Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








Conversation between Lee Materazzi and Olivia Ramos.


Olivia Ramos

Systems, 2014

Oil on Canvas

18 x 25"

MATERAZZI:  ‪scattered organs, a head attached to a pipe in boxed graphic space. It’s eerie but it’s beautiful. It keeps my eyes moving in a circular direction (clockwise to be specific).


Looking at your past works there appears to be a split; some works are speaking of the systems within our bodies and others are speaking of the systems that we build externally for our bodies. This seems to meld those two explorations.‬‬


RAMOS: this painting explores the inverse of how we perceive conventional systems‬‬


OK, at first my eyes would not stop going clockwise but now with further examination it's changed. I noticed the organ-like valve that (In interpretation) is leaking into his head, as though he is being fueled by something.


And then it works its way down through that pipe...‬‬


‪there are two sketches in previous work that speak to that‬‬


Olivia Ramos

Body/Building Infrastructure, 2013

Acrylic on Paper

9 x 11"


i see what you mean by the organ valve, in this case the two systems are not working together


experimenting with collage via painting‬‬


So you say inverse of how we perceive conventional systems...


Conventional systems are there to assist us with our everyday functions, so now I am visually imagining all of that going backwards. Which is a kind of funny thing to imagine.


‪these systems are rigid because we made them that way,‬ if we build in the image of the body, systems would look and work like organs


and if the current system is at all a reflection of who we are, then we have internal rigid infrastructures


‪and in turn the systems we have built make us more rigid? Or even less, just a part of an outdated machine?


right, way more rigid, we are slaves to the macro infrastructure, the monopoly of resources


so does this work speak of the past or the future?


‪the future, it lives in the solution‬‬


‪initially I interpreted it as a comment of what exists but as I am living with it more I have come to the realization that our systems look nothing like this


‪our systems will have to change, this is a proposal


Its almost as though, by making this you are attempting to step outside of the system but inherently you are still attached to the system as you are the system.‬‬


‪i would say integrated rather than attached


in this painting, the systems are floating autonomously, resources are received and processed like bodies process food and water


essentially, these resources would be free, as intended by nature


the current system, the rigid infrastructure monopolizes resources


‪I am excited about the idea of a revolutionized system, but then I go back to your works (this and the previous) and there definitely a darkness about them.


It makes me a little fearful of what that new system would entail. Did you intend to portray the future in morbid light?


‪is it morbid because they are organs?‬‬


I suppose because they are exposed organs.


‪would you feel better if they were covered in skin?




‪I will try that


i guess it would be morbid if we walked around with our organs out


‪im not speaking of the work‬‬


Im speaking of my imagination of bringing the work into a world that I live within.


maybe Im just integrated...


what do you mean by integrated... do you mean comfortable?‬‬

or dependent?


‪I suppose i am attached to ritual. Does this work speak of that need?


Olivia Ramos

Corner Study, 2014

Oil on Canvas

12.5 x 16"


almost as though the ritual and tradition is more important than the‬‬‬ act of drinking or eating..


‬‬‪Sorry, are all of those fragments confusing?‬‬


‪no not at all‬‬, i see what you mean


‪ha? thats kind of relevant..‬‬


yes fragments ... the topless ladies‬‬,


the ladies are at extremes from the systems painting, attempting to drink away their rigid infrastructures


‪In this work, they would technically be unable to drink. Its a though they are attached to a system that they can't even use anymore. Its broken, but they don't seem to mind.‬‬


I relate that to my need for skin.


the illusion


‪This is all becoming a little  Kafkaesque. Specifically like "The Trial". Or even "The Castle". Those stories frustrate me so much. They leave me feeling so anxious. This work does that too.


Its not comfortable examining the broken system that you are a part of.


‪that's why we wait for crisis to change


yes "The Castle" is relevant‬‬, in the alienation by the bureaucratic system


so we live in "what's the point"


What is the point?


‪Or is the problem in itself the fact that I am asking that question..


which question... what's the point?


are you really asking that?


‪I was‬‬


what about progress,v what about your daughter's future?


what happens when the west runs out of fresh water?


yeah, thats a good point. That answer brought me back from the abstract into reality. I suppose in asking that question I was more directing it at the idea of why we move through such bureaucratic systems.


Is our objective for survival? For future survival?‬‬


‪the systems are the problem, and their inability to change is risking survival in the future


Maybe if we allowed for the goal of our future survival to be more pure we would adopt other systems more readily.‬‬


definitely, the systems today are Ego driven, greed, power, profit, all feeding a black hole that is never satisfied


it will take collective consciousness away from Ego or crisis


It seems like "of course" lets focus on the simple problem and move forward. I keep going back and forth; looking at your painting "Systems" and then looking at the comforts that surround me.


What would it take for us to give up our comforts and focus on survival?


What would it take for me to give up the comfort of my skin? That is now becoming a little more metaphorical for me.‬‬