Interview with Miami-Based Artist, Evo Love
22 Jul, 2012
To view more of Evo Love’s work visit:
During Fountain Art Fair Los Angeles 2011, I had the magnificent opportunity to meet Evo Love, an artist of multi-cultural decent, who owns her own gallery in Miami, Florida called Stash Gallery. Incorporating all types of artists including outsider, photography, street art, abstract expressionism, to figurative, Evo started her career curating gorilla street shows during Art Basel on the streets of Miami. She and her husband, Romain, would rent parking meters from the city: "Romain and I would build walls in the parking spots, paint the walls white and hang art and sell it under an overpass in the outskirts of the design district during Basel. It was called ‘Under The Bridge.’" On running her own gallery, Evo explains that she values the relationship with the artist and their work, and is always looking out for her artists: “When you have a gallery that’s run by artists, it functions in a different way than most galleries. We are always looking out for the artist rather than the gallery. It’s the relationship we have with the artist and their work that’s important to us.” Love’s installations are not to be missed as they incorporate vintage and antique toys, memorabilia, pulp fiction, magic, religious symbolism, comic books, old newspapers, and heirlooms, all of which portray a certain historical period in time. Come visit Fountain Art Fair New York 2012 from March 9-11 to view more of Love’s artwork. Fountain is an exhibition of avant garde artwork in New York during Armory week, Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach and Los Angeles during Pacific Standard Time weekend. [February 22, 2012]
Dig In Magazine: What do you like about having Miami as your home base?
Evo Love: The Weather… After that I would say The Latin presence here. I’m half Puerto Rican, so it’s nice to know I can grab an empanada & a cafe con leche’ down the street. Miami is also kind of like New Orleans in a sense, there’s a Magic in the air. You feel the energy immediately here. I also like to surf in warm water so that’s another big factor. But I would have to say in the last 8 years the Art Scene here really blew up when Art Basel decided to make Miami their second home. A lot of galleries and artists started moving in from all over. So it’s really good to live where art is thriving. It definitely inspires me.
DIM: I understand that you’ve shown a great deal in New York, how is it living in Miami and making your stamp in New York and beyond as an artist?
EL: It’s exciting… I Love New York, I was also born in New York, so it’s been really nice to have the Big Apple embrace me and my work. Anytime your work is being recognized & embraced in another city, country, continent, it gives you a sense of validation. It makes you feel good and like all the hard work is paying off.
DIM: You are the owner of a gallery in Miami, what type of art does Stash Gallery exhibit?
EL: I’ve always chosen artists whose work catches my eye and speaks to me in a strong way. It’s really instinctual. Stash doesn’t represent a specific type of art or artist. We just aim to show great work from both emerging and career artists. Everything from outsider, photography, street art, abstract expressionism, to figurative, etc.
DIM: What made you decide to open your own gallery?
EL: I had been getting snubbed from the Miami Art Galleries for years and so were a lot of my art friends. At that time, I met this real estate guy who offered me an empty space he was selling to do a show. The show was a success. Shortly after I met my husband Romain, who is a prop master on films and commercials. By the time the second Art Basel came around, we were clever enough to do gorilla street shows. We would rent parking meters from the city and then Romain and I would build walls in the parking spots, paint the walls white and hang art and sell it under an overpass in the outskirts of the design district during Basel. It was called “Under The Bridge.” We did this show for years and every year the show would get bigger and better [and] on the forth year I sold nearly my whole collection to this guy who was a major figure in the scene and from Switzerland. I took the chunk of cash and Romain and I decided it was time to open up a gallery. When we did our first street show we only had five artists, by the 5th one we were up to 25 artists and from all over the country, not just Miami. The Gallery felt like the next step. When you have a gallery that’s run by artists, it functions in a different way than most galleries. We are always looking out for the artist rather than the gallery. It’s the relationship we have with the artist and their work that’s important to us.
DIM: As a gallery owner, what do you look for in an artist?
EL: WORK!!! I know that sounds obvious, but very true. You’d be surprised how many artists just don’t have the work or put the work in. You can always tell a true blue artist by their workspace. They are always working on something. And there’s always a lot of what ever it is that they are working on. Every artist should take a studio visit or someone wanting to see more of their work very seriously.
