WorkUntitled

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

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Olivia Ramos

Oil on Canvas, 2014

18 x 25"

Millett:  ‪i need context and background info‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪the piece is an extension of an ongoing series in which I propose buildings in the image of the body‬ ‪and claim existing buildings as large scale bodies that don't quite function‬ because of their dependency on infrastructure‬‬

 

the human body is autonomous to a certain degree, buildings can be as well

 

Millett:  and painting this does what?

 

Ramos:  ‪painting allows me to explore, express, manifest to a certain extent, these ideals that currently have no funding ‬

 

painting the world as it should be, releases the anxiety of not being able to make it happen right now

 

Millett:  ‪gotcha, they are theoretical pieces of what could be‬

 

Ramos:  ‪and what is, buildings are living organisms in a vegetative state, corpses of living organisms‬

 

Millett:  ‪alright, so is the discussion about the actual work or about your conceptual argument for the work?‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪that's up to you as the critic, could be both‬

 

Millett:  ‪personally, i have a problem with the premise of the work, conceptually‬, maybe its in the way you are wording it, but it seems you are assuming a lot‬

 

Ramos:  ‪where do you see a problem?‬‬

 

Millett:  ‪for example - how are humans autonomous?‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪you disagree?‬‬

 

perhaps nomadic is more appropriate, but autonomous is also applicable since humans can move around unattached to infrastructure

 

humans don't have to eat from the same table nor shit in the same toilet‬, humans can choose to hunt food instead of buying it, and compost waste instead of flushing it

 

Millett:  ‪correct‬‬

 

id say humans are completely dependent on their environment to survive, at the most basic, primal level

 

Ramos:  not necessarily to an infrastructure, there is a difference between environment and infrastructure, the latter has a price, a cost, a monopoly, a rigid controlling body

 

Millett:  ‪ok but autonomy conveys self reliance, independence‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪and humans are, i can grab a fruit from a tree if there were trees with fruits around‬‬, but the economic infrastructure cuts down the trees and puts up a store, look at the citrus conspiracy in Florida

 

Millett:  ‪so dependency only applies to infrastructure because its a built, material thing yet does not apply to nature?‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪you mean nature is infrastructure?‬

 

Millett:  ‪yes, just a different type‬, we compost, pick berries etc.. you are plugging into a different system‬

 

Ramos:  ‪yes absolutely‬, but one is a monopoly and the other one is a right, a right that has been taken away‬

 

Millett:  ‪that’s your opinion‬‬

 

Ramos:  do you believe water is a human right?

 

Millett:  ‪lets back track a moment‬

 

‪ok, so you are building, through your work, a vision of what you believe in‬‬, is that fair to say?

 

Ramos:  ‪yes‬, when i look at a building, this is what i see‬

 

Millett:  ‪right, i understand‬‬

 

i would construct your argument for work in less absolute terms and as a more Utopian vision for a new kind of future

 

does that make sense?

 

Ramos:  ‪the latter part makes sense... what do you mean by less absolute terms?‬‬

 

Millett:  ‪this is personal for you, its an opinion‬, people will disagree with you, some will agree, others will be indifferent

i don't think the work is about convincing someone to agree, but instead a more powerful exploration, the potential of what could be

 

Ramos:  ‪i understand and agree‬‬

 

Millett:  aesthetically, ‪it kinda reminds of the surrealist in a sense, but also architecture firms like archigram ‬

 

 

Archigram

Walking City in New York, 1964

Millett:  ‪i would also say the work could go in so many directions -‬‬

like for example, something i would love to see:

 

‪highly developed, technical drawing/collages of functional buildings, like how all the pieces really work together combining such extremely different components‬, with a model, or something like it‬

 

it could bring a level of reality to the work, i'm not sure where you want to go

 

Ramos:  ‪oil paint is very new to me‬, i like how endless it is, and how it can achieve the essence of a collage without the constraint of existing images‬

 

I love the work of archigram btw... but in my process, existing images are a little claustrophobic

 

Millett:  ‪with oils it can be done but it will take lots and lots of refinement‬‬

 

the most successful images are the collage and the charcoal piece

 

 

 

Olivia Ramos

Photo Collage, 2014

8.5 x 11"

Ramos: i had a feeling you'd say that‬

 

Olivia Ramos

Oil on Board, 2014

18 x 25"

Millett:  ‪its the clarity‬, i can easily associate what you say with what i see versus the first piece‬

 

Ramos:  ‪yes i understand‬, there has to be a way with oils‬

 

Millett:  ‪sure‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪what i love about oils is the unknown in what the painting will end up looking like‬‬

 

the collage is so predictable, i don't get as much from the process

 

Millett:  ‪understandable‬, but where are the constraints? the parameters for working under? at some point you will need rules and restrictions‬

 

Ramos:  ‪give me an example‬ of rules and restrictions‬

 

Millett:  ‪hmm - hear me out for a second‬‬

 

‪where does discovery end? if every painting is a new discovery, every time you think about the work, the process etc.. its all about experimentation, no?‬‬

 

you need to decide when it is and when is not, because it can’t all be about experimentation. You need to put your foot on the ground

 

so whether it is the act of making (painting) or the act of thinking (your conceptual premise for the work) you need to commit and implement, refine‬

 

Ramos:  ‪and there is discovery in that as well‬‬

 

Millett:  ‪but it needs balance‬‬

 

Ramos: I’ll know the painting will be successful the day you like it more than the collage, so I will continue the collage just to see

 

Millett:  ‪can you make the painting more like the collage?‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪there are different ways to think about that‬ process, one would be to paint as if silk-screening, each layer noticeably independent from the next‬

 

another would be to disregard cohesiveness of scale and angles, which is quite liberating

 

Millett:  ‪yes i think you need to use techniques that implement your vision‬‬

so your audience can take part in your ideas

 

your vision needs to be readily accessible in the work in my opinion

 

Ramos:  ‪otherwise why exhibit at all‬‬