A collage is always created with already existing images that once assembled together conjure up new and unexpected ways of interpreting them. But it is a process less straightforward and immediate than one can think. One only has to stop in front of Eugenia Loli‘s body of work to see how collage can become a Pandora’s box, from where an endless flow of ever-changing meanings and associations is released.
Every act of creation is first an act of destruction Eugenia Loli titles the collage above, where two smart men seem to have a productive lunch, their heads turning into volcanic explosions. So it is her art: Loli‘s destruction of images sets the foundations for her volcanic and inexhaustible creativity to flourish.
Among the favourite sources from where Eugenia Loli takes her fragments, there are vintage magazines (that she scans because she does not want to cut them). She started making collages when she realized that the retro fashion attached to them had a great potentiality, if used with a wise and balanced mix of sharp humour and deep sensitivity. So it does not come as a surprise that so many of her collages can immediately recall the 1950’s imagery, but with a twist.
The overstimulation coming from TV, a high-rise building of dirty dishes (titled Choreorgasm) and the cleaning OCD of a housewife getting out of proportion all share an immediately hilarious effect. But there is more to Eugenia Loli‘s art. Her pieces build up micro-narratives where the visible elements she uses work as a point of entry for invisible associations. They take a little more of time of immersion to be personally articulated. For instance, what do you make of the cornucopia of flowers coming out of the open mouth of a dentist’s patient in Holistic Approach (image below)? Flowers are a positive symbol, but the pose of the patient and the professional frenzy of the dentist suggest otherwise.
Eugenia Loli also creates intriguing and beautiful collaged portraits of mysterious, multifaceted and anonymous faces.
The diptych composed by Introvert and Extrovert (below) made me immediately think of the book Quiet – The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain, where the author questions the commonly accepted bias according to which there is a positive bias attached to the extrovert type while a negative one is associated with introversion.
But this is just my personal association, because as Eugenia Loli says ‘what meaning you attach to an artwork is just a matter of perspective, and it’s tied to your own life’s experiences and cultivated opinions’.
All images courtesy of Eugenia Loli.