From rhinestones to studs, Evie Falci transforms these bedazzling little elements into grand works of art. 

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[photograph by Bobby Fisher]

Evie Falci is not your typical paintbrush-on-canvas artist. The 28-year-old native New Yorker weaves fashion and beauty through fabrics like leather and denim, where she creates gorgeous masterpieces from rhinestones and studs. Days later, the little bedazzling accents eventually form grandiose oeuvres — as large as 7 x 11 feet.

Her work contains a deeper meaning — the intricate details painting a larger picture that hinges on metaphysical elements. It’s a medley of colors, energies and chakras, so everything that makes life interesting and beautiful. And Evie’s creations are just as vibrant as her bold sense of style. She’s the kind of woman who confidently strides the streets of New York City in a super chic and sexy outfit, complete with a bright red lipstick and dark eye shadow. We totally dig her look… And her work, obviously.

When we caught up with the talented Brooklyn-based artist, we gained insight on the creative process of her art, fashion and beauty tips and some great, solid advice on crafting your mark in the creative field. — CARISSA GAN

evie-falci-nyx
Nyx
Rhinestones on denim, 72 x 96 inches, 2013

YOU HAVE A LOFTY STUDIO IN BROOKLYN WHERE YOU DO YOUR WORK. YOU’RE LIVING EVERY ARTIST’S DREAM!

Yes, I have space to work. That’s what we all want. I’m grateful to have this time and energy to be doing what I’m doing.

HOW ORGANIC/SPONTANEOUS ARE YOU WITH YOUR CREATIONS?

I never sketch or plan. I do have certain methods, such as, using strings to map out certain points or corners, or using stencils to make a more perfect shape — but, there is no specific vision in my mind when I start. It’s always a process of working where the pieces will be unveiled. It really is a meditation process in art.

WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR PASSION FOR ART?

I’ve always wanted to do this since I was a little kid. I’ve pretty much always had a passion for art for literally as long as I can remember. It’s always been my way of articulating myself and is how I exist in the world and communicate with others in the most direct way.

WHEN WAS YOUR FIRST BIG BREAK AS AN ARTIST?

It’s a process. These things very rarely happen suddenly and overnight. You kind of have to just keep doing it, and the longer you work, the more the work evolves. Things start to happen, you meet other artists, you meet more people — it’s all pretty organic. One of the biggest things post-school was getting into the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, which was important to me because I didn’t go to grad school and that program helped me focus on my work and practice. While I was there, I made the biggest painting I’ve done to date, “Venus Transit The Sun” which was 7 x 11 feet. There was a huge learning curve in the making of that painting, it informed a lot of the work that is in my current show. Also, it was later acquired by Art in Embassies for the American consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia which is really exciting.

A LOT OF YOUR WORK IS A REFLECTION OF FOREIGN CULTURES FROM EGYPT AND OTHER COUNTRIES. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THESE CULTURAL AREAS THAT ATTRACTS YOU? 

I’m very interested in the way different cultures address the notion of abstraction being a way to articulate a type of other reality that is kind of removed from the everyday temporal existence.

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Untitled
Pompoms on canvas, 20 inches diameter, 2007

WE ALSO ADORE YOUR PIECE WITH THE POM POMS ON CANVAS!

Thank you, I think it looks kind of like a petri dish. It’s very cellular, isn’t it? It’s kind of funny and ridiculous.

WHAT WAS IT ABOUT YAYOI KUSAMA’S OPTICAL DOT PAINTINGS THAT INSPIRED YOU?

I love her work. I remember the first time when I saw her phallic covered furniture. It was such a radical gesture to me, of using non-specifically paint material to make objects that have an undeniable presence and power and the obsession in her use of repetition. The web paintings are completely overwhelming — they obliterate the viewer in their use of space and pattern.

I’m more interested in maximizing the quality of the specific material of units that I’m working on. The studs on leather or pleather are either silver or black. They relate more to graphite drawing in terms of it being gradations, tones — they have more of a relationship to black and white pencil drawing.

DID YOU FACE ANY CHALLENGES AS AN ARTIST? WHAT WERE SOME OF THE LESSONS YOU LEARNED ALONG THE WAY?

It’s a crazy thing to do with your life. Money is always the constant stressful thing to deal with, but that’s not unique to the life of an artist — but also the experience of being a young person trying to survive in this city. It’s been such a long time since I was in school. In school, you have deadlines and the community of other students and artists, so it’s harder to continue to make work in the absence in that environment. But the more you go out you meet more artists and people and you build a supportive network, through studio visits and such. You also have to be proactive about giving yourself deadlines even if you don’t have another project rising. You need to be disciplined with your time and the things you pour your energy into.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOUR WORK AND FASHION AND BEAUTY?

