Eloísa Ballivian’s paintings think about pop culture as a force of nature. In a large scale, her paintings take over the viewer like a wave centered in the gaze. Her paintings look at us from a dream-like world, where thoughts are present as emotions trapped in time. Eloisa’s artwork begins as photographs who take on a new life as paintings, where objects travel to their new life where they become sentient beings. Her cars and plants exude emotion, making us travel to California as a sensual desert of flying cars that looms in our wet techie dreams. Born in Argentina, Eloisa grew up between Madrid and Buenos Aires and she recently relocated to Los Angeles.
What’s your artistic background?
I studied graphic design in The FADU in Buenos Aires, I’ve worked as a graphic designer at my Own Studio and had major Music Labels such as polyGram and Sony Music as my clients. I also worked as an Art Director for many years in various film production houses in Buenos Aires. Later on I began to paint and have exhibitions and take up commissions for in situ murals. A year and a half ago I came to Los Angeles and began to paint and had a few fairs in the city.
What’s integral to the work of an artist?
To have a vision, to have something to say, to begin the conversation between the artist and the viewer.
What role does the artist have in society?
To record the particular time we are living in through his/her artworks.
What art do you most identify with?
One thing is what I identify with and the other with what I do. I like the cinquecento, Pre Raphaelite, Figurative, A mix of everything.
What themes do you pursue?
Beauty. Fear. Reality. Everything that surrounds me really.
What’s your favourite art work?
Ophelia by John Everett Millais
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
The pandemic of course, I’ve painted 10 works on the quarantine theme and all of them are related to that particular time.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I had my own Graphic Design Studio, I’ve worked as an art director for many years, I did murals in specific locations.
I guess all the works that I had have to do connect with art, I guess art is the form of expression that comes easily to me. I have never really asked myself about that. It is just what it is.
What is an artistic outlook on life?
To look at everything as communication, to seek for beauty in everything (as a way of enduring the hardship of life itself).
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Basically the most common ones are, ‘I feel so touched by your paintings’, ‘this piece made my everyday living more beautiful’, ‘this takes me to my own childhood’. Phrases like that.
What food, drink, song inspires you?
I listen to music every single time that I’m working in my studio, every song inspires me. Even some of my works are named directly after titles of songs, the music is always present, the different works and subjects require some specify music. I drink a lot of coffee all the time.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
Yes it is super lonely, and it’s amazing that you just asked that because is the hard part of it .And I’m just fighting with that situation, the more you become productive the more alone you are, I think the secret is to be aware of it and do activities with friends, to take care of relationships and to do some form of collaboration. This is the part that I miss the most about filming, the team effort part of it.
What do you dislike about the art world?
Almost everything, the ridiculousness of everyone talking about the same issues at the same time, I don’t want to criticize anyone or anything but to go now to galleries and see almost the same topic everywhere is exhausting. And in my own country is worst, you have to be a particular side of politics in order to be ‘in’. I don’t care about the art world at all.
What do you dislike about your work?
Basically what you asked in the previous question, the lonely part of it, although I like it in the same amount that I dislike it.
What do you like about your work?
The part when all the ideas are coming to your mind, the part when everything flows and seems to be part of a greater plan, the feeling of being actually painting it doesn’t compare to nothing, the moment when you just paint and don’t think of nothing else, it’s priceless.
Should art be funded?
I think a lot of artists have that pleasure right? I think it is ok, and is cool that some people like to take care of that, but I don’t think it as ‘Should’, what should be funded is food for children who need support, not art.
What role does arts funding have?
I guess it helps artists in their first steps when they want to create art but don’t have enough resources.
What is your dream project?
To have an amazing studio like the one I used to have in Buenos Aires, to be able to paint huge sizes, even bigger that the ones that I do, and to have a gallery to show them to a bigger audience, and not to worry at all if the works sells or not. And maybe do another huge mural abroad; it’s a risky business but yes.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
I can name two artists that I really like- Neo Rauch, and Jenny Saville. But I will never dream of being compared to them.
Favourite or most inspirational place?
Literally every place has inspired me. Nature, cities, The Met, Pictures of Mars.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Just don’t about galleries, persons, sales or career movements, just keep painting, think about your work and connect with your soul and continue to paint.
Make a more profound connection between what I want to say and be able to say it though my artworks.