Saturday, December 15, 2012

Style Magazine Interview


Elena De La Ville is a mixed-media artist with a passion for paint, rust
and wax. She was trained as a painter, photographer and textile designer
and her work encompasses all of these mediums. De La Ville studied textile
design at the Chelsea School of Art and Design in London and photography
at the Art Institute of Boston. She teaches photography and mixed media at
Ringling College of Art and Design and serves on the exhibition committee
at Art Center Sarasota. To view her work or make an appointment to see
her work, visit

Usually this is a simple question, but in your case it isn’t: What’s your
I have been working almost exclusively with encaustic for the past 10
years, which is a mixture of beeswax and damar resin that’s applied while
hot and fluid. It dries very fast and provides texture and translucency at the
same time. I find it incredibly seductive. I combine that with film-based and
digital photography, plus other alternative processes.

What role does texture play in your artwork?
For me, wax is texture upon texture. It’s built up in layers that hide and
reveal at the same time. On some pieces there are over 20 such layers. Markmaking in the soft material provides yet another level that builds up relief.

Your work is filled with light and color. Is your sense of color intuitive
or is there a theory behind it?
I love color! I would say my color sense is intuitive. One of the reasons I
moved to Sarasota was to find that tropical sense of color after many years of
living in the Northeast.

What does your “Totem” series represent?
These pieces are very important to me because they came to me at a time
in my life when I needed to prove to myself I could accomplish them. I was
facing debilitating symptoms and wanted to work through them. The totems
are the biggest pieces I have produced; they’re more than 6 feet tall. I see
them as “protectors of space.”

Is there an implied narrative element in your artwork or are you simply
interested in form for form’s sake?
As I work, my mind is constantly thinking, evaluating, responding to the
work in front of me. I always work in series and let each piece inform the
next. In a way, I am creating a dialogue or story between them.

Who are your artistic heroes?
As a child I was influenced by Calder, Gego, Vasarely and Matisse. Later on
it was Rothko, Agnes Martin, Klee, Helen Frankenthaler and Anselm Kiefer.
My colleagues also inspire me.

Herald-Tribune 12/02/2012
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