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Los Angeles Artist Alia Penner Points out Her Technicolor Collaboration With Swiss Higher Jeweler Piaget

Because it was founded in 1874, Swiss jeweler Piaget has become acknowledged for building pieces akin to operates of art. In actuality, it has a background of collaborating with artists this kind of as Salvador Dalí, who in 1967 established a particular look at and jewelry assortment motivated by his famed Dalí d’Or cash.

The home is now honoring this heritage with a collection of specially commissioned artwork installations that will be exhibited at its new boutique on Rodeo Push in Los Angeles. For the opening, it has tapped artist Alia Penner, a Los Angeles native with a circa-1960, psychedelic Pop aesthetic.

Penner has produced every little thing from collage paintings to online video animations to Tom Petty album artwork and functionality sets for Father John Misty. With her colorful, Surrealist operate, she’s been named the “Frida Kahlo of Instagram.” The artist also serves as the resourceful director of L.A.’s well-liked Cinespia film collection, and cofounded the nonprofit Women of all ages of Cinefamily with actress Brie Larson.

Not too long ago, among her swirl of initiatives, Penner related with Artnet Information from her home studio in Los Angeles to speak about her imaginative system, her like for aged Hollywood, and—thanks to Piaget—her newfound obsession with gold.

How would you explain your practice, and how did you start out making art in the initially spot?

I appear from a extended line of cinematographers. My grandfather was a cinematographer and I even observed out that my fantastic-grandfather utilised to get shots as effectively. We were Mennonites, and so he would get images of God’s wrath—tornadoes and earthquakes and things like that. My father is a 3D cinematographer, and he’s flown all over the environment, filming points my entire daily life. He’s a seriously significant inspiration to me.

When I was very little I wished to be a cartoonist, and I wished to go into style, and I required to be a filmmaker, and as I have gotten more mature, I have gotten to practical experience each type of artwork form and generation. You know, I have painted on the wall, on a human, even on horses! So, it’s difficult for me to explain my work.

How did the collaboration with Piaget come about?

I bought a connect with from my buddy Apple Through, who I have labored with in the previous. We did some great political installations in the course of Occupy. And she was like, “I have this new consumer: Piaget.”

I did not know its heritage of performing with artists like Salvador Dalí, and how it’s been all around without end. So I was extremely honored when they questioned me to participate in this undertaking.

Convey to us about the paintings Piaget commissioned you to generate.

Receiving to make paintings that are framed, that are heading to be hung on a wall, is a little something I haven’t performed in a while. Especially when you are some thing that the art world can not essentially nail down, becoming capable to set your get the job done up on the wall and be like, “Yes, I’m an artist” is genuinely gratifying.

It was actually exciting to make these. They are a lot even bigger than what I usually make. And there was seriously a whole lot of liberty.

What was the spec, and what were your inspirations?

Piaget is a historic enterprise that would make watches, so there was a ton of talking about time—the existing and the past, and how they merge. How can we carry Piaget’s outlook on joyfulness and its history of celebrating artwork into Hollywood and Los Angeles now?

That relates to the way that I build operate, due to the fact when I assume about my Los Angeles, I truly consider about preserving the background. Which is actually the inspiration at the rear of the place I’m at with my artwork appropriate now.

We were being so aligned, it felt like a no-brainer. Just one of Piaget’s style and design inspirations is solar radiance, and I adore putting halos all-around my characters’ heads. I also adore gold and blue, shades that are actually crucial to Piaget’s visual id.

Alia Penner, <em>Marion</em>, commissioned by Piaget. Courtesy of Piaget.

Alia Penner, Marion, commissioned by Piaget. Courtesy of Piaget.

How did you go about making these items?

In the beginning stages, I truly wanted to figure out, Who are my principal characters? I identified these astounding aged journals from 1923 and 1925, film publications from the silent era. I liked the paper excellent and how they have been photographed, and I went via them for a very long time.

It is appealing to glance at these journals for the reason that even while it’s a hundred a long time ago, to me, it feels so relatable, like pretty much absolutely nothing has adjusted. My principal character for the more substantial piece is the motion picture star Marion Davies, who was William Randolph Hearst’s mistress for his whole existence. I enjoy the Hearst Castle I really like the blues of the Roman pool.

The other portray characteristics the actress Marie Prevost, but it was actually motivated by Dalí. There are a ton of archways in his do the job, which I consider of like portals into the art. Have you at any time seen his tarot deck? It is really beautiful. He does this point the place he’s practically collaging these lithographs with painting. That was an inspiration for what I was making.

We’d enjoy to hear much more about your system.

It possibly appears outrageous: I went through those people just one-hundred-yr-outdated journals, and I slice them up. There is one thing magical that’s infused in the paper—if I didn’t put that into the function, I really feel like it would sort of get rid of its magic.

I never sketch anything out. I truly just put the collage piece on to the paper and I see how the traces can appear from them, and go all over them to make them portion of that particular place.

I employed gouache for these items. I have not painted with gouache because I was in college or university. I enjoy how chalky it is—it feels nearly plastic-y. And I like to mix my hues based mostly on the color that arrived prior to. So each individual coloration tells me what to do subsequent. It’s vibrational.

Your paintings are remaining installed inside Piaget’s new Rodeo Generate boutique, which will have an distinctive higher jewellery collection encouraged by Los Angeles and its sky. How has the city inspired you and your works?

I adore Los Angeles with all my heart, so that is the most unique aspect of it all. There are so several remarkable writers that have penned about the Los Angeles sky. I believe I even took a class about Los Angeles literature, but most of the writers were being speaking about the sky.

But once more, I’m seriously inspired by Los Angeles historical past. And any enterprise that wants to honor their historical past and carry it into the existing day, like Piaget, I wholly admire, simply because I feel we need to all recall the place we arrived from, and how we received listed here.

I did not quickly set it all alongside one another, but Marion Davies is buried at the Hollywood Permanently Cemetery, which is where I’m the artistic director of this movie sequence, Cinespia. I rather a great deal stay 50 percent my existence at this cemetery. So I’ve used a lot of time with her, and I did not even feel about it until I was midway completed with the painting. I was like, Hold out! This is my buddy!

The Rodeo Push boutique was itself conceived as a kind of artwork, with its façade swathed in Piaget’s Milanese mesh gold. What else can we hope?

My functions are likely in this little lounge in the back again, exactly where you get to see Piaget jewellery on trays. It sort of feels like an art salon. I just can’t hold out to see it all. It does not truly feel actual until eventually the diamonds and watches are all there, you know? [Laughs.]

Do you have on Piaget jewellery?

I have to figure out what I’m likely to have on to the opening social gathering. Honestly, I have hardly ever worn fancy jewelry, so which is really the cherry on prime, you know?

I like their observe necklace. It is some thing that Piaget has made for a extensive time, on a definitely very long chain with colorful coronary heart stones for the dials. It’s so gorgeous. I will put gold hearts all around my nails. I’m likely to use gold on anything now. I’m obsessed.

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