How do you create a sustainable art career? For Loie Hollowell, our podcast guest today, it’s all about the planning, the strict studio hours, and leaning into others for help – including other New York City artist/mothers and her partner. Loie Hollowell was born in Woodland, California, and lives and works in New York, New York. Growing up the oldest of three in a household of artist parents, Loie’s art trajectory started early – even with her father’s (a Professor at UC in Northern California) stern warnings of: “Art will take everything from you.” She recalls that her mother, a seamstress and political cartoonist, put no expectations on her to become an artist, but did encourage her to be creative.
Existing between abstraction and figuration, Hollowell’s vibrant and evocative paintings refer to human bodies as sites of sensuality and sexuality, desire and disgust, pleasure and pain. The forms protrude into the visual space and the actual space – creating a question in the viewer’s mind about what is real and what is imagined. The scale of her works are also important, as she uses her own body and friends’ bodies for direct references. She started creating these geometric bodily references after she had an abortion, and her work grew thematically and stylistically after this point.
As we deepen our discussion, we talk about expectation versus reality – what can actually be achieved in motherhood and in an art career when you have two children under the age of three? Loie opens up about the guilt she feels as a parent in contrast to her own mother’s presence in her life growing up, but then also realizes that she is not alone in this feeling… that there are other artist/mothers out there trying to balance the exact emotions she is feeling – some in the same gallery where she is represented – Pace Gallery in New York City. She admits that while it is hard to find this balance between career and home life, she keeps pushing forward with help from her partner, fellow artist moms, and strict planning around shows and studio time.
Biggest Art Crush: Tishan Tsu
Dream Trip: any relaxing vacation with kids
Film or book: Bruce Sterling books or anything by Ursula K. Le Guin
Favorite meal: hard to answer because recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s