Olivia DeCapri is an innovative young artist based in Brooklyn, on the East Coast. DeCapri’s work consists of the push and pull of materials, which she uses to explore different perspectives. Inspired by the different paths we each take in the world, and the impact we leave, her work is a metaphorical search for unity in an age of divisive politics and technologies. When considering subject matter such as our climate crisis, she mimics the process of doing and undoing, learning and unlearning, fearing and hoping – the process we must all, inevitably, experience in order to challenge the present. What emerges thus, is a relic from the future, reminding us that the future is inevitable, but its form yet unclear. Through this expressive process, she urges her viewers to think outside their experience, and embrace change.
1. A lot of your work explores elements of nature and the body, how do you see these as connected? Is your body a part of nature or separate from it?
Humans are nature. As I explore my body and what that means in my practice, I find myself more in tune and aware of the energy in all beings, spaces, elements, and experiences. We are all connected.
2. How do the mediums you chose to work with (sculpture, painting, drawing, and video) relate to your conceptual ideas?
Everything I do begins with an expression. I believe in the intention of being, and this dissolves into my work. My process is always in flux – it may start as performance, a sculpture, a painting, a poem, an expression. I then take the documentation process into the digital realm, distorting the original tangibility. I make, scan pieces, digitally draw, corrupt files, scan screens, print, physically alter, rephotograph, and continue this cycle until the digital and physical textures become inextricable. I call this the process of ‘Deleting the Origin of Conception.’
3. In your recent work, technology plays a large role, especially in your process of ‘Deleting the Origin of Conception.” With the present climate crisis, we are in a certain way, also deleting the origin of conception by polluting our source. Are these two ideas related for you and if so, how?
These ideas are heavily related. We live in a world where we don’t have to think about how things are created, we can consume whatever, whenever, and then forget about it. While this frees our time and generates amazing innovation, it also creates great disconnection. As we become more and more removed from the source of nature, we are losing our empathy. This leads to a general misunderstanding and disrespect of our resources. When dealing with this visual language of deleting the origin, I comment on the vastness of this experience and guide the viewers to think about our collective actions.
4. Has a love of nature always been a part of your artistic practice? How did you come to the relationship with the natural world that you have now?
Growing up in Virginia by the water, being in the natural world grounded me. The ‘natural world’ was a concept I didn’t fully understand until later on in life. As I realized the separation between this world and my own, I began to develop a greater awareness and appreciation for nature. My present relationship with the natural world comes from immersing myself, and actively reconnecting to it with my limbs and heart. When I am immersed, I include elements from the earth in my drawings as I try and express the vitality around me.
5. How do you think art can help save life in the face of climate crisis?
Art is extremely powerful. Art brings us together, allowing us to feel, express, and act. Art can give language to expressions with no words. This is a time to call all artists to live boldly, act with intention, and lead the revolution in our collective body, mind, and soul.
A true artist of a new generation, DeCapri’s work can help us understand how the process, medium, and intention shape the creative process, and how the creative process can shape our reality. To learn more about her work, check out the links below!
Author: Carola Dixon