Olivia Jane Art

Born in: 1991, USA
Lives in: New Mexico, USA
Describe your art in three words: Contemporary, Surrealism, Femme-Centered
Education: BA Fine Art 2015
See More Work:  https://www.oliviajaneart.com/art-gallery

Nectar - Oil on panel 20 x 20 in. $4,000

Olivia Jane spent her formative years living between Europe, South East Asia and the USA, offering a unique experience of home. Life as a global nomad was influential from a multitude of perspectives and beliefs; ultimately Olivia is weaving her own unfolding story. In 2015, she earned her BFA from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. Olivia Jane is a full-time artist, teacher and student.

What themes does your work involve?
Femme-centered, empowerment, archetypal, mystical, surreal, transformation. These are the first words that come to mind. I've always been interested in anthropology, painting has been a modality for me to explore and weave themes of our human story in a visual way. I dive into mysticism, story telling, and reclamation of feminine power.
Describe your creative process.
I often work in series, although when I step back, I see that all my work so far is culminating to fill these archetypal themes that I encounter throughout my process. Sometimes I have a specific vision in mind and will ask friends to pose for me, sometimes these photoshoots result in a surprising new vision that I end up exploring in the painting. Sometimes, the meanings behind these pieces unfold towards the end of creation or even once the public has interacted with the piece. Sometimes my intentions behind the pieces are very clear from the start and I want a specific impact for the audience. So it is really a range, but trusting that the persisting imagery wants to come through for the collective or for your own healing process.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
After school, I quit making art for a few years, but after traveling abroad to South East Asia, I was so inspired by all the art and experiences I had that I knew upon returning that I needed to make art again. I haven't looked back since. A lot happened on that trip, so the drive to create was a thirst for processing both the magic and the grief of the world, to alchemize my own trauma of coming into womanhood, and coming close enough to death that I was confronted from an early age "what do you want to do with this precious life?" All of this made me want to create art, and you can see death motifs throughout much of my work. I'm speaking to this beautiful juxtaposition that as we live we are dying, and we can celebrate this mortality rather than fear it, and in doing so, we honor life.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I am always most impressed with art when I cannot figure out how it is made. Either the process is so intriguing or the technique is so layered that I am in awe. Then the subject matter and story behind the artist and the piece can give it further greatness. For me however, as a creative person, the technique and overall aesthetic of the pieces are the most impressive aspects.
What is the role of the artist today?
I believe the role of the artist today is: to inspire, to push boundaries, to invite others into new and unknown worlds. We are at a critical time for humans on this planet. Artists can imagine and create new worlds within their work, and thus expand the minds of the collective, and expand what is possible for the whole. It's a great honor and responsibility. I do not shy away from death motifs, eco grief, and relationships between body and land in my work because I find these topics so prevalent at this time. It will be interesting to see what happens as AI unfolds into our realities but I believe that hand made fine art will always be valuable. I believe that murals and street art and community around art will always be impactful. So I am excited for what lies ahead.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist