kime buzzelli is a true renaissance woman, the proprietress of the iconic shop showpony in echo park, an incredible artist, a clothing designer and blogger. her creativity abounds. the moldy doily, her blog has been a favorite of mine since i found it last year. i spent one saturday reading every entry, i was immediately mesmerized by her style, her life and her paintings. she is truly a woman living the dream.
kime's paintings are lush landscapes overflowing w/ beautiful women, animals, feathers, color and text. her paintings whisper consequence and circumstance vividly. kime has become one of my favorite artists. i am drawn to her work for so many reasons. off the top of my head i love her work because she paints things like: "inside i'm dancing...outstanding." totally life affirming stuff a girl like me needs to hear. she's an inspiration to me and w/out a doubt many, many other women. below is an email interview i did w/ kime. i hope you enjoy it as much as i did.
your painting style is truly your own. your paintings are so full of color, beauty and atmosphere. what is the inspiration behind your work?
i am inspired by lots of things, but mostly amazing fashion. i am obsessed with fashion magazines, costumes, organic structures and the drama or stories that can come from combining these images. i think that i have always been inspired by the way watercolors saturate thick papers. i like drips and happy accidents in my work. often I like to create fashion daydreams and floating scenarios. i am inspired by strong women, independent spirits.
your paintings remind me of dreamscapes. there are layers and layers of things happening...when you sit down to start a painting, what goes through your mind before hand?
i often start a painting based on one particular image or character. from that one person or thing i find compatible, compositional elements or colors. i am normally just thinking of who that character is in my narrative story that i want to create. what would she do, or want to do? i like imagining that this scenario unfolds and organically grows on the page stemming from one lyric or phrase. often i think of the text and then how i want to portray that situation. i try to be as loose as possible when working, because i want my subconscious to take over and perhaps incorporate things for reasons i may not truly comprehend. i once did an entire summer series of paintings that for some reason or another i included lots of strange or fantasy like birds. i had no idea where they came from or why i was compelled to repeat the birds in my pieces.
i love the way your work translates onto clothes, any more pieces going up onto your etsy shop soon for us out-of-towners? any tote bags?
i just finished working on a VANS collaboration which debuts in 2009! that will include a nationwide campaign on shoes, totes, purses, and t-shirts. until then i am trying to find some more time to create more dresses and totes to put on etsy. i have neglected my etsy obligations! sorry about that. it's really hard to get it all together sometimes.
i saw some necklaces made w/ your artwork recently on your blog...? are those available now?
i made those awhile back. i'd like to find a better way to master that process. i was doing mini-paintings on thin wood panels and then sewing them to dresses like buttons. i'd like to try to do more necklaces and belts soon. they are always a nice way to trick out your outfits.
who are some of your favorite artists and style icons...visual as well as fashion?
i love niki de st phalle, sophie calle, francesca woodman, annette messager, zandra rhodes, vivienne westwood, susan cianciolo, yoko ono, karen klimnik, eva hesse, henry darger, ellen gallagher, yayoi kusama, jean-michel basquiat, ossie clark, poiret, and klimt.
i read that everyday you have a list of outlandish things that you want to get done. can you share some of those w/ us?
well, the list is sometimes embarrassing but here goes:
first of all, i always make three separate daily lists just to remind myself- one is for things i really wish i could do today - or intend to do with more time ie: repaint hardwood floors in my apt, organize my records by genre, do all of my laundry and actually organize all of my closets. the second list is more of a realistic "things to do" that can actually be done. like ie: go to post office, walk in park, write thank you letters, go to copy place and make flyers... the last one is the list of things that i have hopelessly forgotten and really should remember [that] someday they need to get done: like create trade paintings for pen-pals, respond to people with cards, paint friend's children's portraits like i said i would...etc...
why did you open showpony? what were your hopes, dreams and ideas behind the shop?
