Natalia Fabia’s upcoming solo show “Hooker Dreamscapes” opens next Saturday February 21st at Corey Helford Gallery. The show is a follow up so to speak to her last two shows “Hooker Manor” and “Hooker Safari”. The subject matter of Natalia’s work has long been a source of fascination for us especially in these uber politically correct times. The unenlightened might mistake it for female objectification (yawn) but Natalia doesn’t so much as bat an eyelash to what are now, very old fashioned notions around female sexuality. Instead her eye catching and astonishingly rendered figurative pieces convey more interesting messages. Nathan Spoor, Contributing Editor at Large catches some words with the artist/fashionista in L.A., to talk about just that and a little more.
Nathan: Tell us a little about your work, Miss Fabia. At the risk of seeming intrusive, what’s up with the “hooker” theme, and how did you arrive at your choice subject matter or content?Natalia: Usually I would just go back into other interviews just to cut and paste, because I get this a lot, but
I don’t know exactly where the whole “hooker” thing started, but I was always playfully calling all my girlfriends hookers. I was just obsessed with the word and the idea. Everyone became “hooker” and everything was “hooker- something”. Since I can remember I have been fascinated with burlesque and pin up girls, basically sexy women in general… The word “hooker” sounded very provocative and sexy to me, I have never used it literally. Actually a definition that I found in a DICTIONARY that I think is amazing: “A hooker is someone who sells their talent or abilities” so everyone is a hooker! Especially artists! Eventually the term “hooker” has developed to mean a strong, independent, talented, hot chick to me… And I am lucky because all of my friends happen to be hot hookers and that is who I paint. As far as subject matter, everything starts as an idea in my head ,I love mixing reality with fantasy, girls doing random or typical things, Fashion, light and different environments are very important to me in a painting.
Pink Castle in the Sky
From having seen your work grow over the past few years, I feel it’s safe to say publicly that your technique has progressed substantially. Is there any singular point that has helped you in your visual studies?
What does “safe to say publicly” mean? Like you’ve been saying this privately????!!!! HahaaThere has not been a singular point really, I have been exploring what it is I like about painting and what and why I want to paint… Everything just naturally progressed into what it is now and I finally feel that my paintings really represent me and convey what I want them to. I still have the same passion incentive as I did before, but I used to be very impatient and wanted to finish work quickly. Taking time to research, work on and love a painting has helped A LOT .
Pizza Party (in progress)
You focus predominantly on the empowered female, and mostly use your close friends as models. Do you find yourself drawn into their personalities or do you put them into situations of your own creation?
Both actually. My friends are all amazing, sometimes a painting starts around them and their personality. Sometimes I just want to throw them into random situations that I have already thought up.
a rare studio shot. Thanks Natalia!
Sometimes I just see or meet someone and want to paint them, mainly if I like their look or style. I feel that models personalities and style really affect a painting and can definitely enhance it. I usually have a model in mind for every idea I come up with…
Fashion, let’s face it, is a huge element not only in your work but in your life at large. Tell us a little about your interests and exploits regarding your personal flair for haute couture.
Oh yes I love fashion!! I’mso glad you noticed!! I’ve always been really into fashion, in junior high I was obsessed with vintage clothes and making outfits. I was a little punk rock sometimes rockabilly-ish chick… I made a lot of cut up safety pinned outfits and I always cut up and revamped my vintage clothes.
… I was always really inspired by Vivian Westwood vintage fashion. It’s funny that fashion style has changed AND fashion in my paintings as well, I used to paint more grungy pun rock dress party people, now I love to paint the girls in glamour gowns… . Clothes are just very important to me. I love mixing styles, vintage and couture.
Accessories are also a big big part of what I do. I love bling and shiny, sparkley things, I especially Iove painting them. Maybe because it is shiny and fabulous, I just love it. I started making my own jewelry because I could never really find what I want or afford what I really wanted. The jewelry is inspired by my work a lot and vice versa. Sometimes I make pieces specifically for paintings.
Sugar Rush (sketch)
If I’m not mistaken, you rarely show your work unless it’s a concise idea for a specific situation. Could you enlighten us as to what you’ve been working towards lately?
The last 2 shows (Hook Manor, Hooker Safari) have been specific, but that was not always the case. I’ve had, and still have, single pieces that are not really attached to any collective idea, or specific situation.
Right now, this past year, I’ve been concentrating on my new show Hooker DreamEscape, which will be at Corey Helford gallery Feb 21st. This series is about dreamlike, fantasy settings, whether they are in your mind or real places that you or want to escape to.
Maybe it was just me wanting to get away from things, kind of escape real life, and just not have my mind on crap. I wanted to explore situations that help you to get away from your own thoughts… Many of the paintings are places and situations that I feel are comfortable and relaxing… There is one painting where the girl is sitting on the floor eating pizza, she is totally content and I like that it could after a late night out or it could be the middle of the day.
She is also relaxed because she is in her own space, her room and her whole personality shows through her room. The model in that paintings actually my bestest friend Amy. We call each other TLM, that stands for True Love Muffin. You can find hidden traces of TLM stuff in that painting.
I just really wanted everything oriented toward comfort, towards escaping the mundane everyday tasks and feeling like it’s a get away … Whether it is a far away land or at your own house whatever… I hope I am making some sense.
Thank you so much for sharing some of your process / progress pieces with us. Can you tell us a little more about what’s going on there?
See how scary I look when I am in work mode!? I wear the same sweats for days and I do not leave my house… except to go do yoga but that I have to do cause it’s energy… hahah
Oh and all the pink heart post-its are my notes… . The one on the pizza party painting says “it’s good enough” – my boyfriend made me write that so that I would not spend hours on a tiny detail or thing that no one would notice but me… . hahah I’d never finish anything that way! So I painted a small pink heart post -it in the painting as well, as a memory.
And for those artistic dreamers and future fashionistas out in the world, what parting words of wisdom would you impart to the curious?
Eat your Vegetables.
-Brought to you by the goodness of artist Nathan Spoor, Contributing Editor, Hi-Fructose online