|Artist De La Ville with Totems|
Please share a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and what were any early influences on your work? Where do you live now?
I was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Caracas, where I grew up as a child, was a city known for it’s public art, artists, and museums. That experience has stayed with me my whole life and inspired my appreciation of art. My heroes then were Calder, Gego, Vasarely and Matisse. Later on it was Rothko, Agnes Martin, Klee, Helen Frankenthaler and Anselm Kiefer. My colleagues also inspire me.
I started traveling from very early on, came to the states (Oklahoma) in my teens, left for London in the early 70’s to study at Chelsea School of Art and Design. I traveled all through Europe at that time and in the early 80’s came to Boston on a full scholarship to study photography. After graduation, I worked as a color printer at Spectrum Color Labs on Summer St. in Boston and then became a photographer for the Secretary of State in Massachusetts. That was about the time when I decided that if I was going to make it as an artist I needed to dedicate myself full-time to that. So I moved to Martha’s Vineyard and made my mark. After 10 or so years, I felt the need for the warmth and color of the tropics and traveled south not knowing where I was going to end. That ended up being Sarasota.
|Zebra Butterflies close up|
Provincetown Inn (Int'l Encaustic Conference)
Did you receive any formal art training? If yes, where and what did you major in?
I have studied with many teachers and artists that have inspired me since I was young; I formally studied Textile Design in London in the 70’s and photography at the Art Institute in Boston in the 80’s.
As a photographer and painter, I am always looking for ways to add dimension to my work, I photograph nudes, earth, and rusted steel. I combine them by using layers of wax, paint, printed images and other alternative processes. Central to my work is the concern of how the human body merges its inner essence to the physical world around us. We are interconnected in a way that we cannot totally explain but that guides us. In the Torso series I deal with the change and transformation that occur in our bodies as we age.
|Torso Trees, 16 x 16|
|Torso II, 22 x 22"|
I am currently working on a proposal with a choreographer and dancer for an
installation/performance for the Ringling Museum of Art. This will involve dance, movement, sound and light.
For the last months, I have been experimenting with old cyanotype techniques and incorporating large negatives with wax, indigo and rust. Not yet ready for showing.
(click on photo to enlarge)
|The office area of De La Ville's studio|
|De La Ville in her workspace|
What is your workspace like?
I live and work in an old carriage house by the bay in Sarasota, FL, I have a small gallery and a darkroom in the bottom floor, with living space in the bottom floor, with living space and painting studio on the second floor. I get to see the shimmering water through out the day, and luscious tropical shrubbery all around; it is a comfortable space where I spend most of my time, when I am not teaching. I live only a few blocks away from Ringling College.
|Torso Feathers 24 x 24"|
Are you involved with any arts groups or communities? If yes, what do you gain from that affiliation and what do you contribute to it?
I have been part of the Ringling College community for the past 15 years. It has provided me with a stimulating atmosphere, with training, equipment and the ability to hear talks and meet interesting and by well-known visiting artists. I am also part of the exhibition committee at the Art Center Sarasota where we just finishing the planning of shows for the 2014 season.
I am part of a wonderful and supportive group of artists that I have met through the International Encaustic Conference, I have attended almost every single conference, I was part of the Saturday panel in 2010 and I look forward to this every year. I will be giving a talk on: Preparing Your Images with Photoshop on Sat June 1st at 3 pm and will also be teaching a Post Conference workshop at Castle Hill on June 4th, on Photo Encaustic, 10 to 4 pm.
Do you have other jobs other than making art? If so, please give us some details.
I work in my studio, and I teach. I have been a self-supporting artist for some 30 years. I could not do it any other way.
Thank you, Elena! You can view more of her work here: http://www.edelaville.com/
and read her blog here: http://elenadelaville.blogspot.com/