When CULTURE first came across 43 year old Greece born, now California resident, Eugenia Loli, we pictured a whimsical young lady who made very compelling and pretty collages that seemed to have something profound to say. Little did we know that we could not have been farther from the truth. Loli has an intense and highly intelligent personality. You can tell she is immensely particular about her art and the way it’s being talked about, expressed, exhibited and even requested that we ask more esoteric interview questions as apposed to the regular, “Where were you born? What schooling did you have?”
She has a frightening clear vision and vehemently and dexterously arranges and constructs unparalleled collages that speak to several different topics that she finds important.
“I’m for the legalization of all substances, not just medical marijuana.”
Loli explains that she does not ever have exhibitions with her work because she likes having total control when it comes to her art. She is undeniably strong willed and you can see some of this in her work but after speaking with her, it is abundantly clear that he work quite directly reflects her inner workings yet in a totally unconventional way. In a sense, Loli is a pioneer.
She was kind enough to sit down with CULTURE and answer questions ranging from Star Trek to God. When asked about her thought on the universe and the energy around us she said, “. . . I now believe that the sum of all, and then some, is what religious figures have called “God” traditionally. I kind of consider God as pure consciousness, a pure Being of All that Was, Is and Ever Will Be. Both the void and the creation in unity . . .”
Your work seems to be heavily inspired by sci-fi. Can you speak a bit about that?
I’m a sucker for space operas. I love the idea of traveling across the stars one way or another. Unfortunately, in the last 20 years sci-fi has become more Earth-based, which mirrored the back down of big space plans that plagued NASA after the ‘80s. I love cerebral, hard sci-fi, but I often need my dose of space.
What’s your favorite sci-fi film?
The first sci-fi movie I saw was the first Star Trek movie back in the late ‘70s. It left a deep imprint in me. I was six years old I think at the time, and the first love of my life was immediately Mr Spock. It was because of him I decided to become a computer programmer and enter the tech industry. Art came much later into my life.
Star Trek: The Next Generation in my teens became my mother and a father of sorts; educating me on complex ethical subjects in a way my own parents never could.
Having said that, my favorite movie of all time is The Matrix. There’s so many ways you can interpret that movie, which makes it a unique piece of art.
Why do you think it’s important to express your views (political and otherwise) through your art?
For me, it is. I don’t think it’s required though. A lot of artists today are doing fine by creating abstract art, or even patterns—purely decorative art that is often only sold to retailers as . . . blankets or pillows. For me though, collage is the way to say something that’s on my mind and that’s bugging me. This is why you can often see a lot of sarcasm in my work. Not always though. Collage does not give you the flexibility painting does (because you only have a specific set of pictures and poses to work with), so often collage can be purely decorative too (aka, “not high art”).
What was your childhood like?
Lonely. Being the only Trekkie at school, and being a female on top of it, created a type of loneliness where I grew up, in rural Greece.
I was born in a large city, moved back in the mountains in the middle of nowhere among chickens and goats, got back to a larger city, back to the mountains for a few years, and finally (before I left for abroad), to a small town. I was always frail as a kid, but things were going rather bad with my health each time I’d leave the mountains. I felt more connected there.
What are your thoughts on the legalization of cannabis?
I’m for the legalization of all substances, not just medical marijuana. I’m particularly bummed that substances like Aya/DMT, peyote and hallucinogenic mushrooms aren’t allowed. These are seriously mind expanding substances, technologies to reach other universes (be it hallucinations or “real,” is beyond the point). I’d even go a further step and say that they should be given freely to everyone after 21 years old, maybe even as frequently as one-to-three times a year in my opinion (with a doctor’s supervision). These are life altering experiences that could help with the betterment of society. I’m surprised that no one has taken the case to Supreme Court, because at some level, religious rights of certain individuals are being squashed on this matter, and I don’t just mean the rights of descendants of native peoples.