Mind Travels: The Eclectic Art of Corinne Stevie Thursday 29 September, 2011

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Mixing musical and visual influences, Corinne Stevie’s eclectic, feminine and whimsical art is sure to capture your attention. If you’re adventurous, you’ll let her pieces take you on a mental journey of what she calls her “ideas about dreams, spirituality, beauty, identity, fashion, cartoons  and random things in the real world.” Here Corinne discusses her […]

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Artist Corinne Stevie

Mixing musical and visual influences, Corinne Stevie’s eclectic, feminine and whimsical art is sure to capture your attention. If you’re adventurous, you’ll let her pieces take you on a mental journey of what she calls her “ideas about dreams, spirituality, beauty, identity, fashion, cartoons  and random things in the real world.” Here Corinne discusses her unique art and creative process.

Can you tell us a little about yourself? What made you get into art and music?
I’m Haitian American and I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I got into art and music when I was in middle school. I started drawing at young age and then I applied to a visual arts program for middle school and I got into the program. Around that same time I had an uncle who started teaching me how to freestyle and write lyrics because I was really interested in learning how to.

Many of your paintings have a whimsical quality, what draws you to this style in your art?
Well growing up I spent a lot of time drawing and exploring my imagination. When I went to college to study art that’s when everything clicked for me artistically. I realized through studying different styles of art and the different eras in art history that my work could be about anything. So I decided to used my art to send positive messages to myself and the viewer. I use the whimsical style because I think it allows me to express my playfulness and seriousness at the same time.

'A Woman's Heart' mixed media 2009

To me your work also seems to have a mystical quality as well. Is this something that you strive for in your pieces? I thought it was interesting that a key was a recurring element in some of your work. For example: “A Women’s Heart” and “Whirlwind,” can you talk a little bit about those pieces.
Sometimes I do strive to make my art really mystical and sometimes it  just turns out that way. I think it has a lot to do with me growing up in a religious family. I started including the symbol of the key in my work as a reminder to myself that I hold the key

'Whirlwind' acrylic 2008

to my own life and destiny. In the particular piece “A Woman’s Heart” the keys symbolize the keys to my heart and friendship. I don’t just give  the keys away to anyone. A person has to be willing to get to know to me in order earn them. The creature in “A Women’s Heart” is a metaphor for myself. I sometimes see myself as this strange and usual being. In the “Whirlwind” piece the key again symbolizes me having the key to my destiny even in the most hectic times in my life. The “Whirlwind” painting reflects how there can be turmoil in my life but I have to remember to breathe, meditate, be calm and remain centered. I also included the goldfish earring in the painting because  I wanted to paint something that looked surreal. The hummingbird is a symbol of me connecting with nature, and the Nike shoe reflects my love for exclusive interesting looking sneakers.

'Gunnation remix' mixed media 2008

I love how you use mixed media in your pieces. It provides a certain amount of layering that makes your work very interesting. How do you decide what types of mediums to use for a piece. What mediums do you like to work with the most?  Can you talk a bit about your piece: “Gunnation Remix.”
I really enjoy using acrylic paints and spray paints. Occasionally I like to collage in pictures or different patterns. It all depends on the message I’m trying to convey. All of my pieces are initially done in acrylics and then I add the other mediums for texture when I desire that kind of aesthetic.

“Gunnation Remix” is a very important piece to me because this piece was chosen to be shown at the Museum Of Contemporary Arts in Atlanta, Ga earlier this year. “Gunnation Remix” was actually inspired by a series of photographs called Gun nation shot by renowned British photographer Zed Nelson. His Gun Nation series got him a lot of awards and I found this out a couple years after I created the painting. I was inspired by the photos because they seemed so shocking to me at the time. His series focused on showing the gun culture in America. When I thought of gun culture in America I usually thought of drug dealers in the hood but through this series I learned that a lot of people keep guns, not just drug dealers. “Gunnation Remix” is a response to how I felt  about  Zed Nelson’s series.

The portrait in the foreground is a combined portrait of me and my friend. I painted my eyes and nose and the rest of the portrait is my friend. The portrait symbolizes how I see my self in my friends. This is another idea I was playing around with. The portrait has a concerned look on its face. The images in the background are images directly from the series. I scanned in the original photos, printed them out and collaged them in. There’s also text in this piece that is from the write up that accompanied the original photos but the text blends in with the patterns. I used pattern paper that I was experimenting with at the time  to create the details in the scarf. This same pattern is also the ammunition coming out of the guns. This piece is very intricate it was done with acrylic paint, house paint, spray paint, pattern paper, and  scanned pictures.

'Look in the mirror' mixed media 2009

What is your creative process?
I sketch everyday and I paint almost everyday. My paintings usually begin with a sketch from my sketch book. I like to draw out whatever I’m going to paint at least once just to get familiar with the imagery. I prepare my board or canvas with a layer of house paint because I don’t have gesso or any canvas primer at the moment. Once the house paint is dry I start to work on the painting.

How does your visual art influence your music and vice versa?
Painting and music go hand in hand because their both expressions. Sometimes I’ll work on music and feel limited to the things I can express and then I’ll switch to the canvas. I feel like there are more  feelings that be can expressed through visual arts sometimes. At the end of day both forms just keep me thinking creatively about life.

'M.I.A. as Krishna' Acyrlic, spraypaint 2008

New amErykah remix' acrylic 2008

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I would like to let the readers know that I’m available for commissions next month. Check out my website: www.corinnestevie.com for new music and art. I am putting out a music project  next month called “Amalgam Nation”. “Amalgam Nation” is a big deal to me because the music on this project is amazingly musical. I wrote everything I’m rapping about, well the  production was done by my producer friend Timeshare who lives in Australia. We met through the internet a couple years ago and we started making really dope music together. The music really reflects a different  side of me. The music itself is really positive and it makes the listener think.

What does living unchained mean to you?
It means living, thinking freely and being myself.

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