CARTWHEEL Interview: Miami Artist Evo Love on the Lure of L.A.
Artist Evo Love is from Miami and wishes lots of love and luck upon those who come her way. If you’ve ever entered her realm of assemblage art you’ve been blessed by the magic of a million beautiful pop culture thoughts. She intends for her pieces to conjure personal connections to past eras or worship-worthy icons. I especially loved that her booth at Fountain Art Fair Miami 2012 featured an interactive TV feed. As one of the eight artists to be featured at the CARTWHEEL Annual Spring Pop-Up Show, opening March 21, 2013 with daily events through March 24, Evo now brings her installation work to Los Angeles. She recently answered some questions via e-mail.
Have you spent a lot of time in L.A. and shown your art here before? What are you looking forward to about visiting and showing in L.A.?
I have been to L.A. a few times and have loved it every time. It reminds me of New York but with palm trees. I showed with Fountain Art Fair here, two years ago, and it was fun. The things I look forward to most in L.A. are the comic book stores, Chinatown, shopping at La Luz [La Luz de Jesus Gallery] and seeing my friends at the King King.
How is your surfing and skating background incorporated into your art installations?
My inspiration for Lil Miss Fortune, a performance-installation piece, was based on growing up in Daytona Beach, Florida surfing and skating near the Main Street pier, going to the arcades, and getting my fortune read from a variety of fortune teller machines on the boardwalk. Only towns like these know about that carny culture. Lil Miss Fortune is a representation of that. The surfing and skating references are always making a way into my work, but mostly my relationship series, because my husband and I are both surfers and skaters. Actually one of my oldest friends is a pioneer in women’s skateboarding, Jen O’Brien. I plan on seeing her while I’m here – yet another thing I love about LA.
Can you tell us more about Lil Miss Fortune?
I had been wanting to do performance for sometime and decided it would be a great extension of my work, being that most the work I make has some form of magic related to it. As the idea grew and the research began, I wanted to change things up on your traditional fortune teller. I wanted to show how my background had been influenced by insult comics such as Don Rickles, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers, Lenny Bruce, etc. – so I made her a fortune teller who gives Miss Fortunes! She was a whiskey drinking, cigarette smoking gypsy who told you hard truths: “Don’t hold your breath for the Lottery,” “Your next girlfriend will be a Blow up Doll.” For a dollar I would hand-write your fortune and also give you the traditional card, but untraditional in what it said. A lot of fun. The intention was for it to be interactive and let the person walk away with a little piece of art, the hand written fortune and card.
What do you like about doing art fairs? How was your experience at Fountain Art Fair in December?
Every art fair is different, so when I chose to start getting involved with art fairs I had to choose one that was edgy and a little punk rock. I chose Fountain because they let artists do what they want as far as presenting the work, doing installations and performance pieces. They support graffiti and street artist, musicians, and DJs. I feel the greatest thing about doing art fairs is the exposure and connections you make. Not just with collectors and galleries but also fellow artists. Fountain was good during Basel [Art Basel Miami Beach in Dec. 2012] because I was able to meet and talk smack with Ricky Powell and do some spoken word on the fly for Russell Simmons. Good times.
You have said that we are all attracted to periods of time in the past. What are the eras that you’re most drawn to?
I really love the 1950s–really for the fashion and the cars. That’s also another thing I love about coming to L.A., seeing the rockabilly culture alive and kicking.
Who are artists that you are inspired by?
I truly admired and was highly inspired by the outsider artist Purvis Young. I use to live next to him in the warehouse district of what’s now called Wynwood [Miami], before Wynwood was cool and hip. I went to his studio one day to ask for advice and his space was overloaded with paintings on canvas and wood. His collection was unbelievable. Painting to Purvis was just as important as breathing. He was doing it all day long, every moment of the day. He was the kind of artist that, when you left his studio, you were inspired to get to work – he would definitely humble you. As far as living artists go, there’ s way too many to name and I’m friends with a lot of them so I don’t want to piss anyone off. I can hear it now – “Why didn’t you mention me, I thought you liked my work.” Next thing you know, deleted from Facebook. Now you know why artists always talk about dead masters when they have to answer this question.
What’s your studio like? With all the objects and memorabilia you use in your pieces, is it organized, or crazy, or?
My studio is a little of both – kind of like me, crazy but well organized. That being said, I think someone’s studio is a very revealing place. If it’s not a little crazy, someone’s not working!
Where do your chairs come from, and what is the significance of chairs in your work?
The chairs are old oak schoolhouse chairs from the 1940s-60s. I get them from all over the East Coast at various vintage marts and flea markets. To me they symbolize sitting down and learning something. It’s the first thing I think about when I see an old school chair.
What kinds of projects do you have coming up in the new year?
I’m very superstitious so I’d rather not say in fear of jinxing it – but I do look forward to my growing relationship with Cindy and the Cartwheel family, doing more shows in L.A. and more installations. This year I’m really promoting my Spanish Botanica themed show called La Casita De Evo Love, for which I made a limited edition of magic oils, novella candles, and spiritual baths and built in interactive altar installation inspired by the American dream of fame. As for the rest of the year, just counting my blessings and looking forward to the future.
CARTWHEEL Spring Pop-Up Show
March 21-24, 2013
Opening Reception Thurs., March 21
1553 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Top image: Evo Love at Fountain Art Fair, Miami, Dec. 2012
TinaFebruary 15, 2013
Congratulations Evo, you’ve been doing your Art for over 20 something years now, and it’s great to see you regularly highlighted and reviewed. I hope I can see your show on L.A.