eugenia loli's psychedelic collages will melt your mind
We catch up with the Greek artist to talk sarcasm, sci-fi, and spirituality.
Natural History Museum
Born and raised in Greece, Eugenia Loli's colorful past sets her apart from every other art school scribbler. Forbidden by her parents to study drawing -- despite being better than all the other kids her age -- Eugenia spent her formative years studying IT. But from URLs to IRL, it wasn't long before Eugenia started pairing up her digital knowledge with her creative skills and artistic sensibilities. With her surreal collages of unlikely couples kissing, ladies lunching, giant goldfish, and snowy mountainscapes, Eugenia has managed to carve out a cult like status for herself online, garnering over 107,000 followers along the way.
Sometimes satirical and political, other times spiritual and psychedelic, Eugenia's collages are composed of ripped up vintage magazines she redesigns for a modern audience. In a world where you're only as good as your last Instagram, it's artists like Eugenia Loli who leave us looking at our basic bathroom selfies, feeling all hollow and empty inside. Who needs an Amaro filter when you can post amazing art like this?
Tell me about yourself and where you grew up?
I was born in Athens, Greece but I grew up in the north west of the country. I spent some years in the largest city there, some years in my dad's mountainous village, and later, in a nearby town. After IT college, I left Greece at age 23, for UK and later, the US.
Have you always had an affinity for art?
Yes, I was drawing as a kid, much better than other kids. I would have loved to be an artist, but my parents would have none of that. And it was a good call, since I would have never made it in Greece. There are no opportunities there.
How has your background in technology affected your artistic vision?
It hasn't affected my artistic vision, only my marketing strategies. I do better than other collage artists only because I know how to use the internet and technology to my advantage. I'm meticulous about how I present my work online, what links I use, what kind of hardware I use to produce my work.
How would you describe your overall aesthetic?
'Sarcastic' would be the most appropriate word, I think, at least for a large chunk of my work. However, I'm trying to move towards a more meta-psychedelic or abstract look, and leave behind most of the human.
How would you describe your artistic process?
Nothing extraordinary, really. I browse my pictures, until I find one I like. Then, I build on top of it.
Who or what inspires you?
Spirituality and sci-fi.
What is it you're trying to say with your work?
My collages were political at first, then I moved towards a more sarcastic style, making fun of the human condition. Now, I'm over that phase too, and I want to make more psychedelic and spiritual works, along with more abstract works that say absolutely nothing apart from their apparent aesthetic.
Where do you source your images?
Old vintage magazines, I have about 750 of them. Lately, I've been searching on the internet for vintage imagery, but unfortunately, it's impossible to find these online in high-enough resolution.
How important is narrative within your work?
I feel like I need it. Without some drama, there is much less interest for both my followers and myself. People need the drama, so they can identify with it. That comes out as "narrative" most of the time.
You've got a huge online following. Why do you feel your work has so much appeal with today's digi generation?
Well, most of my followers are young females. And most of these are only interested to see couples and relationship-related collages. The rest of them are there for my sarcastic/funny collages, but I prefer my more experimental and psychedelic works. But it's these more 'pop,' and 'easy' collages that bring over the masses.
How was the internet redefined what we think of as art?
The internet hasn't changed art. Art has had its normal evolution cycle during that time, with the most notable exception of a new type of art form, being that of the 'meme.' What the internet has changed is the business of art. Just like with music artists, now everybody can be a visual artist, without the need for a label or gallery.
How would you like to see your work evolve?
I want to do more actual drawing illustrations, and move towards a more abstract form of collage.