Artist Interviews 2022

Gina Palmerin  
By Julia Siedenburg

Gina Palmerin, an artist that combines iconic figues and greek gods with vibrant colors. Her stunning work caught my eye immediately at the last years The Other Art Fair. She is not only a very kind person but also a very talented and visunary artist. Fun fact: she actually gifted Snoop Dogg a Picture Day Painting of him and he named him, Baby Dogg. Snoop now has ownership of his original Baby Dogg painting and the Picture Day NFTs! How wild! I urgue you to read this article and follow Gina to catch more of her amazing pieces. Please enjoy!

Why is art so important?

I believe art is important because it gives the ability to express and connect to people on a different level other than words which can sometimes be difficult for some. It gives the artist the opportunity to manifest and create an original thought that never existed before.

I love your art. It combines modern with history which makes it so strong and unique. Who do you look up to as an artist? Who/What inspires you to do what you do?

Thank you, I can say it’s been a journey, an evolution. I’ve had so many inspirations over the years that I think have influenced my style, from classical art to street art, graffiti, to pop art. I’ve been inspired by so many artists over the years and I think my art is like a melting pot of all these flavors. Back in the day when I first started selling my work, I was inspired by Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Tamara De Lempicka then Salvador Dali. Some of my latest inspirations are Bradley Theodore, RETNA, PIchi Avo, and Ashley Longshore. I'm drawn to classical iconography I believe because I've always been interested in the art, the architecture, and history of this period. It has such a sense of beauty and timelessness. I've definitely been inspired by other periods of time throughout my life such as Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and then more recently I've been inspired by Pop Art and Street Art.

What is your process like?

My process is inspiration, visualization, research, brainstorming, organizing reference photos, and then painting. After gathering reference photos, I literally grab my canvas and start paintings layer by layer. I start with acrylics and continue until I’m satisfied with the general composition and facial characteristics and then I start layering oil paint in to refine and make it pop.

Why did you choose to work with oil colors?

Oil paint enables me to create soft and refined imagery, I just can’t achieve that with any other medium. I also love the contrast of oil on the main subject and the flat acrylic backgrounds.

Has art always been a part of your life or did you find your way to it later?

Yes, I can say art has always been a part of my life. As a child I was always creative, always drawing, coloring, and creating things. My Mother is a doll artist, doll collector, and antique collector and I remember spending a lot of time in her studio creating things, dolls, pictures, anything from materials that were laying around. It was definitely a creative upbringing.

Your celebrity paintings bring the youth back into those characters. How did you get the idea to paint them that way?

In 2018, I was fortunate enough to be able to leave my retail job to pursue my painting full time. Around that same time, I was looking to create a new collection, there was a lot of political tension, at that time like always, which has really always bothered me and I wanted to paint something that would make me feel better about the world. I considered painting a collection of politicians and placing opposing political figures in the same painting to suggest a sense of lighthearted playfulness which brought me to the idea of painting them as children. Before I even started painting this collection, my idea evolved into painting pop culture icons and quickly transformed into this idea of self-empowerment and believing in yourself, this was the beginning of Picture Day.

Nowadays, do you think young people have it easier or harder to make and be successful with their art? How dangerous can honest and controversial art be?

I think the art world has changed so much over the past few years and I believe opportunities for young artists are easier in some ways and maybe more challenging in other ways. It’s so much easier to reach tens of thousands of people instantaneously online and through social media, but at the same time it’s also just that much more competitive. Being a successful artist definitely demands the best of what you do and in the most unique and competitive way. I believe honest and sometimes controversial art might appear as risky for the artist but this is how revolutionary art movements begin, the artist is being true to themselves and following their true path.

I got to know you and your art at the last “The other Art fair” in Santa Monica. Are there other events you were showcasing your art this year?

I just launched my first NFT project at the beginning of March, and I also just had my first solo exhibit at Sparks Gallery in San Diego on March 20th. My work will be on view In the gallery through May 8th.

Tell us a little about your childhood and your background.

My mother is a renowned doll artist, so I was always very inspired by her from a young age. She also collected dolls, bears, and antiques, which I believe was also a big part of my upbringing and inspiration, it was a very creative and playful childhood. There were no other painters in the family that I knew of but when I was 16 I took an oil painting lesson, for a few months, which I really loved. I learned the basics, from there I taught myself.

What is next for you? What are your plans for the future?

I just launched my first NFT project with my team VSNZ Lab, and we plan on continuing our project and building our community. My hopes and dreams as an artist are to be able to continue creating my art, to be inspired and to inspire, to connect with as many people as I can through my art in order to share what I've learned, and hopefully be able to inspire others to live a life of purpose and passion. I also want people to connect with my work and just enjoy it! Maybe just bring a smile and add a sense of quirkiness, playfulness, and color to a space. To connect with more people, recognition is key, so this is a big focus. My solo exhibition was a major step in the right direction, I believe that if I receive recognition for my work, I will be able to connect with more people. I also believe persistence in doing what I love will lead me down the right path to achieving my goals.

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