How would you describe your artistic style and the themes you explore in your work?
My style is expressive, and my process is intuitive; therefore, the themes I explore are all personal. They range from everyday observations about the world around me and my relationships to inner questions about identity and belonging. As an immigrant and also the child of immigrants in the country I was born and raised in, these topics and my relationship with the culture and environment around me are always woven into how I go about my work and my life.
Could you elaborate on the role of memory, present feelings, and sensory stimuli in shaping your artistic creations?
I believe my work lives somewhere in between the fabric of the world around me and my inner world. When I’m in my studio, the sounds of the city, the birds or the rain, the sunshine or lack-there-of, the music I listen to—it all plays a role in what I’m experiencing at the moment, but it’s all contextualized in the process within the experiences that I’m going through at the time and the ones that have shaped me: where I’m from, where I’ve lived, what moves me. The longer I paint, the more I just want to stay present, enter a sort of meditation in action state where something else takes over, and this amalgamation of inner and outer worlds is expressed onto the canvas.
How do you go about titling your works, and what is the inspiration behind the titles you choose for your pieces?
Great question. Some titles come to mind at the very first session of a piece. As I mentioned, music plays a big part in my work. I usually try to match the mood I’m already in, and other times I play music that sets off an emotional response for me. When a particular song has had a big impact on the work, I often borrow its title or a line from the lyrics to title the piece. I also draw titles from my journal; it’s always helpful to dive back into what was going on in my life during each studio session to get more clarity on what inspired the work and title from there.
I like to keep my titles poetic and open-ended, as I like my work to be.
Artist. Gisela A. Lazarte Artist. Gisela A. Lazarte Artist. Gisela A. Lazarte Artist. Gisela A. Lazarte
What’s your favorite color to wear?
I love wearing bright colors. I gravitate towards cerulean or cobalt blue a lot. Also reds.
What are some of the activities or hobbies you enjoy when you’re not engaged in your artistic pursuits?
I love cooking. I’ve been vegan for a long time, and I used to love to come up with vegan alternative recipes, discovering new ways to come close to the flavors and textures we all love but with no animals involved. I don’t have a lot of time to explore this anymore or cook big meals, but every so often I like to dive back in and take my time cooking or baking. I also like writing poetry, going for long walks, and watching movies.
Artist. Gisela A. Lazarte Artist. Gisela A. Lazarte
How do you balance your time between creating art and other aspects of your life?
That’s something I’m still figuring out. It’s hard to find that balance. Like for most artists, art can be a bit of an obsession and take over your whole life. While the world loves to romanticize this idea, it’s not a sustainable way to pursue it. Also, being an independent artist is amazing for many reasons, but it also means you have to take on way too many roles other than just making the art. I think treating it like a regular job (maybe a job with long days) is helpful. Setting boundaries and cut-off times to be a fully functioning human being.
What has been your most memorable or personally significant exhibition to date, and why?
My first time at The Other Art Fair. Participating in a large independent art fair is an exhilarating as well as overwhelming experience that I feel every artist should have at some point. I work alone in my studio, so being out there while hundreds of people would come to see and talk about my work for several long days was quite a shock that took me out of my comfort zone, but I loved every minute of it.
Could you share some highlights from your artistic journey in 2023, and what exciting plans do you have for the upcoming year?
That one, The Other Art Fair, was a highlight that changed my career and opened many doors. I look forward to more exhibits in this new year, whether fairs or gallery showings and just getting me and my work out there in the world—you’ll have to stay up to date to find out more.