Lala Abaddon: An Exclusive Interview with A.I.M.O.
Lala, I have been in awe of your work for some time now. How long does it take to generally finish one piece? Do you start a few at one time or see one through from start to finish?
I work in a few different sizes, but for my most common size (24"x 36’’) it generally takes me 75-150 hours of weaving work on one piece… but there are many different components to my process that happen before and after weaving. I have multiple works in progress at any given moment, but usually I am only weaving one piece at a time… the others works may be in the “planning” stages like photographing my muses or paintings, designing the weave pattern, printing and cutting, or in post production of mounting, finishing and framing. The bulk of the work comes down to the weaving though and I always do that start to finish. I generally weave anywhere from 10-15 hours per day, in consecutive days, until the piece is completed. This year during my residency with Red Bull House of Art Detroit I will be making my largest works yet- 100" x 60’’, and those I anticipate taking 300-500 hours each.
What is your preferred subject matter and do you always have a personal photograph underneath the layers of your work?
My photo archive is generally comprised of three categories of photographs- portraiture, painting, and abstract photography such as flowers, water, gems, lights, plants etc. Every piece for me is deeply personal, even if it is an abstract piece based solely on my paintings, but lately I have been photographing the strong, independent and magnificent women in my life. The work I have been creating this year is all about the other-worldly power of women to overcome adversity and create beauty from pain. Usually I work within the confines of a series and every series of work I create has a long narrative to it.
You are such a colorful soul- do you prefer a colorful palette in your art because of the vibrancy of the hues?
I think I am drawn to a vibrant and colorful palette because it is a direct juxtaposition to the often dark nature of the underlying portrait or narrative of my work. My work is all about bringing out the binary nature of our existence as humans so often I am pairing a more emotionally charged concept with a lighter and more vivid pairing.
I feel the underlay has so much meaning behind it and could be " dark" at times yet you bring it back to life with your use of color. Do you feel the underlay is as important as the overlay?
Yes, each component is equally important and it is really the juxtaposition of the two images that bring the piece to it’s full potential. Can’t have light without darkness, or great joy without great sorrow. This is the plight of life, so that is always
Please tell us about Poquito and how this sweetheart helps you throughout your day?
Poquito is my little Parrotlet, she goes everywhere she can with me. I decided to bring Poquitio into my home/ studio because I work such long hours and always alone. She is who I can be with on a daily basis so that I don’t lose track of time and she also helps me to remember to care for myself in the sense that I am reminded to feed myself when I feed her, I am reminded to relax when she needs to be pet and I am reminded to sleep when she needs to sleep. She is currently sitting on my head taking a nap…
She is mostly a huge emotional support for me because she is very loving. I feel as though she is the constant companion I have always needed.
I know you have a few upcoming shows, can you tell our audience about them and where they are located? I just had the pleasure of seeing you this past week at Joseph Gross Gallery with three of your pieces in a wonderful group show.
I have a lot of shows coming up throughout the year some group shows in NYC, LA and Boston…— but what I am most excited about this year is the performance piece I am doing this Thursday, July 21st, “Always in Never”, where I will be weaving myself into a translucent cocoon over an approximately 24 hour period. This performance is something I have wanted to do for years. It is the direction I want to take my work in. More interactive and with a lot of emphasis on bringing art back to a physical experience. It will be live streamed on my website at lalaabaddon.com on July 21st, 2016.
If you could collaborate with any artist, alive or deceased, who would it be with and why?
Probably Robert Gober because he is one of the only artists that has continually surprised me throughout his long career. His work completely transforms space and reality and that is always something I am striving to do with my own work. Plus I would love to pick his brain on many different subjects, not all art related.
If our readers want to learn more about you and your work, where can they go?
A lot of information is on my website, or you can google my name. I try to keep my website as up to date as possible with interviews and such, as well as my upcoming shows.
@lala_abaddon on instagram