i opened the shop in 2000 mostly to have a space to make art and clothes in. i had just moved to echo park and the rents were cheap. i wanted to have a space to interact with the public while making things. it was originally supposed to be open only to stylists or buyers- not for the general public. later on we knew that people would rather it be open like a real shop. i wanted to make a space that was not stiff and uptight. i wanted it to have irregular hours and be a home to up and coming creative types. IT could assist local artists in reaching new audiences and give them a venue or outlet for their new ideas. many of the original people involved were just out of school or starting out. IT was a way of perfecting their craft with the help of an interactive environment. often stylists would want something custom made for a video and they would ask us who we recommended. i had hoped that it would be something like Paraphenalia from the 60's- a happening space or an art/fashion installation space that people could host performances and trunk shows. we had bands play back in the day and also had movies screened while fashion parties were held.
i often think lovingly of old clothes that are no longer in my possession as if they were old friends. how about you? any items that you think of wistfully?
one of my favorite old books is the "Fabulous Nobodies" where she gives her outfits names. i think that i have always been an overly nostalgic person. i try to imagine the women that may have worn them in their heyday. i have regretted forever the day I sold my celia birtwell print OSSIE CLARK dress on ebay when i was broke. IT was a weak moment and i needed rent. it was a darling, mint green tiered dress that made me look like a dreamy Stevie Nicks.
if you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life what would it be?
depends: i personally have a fetish for jumpsuits and jumpers. i adore the BANANARAMA /Thompson Twins/Come on Eileen look and could imagine the comfort of an off the shoulder top with a ragged painted up overalls shorts look. but in the sense of fashion and glamour i would say i could see me wearing my zandra rhodes sheer, floaty, pastel giant winged sleeve piece. i love theatrical clothes- so that, or maybe one of my many flapper dresses coated in beads and rhinestones that hang on my walls. i love that gypsy thrashed era. of course some headgear would be in order. my favorite thing is this 30s Geisha beaded hair clip I wear that hangs down like two feet long. it's so fragile and lovely.
alrighty girlie, let's just get down to the real question:...how's georgie boy? what is he doing right now?
at the moment, my muppet cat is slumbering beside me while typing this to you. he tends to nap on his back with his legs in the air. he has a new lion's cut and his tail end is a pom pom. he really is adorable. i can't imagine how anyone left him at a shelter to die. the love of my life for sure.
i read that the lonely doll is your favorite book. how come? (how about that scene when big bear has a nutty and spanks them?)
i think that the lonely doll had a profound effect on my creativity as a kid. i was really into puppet shows and writing plays around the time i checked that book out at the library. i loved the dressing up scenes and playing with costumes. after reading it, at about 10 years old, i went around the neighborhood with my dolls and stuffed animals and put them into scenes with real nature and landscapes and took pics of them and then had my mom develop them. i glued them in a construction paper book and gave the story words. much like I do with my art today. i was always about setting up something and trying to tell the audience a story. i love make-believe and capturing fantasy fashion
later in life I revisited that book and was shocked at how S & M and strange the story line really was. ha ha.
what are some of your guilty pleasures?
well, i am a sucker for the makeover. by that I mean I love a good remodel, re-do, renovation, before and after... think GREASE, Pretty Woman etc... so it should come as no surprise that i love all of those Biggest Loser shows, Extreme Makeover etc...i also love mysteries (I'm a Scorpio) and am a fan of any crime shows or capers. Vincent D. from LAW & ORDER is a favorite. i even have a Law & Order ring tone on my cell. i like to karaoke. i have watched the movie Valleygirl no less than 500 times and can recite almost every line.
i'd like to make a book with all of my artwork, do an art show in paris or london, travel to mexico city with friends and get a new station wagon...but til that happens i'm working on a new job for Microsoft , illustrating a story for them and getting ready for a new show at the BERDhouse gallery in echo park, june 13th. i'm also going to be working on all new clothing stuff for the show pony.