I am taking materials literally related to clothing, such as leather and other materials. Part of the work is by removing them out of the context we are accustomed to seeing them in and orienting the work firmly in history of painting or architecture. When those two things collide, a third thing is yielded by a result of their merging. I love the type of couture beadwork done by various fashion houses. McQueen is incredible. The show at the MET was amazing, it was one of the best museum shows I have seen in a long time. I feel like my work is more outrageous than the way I usually dress, but it’s fun to have a little bit of drama in the way I present myself.

 

evie-falci-marchosias
Volac
Studs on pleather, 39.5 x 29.75 inches

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?

I definitely love a sexy, chic look. One of my favorite designers is Catherine Malandrino. I would love to dress in McQueen everyday, but that’s a fantasy. Fashion is definitely a significant part of my life. I like nice things but I have to acquire on a budget. I’m a huge fan of buying vintage and second-hand stuff. I’ve been shopping at Beacon’s Closet in Brooklyn since I was in high school when they were on Bedford. They have a good selection.

WHAT FASHION ADVICE DO YOU HAVE WHEN IT COMES TO PAIRING BOLD OR STATEMENT OUTFITS?

I think it’s good to just experiment and be fearless. There are many fashion blogs that are interesting, such as Advanced Style, and I’m always so curious to see what other people come up with in color combination, shape and texture.

WHAT IS YOUR BEAUTY REGIME?

I can do a diva face in under 5 minutes-I have it down to a science. I like theatrical looks so I love black smoky eye where it looks like they’re going to pop out of your head — just playing up eyes and lips. I love women who are dramatic and fierce with their look and approach to makeup like Theda Bara, Siouxsie Sioux, or Maila Nurmi. I’m not afraid play with drama, but it has to look right together. I’d choose a berry or wine red if I was doing smoky look for more of a vampy look.

DOES GROWING UP IN BROOKLYN HAVE ANY INFLUENCE ON YOUR STYLE AND ART?

I think it does. I’m really thankful that I grew up in Brooklyn — in the Prospect Heights or Park Slope zone. I went to school in Manhattan.  I was around a whole lot of different people, which is inevitable when you grow up in New York. You’re going to be exposed to everyone and everything. I was also very fortunate that my parents took me to lots of museums as a child. I have vivid memories of running around the temple of Dendur or playing hide and seek in the gem room of the Museum of Natural History. I think it’s incredibly important to expose kids to art at a really young age.

My dad is an actuary and my mom is a landscape designer. I guess I inherited their gifts in a way. My dad is very mathematical and my mom has an understanding of form, design, and space through plants. They are supportive of my chosen path to be an artist.

ART IS A COMPETITIVE FIELD TO BREAK INTO, SO NATURALLY LOTS OF PEOPLE ARE SKEPTICAL ABOUT IT. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BREAK INTO THE ART INDUSTRY? HOW DO THEY PREPARE THEMSELVES EMOTIONALLY FOR THE CHALLENGES AHEAD?

I’d say you have to keep doing it, and keep working. It’s an organic thing. The more time you spend in New York, the more art you see and the more people you meet. It’s about being tenacious and holding on.

I’ve had terrible critics in the past. People have said terrible stuff said to me before, like: “I hate what you’re doing. You shouldn’t be an artist.” You have to have an inner voice that says, “Screw you. I know I’m right.” You have to have a thick skin. You have to believe in what you are doing. Whatever it is you are choosing to do in life, you should always do it with passion and dedication.

evie-falci-manipura

Manipura

Rhinestones on denim, 66 x 60 inches, 2013

WELL-SAID! WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?

I’m continuing to make more paintings, one thing at a time. I’d like to experiment with sculpture. I’m playing with working on a smaller, I want to take what’s happening on the larger scale paintings and reduce the scale, but still be equally as impactful.

LASTLY, TELL US SOMETHING WE SHOULD:

SEE: I’m super excited for the Mike Kelley show and the Ad Reinhardt show — his paintings are so magical, the way they unfold and yield themselves the longer you are present with them. I also want to see the Yayoi Kusama show.

HEAR:
One of my favorite musical compositions is “A Rainbow in Curved Air” by Terry Riley. I also worship Kate Bush. Can’t go wrong there!

KNOW: One of my favorite places is the Dream House at the Mela foundation in Tribeca. It’s a really special place to go. It’s an amazing sound and light installation that has been in existence since 1993. It’s one of my favorite places to recharge my psychic batteries.

x Check out her exhibition “Everything All Night,” currently on display at the Jeff Bailey Gallery in Chelsea (625 W27TH ST on 11th & 12th Aves) until December 21. x

[images by Evie Falci + featured image via irenajurek.blogspot.com]

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