The magazine for critique and discourse between artist, collectors, and curators.








Olivia Ramos

Image 1 Formula, 2015

Oil on Canvas

18 x 25 in.

Millett: you ready to begin?


Ramos:  ‪yes‬‬


would you like me to describe the two pieces or do you want to start?


Millett:  ‪go for it, sizes too be helpful‬‬


Ramos:  ‪ok‬‬

both oil on canvas 18 x 25 in.


the first piece (Image 1 Formula) is taking my intentions down to the cellular level, conceptually what is the core of all this talk about sustainability and autonomy


I realize it is all about our illusion of units of measure and using measurement as a form of control


the composition in both pieces is inspired by El Greco's "The Burrial of the Count of Orgaz" in which the bottom half is to scale while the top half are  proportions of what would be divine existence‬‬


the first piece is sort of the prototype in which i study measurement and grid versus autonomy and network




Olivia Ramos

Image 2 Love, 2015

Oil on Canvas

18 x 25 in.


Ramos: in the second piece (Image 2 Love) i apply this concept to love and how our systems of measurement also make constrains here


such as, we have these systems to measure people, that being wealth or success, good looks, whatever... and also systems imposed by religion or cultures, etc. when really it is about something immeasurable


Millett:  ‪ok, lets step back a second... do you believe one is more successful than the other as a finished piece, aesthetically?


Ramos: ‬‬do you mean one piece in relation to the other, or both of these in relation to previous work?


Millett:  ‪its just a general question - relative to all your work‬‬


Ramos:  ‪oh‬‬


i mean... aesthetically these are a total curve ball


‪i'm not sure i can rate aesthetically, because the previous work, at least recently, I was borrowing a lot form Francis Bacon in terms of composition and even the process of manifesting the concept‬‬


and these pieces, although sort of odd looking, have more of my DNA or rather lack anybody else's


Millett:  ‪successful? yes or no‬‬


Ramos:  ‪oh it wasn't an essay question...‬‬


Millett:  ‪lol‬‬


Ramos:  ‪ok hold on let me think‬‬


Millett:  ‪no don think‬‬


Ramos:  ‪ok


purely aesthetically - no


perhaps they are not more aesthetically successful than the past


but wasn't you who said "you gotta make ugly things"


i happen to like these ugly things


Millett:  ‪yes or no‬‬


Ramos:  ‪no‬‬






Millett:  ‪do you think they convey your ideas while not being overtly representational?


why do you say no‬‬?


Ramos:  ‪you said purely aesthetically


i'm trying to put myself in the shoes of a 80 year old woman who's never seen a piece of art


but to answer your question -  these are much more successful in conveying my ideas


these actually have ideas


within the fabric of the piece


but that's not what i think of when i think of aesthetics


i think "is it pretty"


Millett:  ‪and who says they are not 'pretty'?‬‬


Ramos:  ‪i don't know - i feel like you are tricking me here


you know "aesthetic" was a bad word in grad school


Millett:  ‪umm no tricks here‬‬


Ramos:  ‪yeah your not the type‬‬


Millett:  ‪ok, just to summarize a bit...before these pieces some of the goals of this work was to (one) remove the overtly representational aspects of the work




(two) convey your ideas


in simple, meaningful fashion


would you agree?


Ramos:  ‪yes


Millett:  ‪so, relative to these questions are these works a success?


Ramos:  ‪yes‬‬


Millett:  ‪i agree, although i believe one more then the other‬‬


Ramos:  ‪which one?‬‬


Millett:  ‪image one‬‬


Ramos:  ‪right‬‬


Millett:  ‪the second goes off on tangent, the El Greco..the love etc.. and it begins to backtrack into semi-representational aspects of how apply the paint


‪the first piece stays focused, your conceptual introspection led you to re-think how you represented your ideas


personally i think it works aesthetically - and for me aesthetics in not simply about beauty


innate within beauty is a logic or reason it 'works' - sometimes its completely intuitive


i think this piece just 'works' on all levels


Ramos:  ‪the first one‬‬


Millett:  ‪image 1‬‬


Ramos:  ‪i agree on the focus‬‬


i agree with everything you are saying


but i also find it so boring


Millett:  ‪then dig deeper into the content‬‬


Ramos:  ‪yes‬‬


Image 1 is a formula


Millett:  ‪apply more variables‬‬


Ramos:  ‪right‬‬


Millett:  ‪personally that why i like it, its systematic, things like this make me want to know more about the system itself, or the content‬‬


‪i think you have to believe in your process, hence the dig deeper comment.. its easy to toss it away and move on to the next‬‬


Ramos:  ‪no i don't want to toss this‬‬


i think it is a good starting point


Millett:  ‪but thats the impression i see when you make the second image..your bored hence make something new etc..‬‬


Ramos:  ‪it was supposed to be the same thing‬‬


Millett:  ‪right‬‬


Ramos:  ‪applying the formula to another subject‬‬


Millett:  ‪why another subject?‬‬


Ramos:  ‪to test it out and see if the formula universal‬‬


to see different forms of the formula


but i agree the second piece is sort of washed down


deflavorized as Rakatansky would say


Millett:  ‪i think your formula-system is just in its inception..every test and variable you apply needs to be calibrated, strategic and within the framework you have setup for yourself


over time, complexity will arise as you grow more comfortable and understand the system itself


few last comments


‪because of the scale - the 'cells' work, but they still inch closely to they look like cells


i think its ok for now, but definitely something you should be aware of






are these intuitive choices?


Ramos: the yellow is energy/sunlight, the blue is water, and the red is skin, which can be the skin of a building or a person‬‬


‪they are reversed in the top and bottom half of the piece because in the measuring system we use the grid to ultimately get energy within the "cell" which can be building or body


and in the autonomous or divine system energy is abundant and we ultimately create body or skin within the cell


Millett:  ‪gotcha - i like the way you are thinking about the work conceptually, at this scale


it removes you from obsession with form


Ramos:  ‪right‬‬


i have to stop myself from going back to form and representation while increasing the variables


Millett:  ‪its definitely your comfort zone‬‬