Each of my paintings reveals my personal story, – artist OLY.B
Los Angeles-based painter OLY.B is 25 years old, but she admits she has been holding a brush since childhood. At first, she created her works with oils. Later, she discovered acrylic and fell in love with this material.
The art of OLY.B is extraordinarily emotional. The organic sensuality expressed in amazing colours simply will not let you pass by it: first shocked, you will slow down, then decide to stop and look a little closer, and, eventually, you will want to take one of the works with you.
What is the uniqueness of this young author? Is it a special technique? Or is this because of the five colours that she uses to accurately describe the sacred range of human passions? Or, perhaps, because the plot of each painting describes a personal story?
– When did you decide that you wanted to paint?
– For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed it. Moreover, I had my peculiarity: when I was painting people, I usually started not with the head, but with the legs. Everyone said it was a very atypical “technique” and it meant that I would have both feet on the ground all my life (laughs).
– And do you stand on your own feet?
– I have a hugely rich life. Close friends follow my life like a TV series – every day something out of the ordinary happens. To those who are not involved in my social circle, it seems that I am just making up the stories. But they are real and they make me stronger. So yes, I have my feet firmly planted on the ground, that’s for sure.
– Could you please share at least one story?
– When I was 18 years old, I was dating a guy. It was my first relationship, and I did not know what was good, what was bad, and how to behave correctly. One day, my boyfriend said that if I didn’t find a job within 24 hours, I would never see him again. And I had just entered university! I didn’t have the time, let alone the experience! Finally, I was hired as a consultant in a clothing store where it was freezing cold. My legs and back ached unbearably, and every minute I felt that this was the most meaningless time in my life.
After I had worked for 5 days, I got sick and never returned to that job. But I firmly promised myself to do my best to make sure that such things would never happen again. And, of course, I no longer succumbed to the manipulation by my boyfriend, because this was absolutely not the life that I wanted to live. And it was certainly not how I wanted to spend that short time that we all have got.
– Is there a person who influences you now?
– There is no specific permanent person who has a special place in my life and has an influence on me. People come and go. Some of them leave marks and even scars, inspiring to create, and some just remain in the shadows.
– What is the place of love in your life?
– It comes first for me. All art comes from feelings. Love is the brightest one. It doesn’t matter what kind of love: for a person, for life. Love is everywhere and in everything. Without love, everything would be meaningless.
– Do you often feel depressed?
– As a child, I was very depressed. Now there are almost no such moments.
– How did you manage it?
– Firstly, I changed my attitude towards situations that can upset me. Secondly, I organized my own life in such a way that now I can confidently say: I live in harmony (smiles). You know, I have long accepted the fact that disappointments are normal. There is no need to spend too much emotion on them. It is better to analyse why this happened and not repeat it in the future.
In addition, negative situations are always great lessons. Either way, for me as an artist, they are even very helpful: in such moments, I get inspired and can create a lot.
– Do you remember the feel of your first brush stroke?
– No, but I remember when I decided to paint with oils. It was after my first trip to Los Angeles. Before that, I made digital paintings, printed them on canvas and set the led-backlight to the frame.
– And do you use acrylic paint now?
– Yes, I usually do. Before, I was afraid to work with it, but when I tried it, I fell in love. Its advantage is that it can be combined with many other materials and mediums; it goes well with almost everything. Moreover, there is no need to wait a few days until each layer dries.
– The main heroines of your paintings are women. Why?
– Since childhood, I’ve liked to paint them. I am often asked if I create self-portraits. I used to deny it, but lately, I tend to think that I really paint myself, my history, and my life.
– So, the plots of your paintings are personal?
– Yes, that’s why I don’t like to explain what exactly is depicted on them and what inspired me. All I can say is that each of my paintings is a reflection of the inner state of a certain period of life.
In other words, I do not just paint a picture but leave a part of my soul on canvas; I tell a story.
– Do you have a favourite among your works?
– It’s “Pervaded”. It completely reflects my inner state, worldview and character. This painting has everything. It’s like an icon for me.
– Your paintings can be recognized by the vibe.
– Exactly (laughs). They usually represent women in purple and men in taupe. In addition, I apply special patterns indicating that the author is me. And recently I have been using the wet paper tissue technique that I came up with myself. It’s multi-layering. This helps me to create large gold details. Also, I use gold flakes.
– But do you paint in only five colours?
– Previously, my works were very colourful. I used almost the entire palette and wrote out a lot of small patterns and details. Conceptually, I portrayed women in blue tones, only the hands and heart in red. This implied that an outwardly cold person could be very warm and emotional inside. Later, I left only the background in colour and began to paint people in realistic tones.
Then, at some point, I felt an irresistible desire to radically change the style … And I embraced using a very minimal background of beige tones (this is my favourite colour), contrasting patterns in burgundy and blue (I took this from the previous style) and painting women in bright while men in muted tones.
– I see you like experiments. Are they all successful?
– Yes, almost all of them. Although I have to confess, the most failed one were when I left only the contours of people in the pictures. That looked boring and unfinished. That’s really not my thing.
In the future, I plan to regularly change the colours that I use, but I will keep the general concept and distinctive details.
– How long does it take to create a painting?
– It differs. It can take from a few weeks to several months. Usually, artists do several paintings at the same time, but this is not how it is for me. I focus on a specific one.
– Where would you like to exhibit?
– I want my paintings to be exhibited at LACMA and MoMA. I also have a favourite art gallery in Los Angeles, Jeffrey Deitch. I visit all the exhibitions there, and I dream that one day I will also be able to show my paintings in this location.
– Where is it possible to buy your paintings?
– At this stage, my work is not attached to any gallery, all sales go directly. By the way, this is also a kind of unique phenomenon, since it is almost impossible to sell a painting for a decent price without cooperating with some gallery.
What I do is a unique, isolated case. You can check more details on my website olyb.art
Person OLY. B