DIM: How would you describe your artistic style?
EL: It’s a blend of Pop, a splash of Folk, a twist of Outsider, a sprinkle of Collage.
DIM: What and who has influenced you as an artist?
EL: I’m like a sponge soaking everything in. That being said, I’m inspired by anything and all things. Music, People, Places, Design, Architecture, Photography, News, Pop Culture, Religion, Antiquing, Fashion, Magic… I was fortunate that when I was young my mother wanted to be an actress & dancer. So being raised in New York She took me to a lot of amazing plays, a lot of Rock n Roll concerts in the park. When I was 8 she took me to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Nell Campbell was actually performing on stage along with the movie. It was very surreal to me, because she was there, it’s raining in the movie theater, people are dancing and singing along to the songs. Those experiences gave me an incredible imagination. At 9, she remarried and moved to Central Florida, so Walt Disney World, animation, cartoons & comic books were all another big influence. By 14, I was a full fledge surfer girl and into the surf & sk8 culture. By the time I was in my teens, I had been raised on all the classics, whether it was music, film, theater, literature, dance, celebrity. I didn’t learn about artists and the art world until I sold my third piece to an ex-gallery owner who started telling me about Pop Art & Andy Warhol.
DIM: What are you trying to communicate through your art installations?
EL: For me they are all love affairs I have with certain periods of time. I think we all have an Era we are attracted to. I feel like time is a language that everyone understands. I hear people saying “Oh my mother had one of those or my grandfather had one of these” all day long…. So the installations, I find, always take a person back to this sentimental place.
DIM: What are the objects that you incorporate in your installations and where do you find these objects?
EL: Well, the objects I collect for my work are usually made with all kinds of vintage and antique toys, memorabilia, pulp fiction, magic, religious symbolism, comic books, old newspapers, heirlooms… really mostly things that catch my eye. I find these items from all over…garage sales, thrift shops, flea markets, religious stores, Mexican grocery stores, sometimes I find things on the street as well.
DIM: How do you come up with ideas for your art installations?
EL: Most the time the ideas come from many places. Sometimes an old movie I’m watching, other times it can be something from my childhood and there are moments it’s a place I’m at.
DIM: Where have you shown your work?
EL: I’ve shown all over South Florida. I’ve shown in Palm Beach, North Carolina, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. My work was also picked up by The Columbia Museum Of Art in South Carolina. In the beginning of my career the majority of my work was sold word of mouth. Which in turn inspired me to do a lot of my own independent shows. It wasn’t until the past several years that I’ve been showing at fairs and in galleries.
DIM: How long have you been exhibiting with Fountain Art Fair and what is it that you like about Fountain?
EL: I’ve shown with Fountain about four times, twice in Miami, once in LA and once In New York. So, I’ve been showing with them for about two years now. What I love about Fountain is how affordable they make it for independent galleries & artists to have a chance to exhibit their work in front of major collectors. So the work that is accepted in the fair is a lot edgier than what you will find at most fairs. The next best thing I love about Fountain is the people behind it. They all make you feel like family. Everyone looks out for each other.
DIM: What will you be showing at Fountain New York 2012?
EL: My installation for Fountain this year is called “This Ain’t My First Rodeo” based on my Native American Indian background and my Southern roots here in Florida. The show revolves around my two largest pieces called “Many Lives Many Masters.” Their part of a relationship series I do with antique dolls. I have two new sets of these going in the show. As well as some chairs that are each individually themed. One is based on Luche Libre, the other is based on Blackfoot Native American Indians.
DIM: What have you accomplished in past years in terms of your art career and what is in store for you in 2012?
EL: Well, in 2011 I really started getting into performance work, so I spent some time figuring out what I would do for my first piece and I came up with Lil Miss Fortune. I got the idea from going to fortune teller booths at the arcade on the boardwalk in Daytona Beach when I was a kid and getting my fortune told. I spent a year developing the idea. Romain and I built a booth, Which I wrote a voice over to and put music behind it and I acted as a comical fortune teller giving everyone handwritten misfortunes as well as an original fortune card for a dollar. It was fun. I performed it twice in 2010. And I’m currently working on another performance piece, which will also take me another year to execute.
As for what I will be doing in 2012, just keep an eye out…I am very grateful.