as in the case of many watercolor
painters), or imaginary farscapes (as in my case) do not offer as much
thoughtfulness to the world as Banksy’s work does.
It almost sounds as if you long to attach a more thoughtful message to your work. If you were to create more conscious work in your mind what would the message be to the world?
My message to the world is already embedded in my most important work
to date, “Three minutes to nirvana”
“This artwork, my deepest and most complex to date, is about the journey humanity must take towards ascending into a higher state of being.
The structure represents all that we can comprehend while in our human form. It’s also what keeps us within boundaries, limiting our existence, experience and understanding.
The bottom level is about developing, learning, and trying out various routes. In the process, and among progress, there’s also war and misery (as evident by the fire in the background). The cube in the field is the teaser of the ultimate prize, placed in by the people on the top level (the “Ascended”).
The second level is about expanding our horizons further, making the leap towards an enlightened state . Notice the woman in black, ready to make the leap. The man in the staircase, calls her, trying to keep her back, but it’s too late. She has superseded him. She is intrigued by the possibilities. The man also signifies the various forces that will try to keep humanity back on its journey. Notice that the observable universe is also within the boundaries of the structure.
Two humans are attempting to reach the third level. One is climbing the old fashioned way, and the other one is using (transhuman) technology to get there — both choices are acceptable. At the end of their journey, they won’t be “humans” anymore anyway.
Notice the trophy award in the middle of the third level, right below the angels painting. These two people think that this is the ultimate prize. But that’s just a trap. The third level is the most difficult level towards reaching ascendance, because humans will have to leave behind all their vices, delusions, and personal limitations. Most never manage to do that. Their only enemy in this level is themselves. Notice the human skull, hidden by the flying spaghetti monster-like flower.
At the very top, the Ascended people are waiting for more people to make it to the top. In the whole artwork, they are the only element depicted outside of the structure, able to see the bigger picture. They’re beyond time and space. Notice the planet above their heads, alluding that there may be more levels. Knowledge and wisdom have no limits. There’s always something more to explore, know and live.”
What advice do you have for younger or newer artist trying to make a name for themselves in the art world?
80% of the work needs to be work on the art itself. The rest 20% is
marketing (the right tags, the right text, the right links, posted at
the right time of the day when the Americans are awake etc). There are
many great artists out there that are not popular, and they will never
be, because simply, they shun online marketing. They think that if
they do a few gallery shows, they’d be set. Truth is, they won’t be.
What do you feel is the best outlet for artists these days to have their work seen & voice heard?
Instagram. Tumblr, that launched my career in 2012, is close to death,
while via Facebook is impossible to expand properly business-wise
(because they don’t show all posts to all followers — they usually
show them to 1/25th of the people that follow you). This leaves only
Instagram to do business properly. And when finally Instagram
officially adds a “repost” feature (same as Tumblr’s reblog), that
will be the final nail in the coffin of Tumblr. That’s my personal
opinion at least, based on my extensive experience as an artist in
To see more work from Eugenia Loli click the links below.
To see Eugenia’s work in person don’t forget to come by Guy Hepners Gallery in NYC.
Opening reception will be February 11th 6pm-10pm
568 Broadway #502, New York, NY 10012