One to Watch
Loren Abbate’s prints challenge the standard perception of beauty and power
Mythological figures, nature, and the female form coexist in harmony in Loren Abbate’s whimsical prints. An expert in printmaking techniques such as monoprint, serigraph, intaglio, and relief methods, Loren experiments with different mediums (ink, acrylic) and carefully balances color in her works. She is concerned with themes of empowerment, spirituality, and mythology, resulting in powerful and mystical hybrid creatures that challenge standard depictions of women, beauty, and power.
A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Loren also received a B.A. in Fine Arts from Northeastern University and studied illustration and painting at the Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy. As a result of her printmaking expertise, she is the recipient of numerous artist’s residencies and scholarships for her works. She recently participated in the Art Center South Florida’s residency in Miami Beach, Florida and exhibited her works at IS Projects Gallery in Fort Lauderdale.
What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
The themes that I am currently exploring in my work are intertwining components of spirituality, mythology, mysticism, female and animal empowerment, and ethnic cultures. I am curious about underrepresented populations and especially women whose voices are quieted or not typically heard. The female characters become strong, empowered in spirit and physicality, aggressive and even beastly, underpinning the rise and influence of unseen feminine energy. An inherent goal I strive for in my work is to challenge the standard perception of beauty and power through transpersonal psychology and heightened consciousness.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
One of my favorite and most inspiring bits of advice came from a TED talk called Your Elusive Creative Genius given by the author Elizabeth Gilbert. The keynote to her talk was the detachment from outcome during the artist’s process as a result of accepting that we are not ultimately responsible for the greatness or quality of our work. She speaks historically about the idea of ‘genius’ and how a creative type becomes a conduit for its heightened expression only if we do our human part of the collective effort which is to show up everyday, practice, experiment and create. This talk gifted me with a sense of freedom to make without expectations or self-criticism and allow my ‘genius’ to show up when it is ready to move through me.
Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I have a hard time working in silence. Once in a while I like to hear my own thoughts more clearly and will tune everything out, but usually I have my gadgets turned on with podcasts or music. If it’s a podcast, my favorites are NPR, comedy, interviews, biographies, Savage Love or Freakonomics. If its music it is largely based on my mood of the moment. Some of my regular sound waves are reggae, blues, vintage soul, classic rock, contemporary jazz, world and tribal music and more.
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
I connect deeply to the work of Kenyan-born, Brooklyn-based Wangechi Mutu. If I had to live with one piece of art it would have to be one of hers because I admire the wild and elegant narratives of her environments and female characters. I would take any of her diptychs from 2006-2014, but especially love her piece titled, A Shady Promise.
Who are your favorite writers?
I have a wide range of favorite writers. For fiction, I love Roald Dahl, Dave Eggers, Haruki Murakami, Zadie Smith, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Ann Patchett. For memoirs, David Sedaris is absolutely hilarious. For non-fiction, I have been moved and inspired to think differently by the works of Michael Pollen, Oliver Sacks, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, Malcolm Gladwell, Naomi Klein, and Brene Brown.