Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
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Conversation between Ira Chernova and Olivia Ramos.
Hosting Feelings, 2016
8.5 x 14 in.
Watercolor on Paper
CHERNOVA: hi Olivia
RAMOS: hi Ira - how are you? thank you for joining us
of course. I'm great, how are you?
i am well - how was your shoot? what was that about?
just a little getaway/shoot mix - in Montauk, chasing careless weather! didn't get to sleep yet actually, was out at local dive bar talking with sailors till sunrise
that all sounds like youth - nice
i've been looking at your paintings and your website in general
before we get into the paintings, which is why we are here, in your about page you mention a lot of clients - what do you do?
All the clients listed on my website are from my photo jobs. I started from being a photographer, then modeling, some video work, and doodles made a way into my life. can not imagine having only one aspect in creativity anymore
i am enjoying going through the Polaroids but thought we would discuss some of the postcards
starting with this first one
are these the size of a postcard? or larger and you make them available as postcards?
thank you. Those are slightly larger - around A4 size all of em,
I started painting only last year and still am on the way of discoveries where its gonna take me. All you see on website are scans from paintings on paper sheets
tell me about that first one - i really enjoy it, the sadness of the sun, the split personality, a sort of transferring of pain inflicted
its a duality of things, and that nothing is what it seems to be. I feel that in modern life we pretend way too often that everything is fine, when its not. I wanted to play on contrasts - on the sunny day side its only inner sorrow, yet night keeps the person awake
why do you think we have to pretend like everything is ok?
personally i would say its a part of American culture. "how are you?" is a question that is used instead of saying hello here, as a result always doing good in front of people comes as a norm
when i just moved here i did say that I'm not well few times replying to hi-how-are-you. it did not go good, people very genially shocked to hear it haha
it sort of puts an unwanted responsibility on the receiving end
don't you think?
ha. in a way. but it takes away so much potential of socializing as well, without being judged that you're not in a good mood
sure - i mean it all depends on who you speak to
but in general i agree - i personally act better than i feel most of the time
for a several reasons
i'm not sure if it's cultural - although in a way it makes sense that it is
but it can also be a human thing
a self-esteem thing
an image thing
i'm not sure
in Russia - is everyone walking around saying how miserable they feel?
or how scared they are
true true, i agree, all that varies from person to person. its one of those philosophical topics, where you never end up agreeing on anything particular haha. what i remember of growing up in Moscow - yes, its completely normal say you're in the bad mood right away, we are such a moody nation
nice - i am trying to remember how it was in Cuba... i'm not sure, maybe people did talk a lot about how bad things were, but not in public... it's tricky
weather is a game changer tho, no sun for months turns you into a pile of misery haha
and politics - for us Communism wasn't as profitable as it was at some point in the Soviet Union
left us with nothing but misery
so there are two ways of looking at the US - indeed there is a bit of pressure
to act better than you feel
but also there is a hell of a lot more to be grateful for, at least in my case - so i feel like complaining is not acceptable, simply within my own value system
tell me about this next painting
its one of my demons
those thoughts all of us have from time to time, that haunt you
could be different for everyone - failing at dreams, bad relationship, lack of control of life
something that can wake you up in the middle of the night and take on paranoia journey
drawing has a heart shaped symbol as a base, cause that was a mental state i was in. struggling through experiencing way too strong of a feeling
way too strong a negative feeling?
no, not at all. id say feeling of love, but it doesn't fully describe it. just being completely ran over and have this one person take over mind
thats when i started drawing actually, happened to be the only thing to focus my attention
did that last?'
as in - do you still feel that way?
what comes around, goes around. it still happens, way less intense tho, some time has passed
so momentary love - temporary love
a very strong buzz
i see how that could be haunting
if it goes away i mean - it makes you wonder what it was
this particular one stayed with me; actually was first time for me experiencing something that got so close and deep into my heart. as the first strong feeling it gonna have part of me always, I'm getting more comfortable with idea of it
you are right, these things can leave an imprint, not matter how long it lasted
ok on that note .... tell me about this one:
that sums everything that i could not put into words! i made this one last year, during my relationship i was just talking about. I was so uncomfortable feeling things, in a way it felt like an aliens took over my body.
Or that a bunch of dinosaurs took my body hostage and were constantly chewing my heart
tell me why you add words to your paintings
paintings symbolize for me what i could never express with photography. those particular "heart/feelings" series always came as visions of the whole complete scene. with others i would think of a phrase first and draw my impression of it. it was a diary in a way
but if the impression is a reflection or projection of the phrase, why have both?
cause then it is just a dinosaurs eating your heart, which could go so many directions.
and for me its only one explanation for each