Laura Viapiano is an abstract painter based in San Jose, California. Using oil paints to add texture to her colorful pieces, Laura’s artwork is an introspective experience that reflects on our inclination as humans to assign meaning to everything.
It’s great to have you, Laura. Can you tell us a bit about this piece to start us off?
This is a more recent piece called “One More Sunrise”.
Very interesting! It looks like the reflection of a sunrise over the water or through a windowpane. But maybe that’s only me assigning an interpretation to the art…
We can’t really help but do that, which is something I love about working so abstractly.
When I think about the fact that it really is just a bunch of paint on a canvas – and I do not ever paint with the intention of creating a certain image – its amazing what our inclination to find patterns and meaning does to construct a reality for us.
I basically pick colors and layer them on the canvas in a fairly formulaic way, and then something happens. The paintings take on a life of their own. And I name them and the name sort of guides the experience. You might see it differently if I named it “Fruit Loops” hahaha.
What is your approach to your artwork?
I usually just choose colors I feel drawn to and use my understanding of those to dictate the painting process. If I am working on a commission, the process is different because I am working with the client to capture a certain vibe or feeling with the work.
In that case, we will decide to avoid certain colors, and talk about the amount of texture, and discuss feelings or memories that they might want to experience when looking into the piece.
When working with clients, is it difficult to create certain associations and feelings without specific imagery to reference? I would imagine that when the art is so abstract and fluid, it must be trickier to convey specific emotions or memories.
It really depends. I don’t think that clients interested in my paintings in particular are probably too concerned with specific images. I think that color & texture are really loaded when it comes to associating them with certain moments, memories or experiences in our lives. It can be tricky to be EXACT and there is often a lot of trial and error! The paintings end up sort of acting as little portals in a way.
This is one of my early paintings. I still feel really attached to it – which is rare for me. It’s called “Across the Room’ and is basically about remembering that feeling when you first meet someone – likely a lover but possibly just a person who you know instantly will change your life. Someone who will affect you. You connect across a room and are magnetized to one another. A transformation occurs .
In terms of texture – I am a squeegee painter.
The textures in my paintings come from layering paint or lack of layers – and then also from the angle and speed of the squeegee.
There are ways to create more or less “bubbles” or different patterns by the way I use the squeegee. Sweeping it quickly or more slowly will mix the colors differenly, pull or create suction to reveal different layers or make things look glazed or heavy. It’s a lot of fun. It is in itself, an exercise in letting go and allowing a new experience to take shape. I love the technique and I actually learned it from another artist on this project, who has really been like a mentor to me and very important in my evolution as an artist – Harry Moody.
Being so fluid in your usual approach to art, what was your experience creating Van Gogh avatars according to pre-assigned traits?
I was really intimidated by the project at first. I wasn’t sure how I would incorporate the essence of my own style into the parameters laid out for the project… I wanted to strike a balance that felt authentic and not forced. It was tough to step away from so much abstraction, but once I got started it flowed really easily. I just started experimenting. I am not a digital artist, so its a very different experience for me to create these pieces, but its also a lot more forgiving than oil painting! I found a rhythm and felt super inspired.
There were so many different paintings of Van Gogh’s to pull from, and different ways to incorporate the traits and it was really inspiring to see how other abstract artists on the project worked within the context of the project.
It has been such a fun project and I am just in love with so many of the artists’ works.
This one probably has the least amount of my own style incorporated into it actually, but I liked the energy of the oil painting moving through the skeleton. My brother is an amazing night sky photographer, and the milky way background is actually one of his photos. I wanted a modern and sort of ethereal take on Starry Night.
Is there anything you would like to say to the collectors or to artists who are interested in NFT?
Working on this project has really cracked open my interest in the NFT world. There is so much to learn, but I will say that it has inspired me in some very powerful ways and I am sure that many of my fellow artists feel the same. I am feeling really motivated to create in fresh ways right now, and have both the project as well as all of the amazing artists involved to thank. I love that Saatchi Art created a sort of collective here for us to experience. Community is such an important part of creating and sharing art, and it’s been amazing to be a part of this one!
To the collectors, thank you for taking part in this community as well – your passion & excitement fuels and motivates us to keep creating! I am astounded by the creativity of this small, international cross-section of artists and I hope you are as excited as I am to have all of the pieces revealed.
Really grateful to be a part of things here.
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