Now Featuring Shelby DiMarco
Los Angeles-based artist Shelby DiMarco depicts familiar-feeling dreamscapes in her collages. Rooted in a love for the extreme landscapes of California deserts, mountains and fogbanks, DiMarco’s collages weave together pattern, sprays of abstract shapes and silhouetted figures working and dancing. Her works evoke a sense of floating out of space and time, but still carry the specific bleached colors and hazy brightness of her LA home. DiMarco talked with LPP about her inspirations and LA favorites.
MH: Your work is filled with strange, formal glimpses of geography. Where is your favorite landscape? Why is it your favorite?
SD: That’s a tough question. My favorite landscape in terms of art work is the California desert, because of the ways I incorporate it with my work, whereas in everyday life my favorite landscape is the California mountains on a rainy foggy day. I am attracted to any landscape that is thick with trees and fog.
MH: I saw a neat piece of family history on your blog: your aunt and uncle moved to Hawaii and started an intentional community in the late ’60s. Did you get a chance to experience what they built? Does the cultural and aesthetic climate of that time period influence you?
SD: Unfortunately the camp was condemned and burned down in 1977 to make way for a State Park. I can only look at photographs and watch the Taylor Camp documentary to experience the beautiful tree houses and lifestyle they built there. I could ramble on about how the ‘60s culture and aesthetic influences me, my life is constantly driven and shaped by that time period. It’s such a cliche for this day and age but it truly does.
MH: What’s your relationship to the women featured in some of your collages? Some appear to be treated as graphic elements, their figures tangled together into a ball of pattern and shape, and others appear to be dancing or meditating.
SD: A few months ago I became intrigued with the lifestyle of working women in the South American, Indian, African and Nepali/Tibetan cultures. Their homemade and eclectic ways of living inspired me to incorporate them in my collages. That being said, I also became highly inspired by their personal clothing and jewelry worn in a given photo, it made the process of choosing background and surrounding pattern a meaningful correspondence.
MH: Who are some artists who inspire and challenge you?
SD: Egon Schiele, Kiki Smith, Ed Ruscha, Louise Bourgeois to name a few… Other than artists I am inspired by nature always, always.
MH: Who are some younger artists whose work you follow?
SD: These days I’m really liking Kim Krans, Julia Pott, Lina Scheynius, Carly Margolis, Stephen Eichhorn and Sophia Augusta, and Devendra Banhart’s artwork.
MH: In a note on your blog on December 31, you mention that you see your work heading in new directions. Where do you think you’re headed?
SD: I’ll definitely be making my own prints, and working on some new ideas, meaning completely new and out of the ordinary to me. Besides collaging, I’ll be working more with my plants, DIYs, experimenting with pottery, and working towards my own installation..somewhere..hopefully…
MH: Your work is steeped in SoCal flavors… can you tell me some of your Los Angeles favorites?
SD: Oh my, where do I start? Food: I’m vegetarian so I am always scoping out delicious vegetarian food. Some of favorite places are Urth Cafe, Real Food Daily, Follow your Heart, Vegan Plate, Talesai, Food trucks of course, especially Border Grill. Shopping: Fairfax Fleamarket, Mohawk General Store, ReForm School, Goodwill. I give myself guilt trips if I buy pricey clothing or accessories so I won’t mention the pricey lustful places, except Creatures of Comfort. Of all the places in the vastness of LA, Santa Monica takes the cake.