Carmen Solis is an artist in the California Central Valley (damn, Fresno’s been getting a lot of love on the blog as of late!). When I went back a year or so ago, I saw one of her pieces up in a studio, and was super impressed– it was one of her black and white drawings of a girl with an animal head. Immediately my mind went into feminist theory-land…I couldn’t get my mind off from the piece. 12 months later, Carmen answered some questions for the blog about her work.
Carmen will also be giving away one of her art-printed tote bags. Isn’t she nice? Look for the details on how to enter below!
You are from the Central Valley, and still show there frequently. How does that location influence your work? You’re also a traveler– how do other places and cultures compare to the Central Valley and play into your pieces?
I believe both play important roles in my work. For instance, my current photography was influenced by the Central Valley. On my drive throughout the south valley I would see crosses left behind by families who had lost someone in a car accident. It had such an impact on me it eventually became the photo series, “Morbidly Beautiful.” My travels have influenced by exposure, wherever I go I make sure to see either museums or ruins. These distinct bring different elements. From my paintings of Aztec subjects to the high fashioned crows these have all been connected somehow by the exposure of my travels.
Fashion has always seemed to be important to you (for as long as I’ve known you, when we went to college together!). I love that you still totally embrace the fact that you were a “Gwenabee” way back in high school. Who are your current fashion muses and why? Do you see any difference between art and fashion? Or, what are the similarities that you are drawn to?
In the past I looked at magazines and the entertainment industry (music and movies) for fashion inspiration, but now I find my fashion muses to be found in the internet. Sites such as Lookbook and Pinterest have revolutionized my sense of style. I find my style to be very eclectic; ranging from vintage to boho chic…it all depends on my mood and day. I believe fashion and art have their share of similarities and differences but what I am most drawn to is how they influence one another. Take for instance Yves S. Laurent famous 1965 Fall dress was inspired by Mondrian color block paintings.