by Jacqueline Drayer
Artist Eugenia Loli digitally manipulates vintage photos to create collages with vaguely dark undertones. Based in California, Loli reaches a wide and loyal fan base on tumblr but at the same time exhibits a depth in her work that translates to tangible prints and pieces outside the virtual world.
If the average museum-goer glances at a painting for only three seconds, surely the blogosphere engages an individual work with even less consideration. Loli’s digital mash-ups manage to grab the viewer’s attention with bold focal images on rich and often surprising backdrops. Inspired by surrealism and modern collagists like cur3es, the works present a sense of intrigue while being visually pleasant. Loli explains that her preference for vintage photos is aesthetic—to her, even amateur photos are better set up when each shot used valuable film.
The work’s title is typically all the viewer needs to understand the narrative behind Loli’s art, but she hopes her work will get into the mind of her audience. “I like to make them think a tiny bit about what the work is about, realize one thing for one moment, and then suddenly get hit with another meaning,” Loli says.
While her work may seem straightforward, Loli seems to rely on the viewer to incorporate their own personal experience in deciphering the layers of what messages may lie in the various graphics she composes. “Undeniable Proof,” for example, may seem like a celebration of a woman’s menstruation to an American viewer, but Loli explains that some members of her culture use the stained bridal bed sheet as proof of the woman’s purity.
Loli’s collages aren’t necessarily the graphic equivalent of “tumblr-wave” music—the artist wants her work to carry sociopolitical messages pertaining to present and future dilemmas. However one chooses to view her work, it’s sure to keep the eye entertained and engaged. To see more of Loli’s work online, visit her tumblr. Prints are available via her web store.