|Tasya van Ree
Tasya van Ree has always been intrigued by the everyday wonders of the visual world. The sense of expansive awareness that for van Ree is a prerequisite to any form of art enables her to capture the small everyday images of insight that come when we are open to them and often go before we can fully grasp or appreciate them.
Her extraordinarily obscure paintings are also a testimony to her vision for form and composition. Her paintings are infused with romanticism, a colorful kind of darkness, and a certain rapturous quality. They also materialize her imagination into a tangible form that breathes beauty and love to its many admirers.
Tasya van Ree sat down to discuss her contribution to “I LOVE LA” and her vision of art in the Digital Age.
Which work will you be exhibiting? Why did you select this piece?
My painting called is called Queen of Hearts.Women possess the most intimate of things, for themselves and from others, the heart being the most prized. Here represents the Queen of my heart.
What is your charity or cause? Why did you select this?
Abolish Slavery. Not a lot of people realize just how prevalent Human Trafficking is in the world today. It's the modern-day slave trade. A friend of mine, Aaron Cohen, founder of this organization, personally organizes and coordinates investigations and field operations to retrieve these helpless men, women, and children from slavery, and in turn provides for their safe aftercare and rehabilitation. I respect what he does, and I think it's extremely necessary that I help bring awareness to those who have no idea this exists, or at least try to. Whether it is through raising money, or by raising awareness.
What part of LA are you from? How does this area influence your work as an artist?
I live in Hollywood now, but I'm rarely ever here. Traveling is what really influences my work. But what home does is it solidifies what I have taken in around the world. In a way, combining it all into one package to then be presented.
Why should people buy art?
I think art, whether it be on a piece of paper, or a large canvas, is a tangible piece of an artist's imagination, a physical representation of something that might've only existed in thin air if that artist never created it. Buying art is just a way to say thank you to the artist.
Do you collect art? Who do you collect and why?
I do. The things you surround yourself with speak volumes of who you are, a self-portrait of sort. I think the process and the story behind finding that special piece also tells a story.
I love finding art in random places, whether it be at a hole-in-the-wall bookstore in New Orleans, or a random antique shop in Puerto Rico. I find inspiration and beauty in things that might not be considered the conventional definition of what art is. So in my collection I have everything from an antique camera, to a first edition signed photography book by Leonor Fini, to a signed exhibition pamphlet by Salvador Dali.
What are your thoughts on the traditional role of the gallery in nurturing an artist’s career? How do you think artists will evolve in response to non-traditional (online) sales opportunities?
Galleries are like the artist's mind. The Internet is more like the air the artist breathes. It's bigger than them. I think the traditional role of the gallery is necessary, it needs to be there for sanity purposes, to present an artist's work in a traditional sense, because without tradition there's nothing.
But I also think that tradition has the ability to transform to other ideas of itself, to evolve as time evolves. The artist can't help but follow. I think this will allow the artist to work on a different level, on a larger level, to recognize that they are not only working inward, but outward as well. Knowing that their work will be presented on a platform bigger than themselves.
How did you connect with Cat Jimenez?
I met Cat through a mutual friend years ago, but it wasn't until recently that we connected on an artistic level. I met with her for some advice on a completely separate project, and what came out of it, was her belief in me as a photographer.
What are your thoughts on Edition One Hundred?
Edition One Hundred is groundbreaking for artists. I think artists need to be represented on a larger scale, to gain recognition beyond the borders of their own community. It's also groundbreaking for art collectors as well. They are now able to purchase pieces of work from artists whom they would've otherwise never known existed.
Why did you decide to be involved?
I think Cat is such an inspiring woman. She has the heart of an artist and the mind of a businesswoman. I love that. So whatever she's involved with, I love being a part of.
How do you see this as a platform to reach a broader audience for your work?
I think the Internet is a great platform for artists to gain recognition, to get their name out there, to have their artwork be seen. The Internet has really become a tool for every person to have his or her voices heard, in every medium. With a single click of a button, whatever it is that you're trying to say, or show, can reach millions.
What are your thoughts on Art in the Digital Age?
I can respect art in the Digital Age, but I do have a dedicated affection for art in the traditional sense. There's a feeling of quietness there, that's not when computers are involved. I'm more into creating art in the traditional sense, and having it be seen in the digital sense.