Meet Artist Diana Georgie
Diana Georgie (@thecarmenlips) is a model/painter/bonafide hustler based in the land of the lovely and deranged, LA.
Interviewer Mark Gelband (@markgelband) is Ello’s Chief Marketing Officer, an expert in container home construction, a long-time writer, and a local everywhere he goes.
Mark: You have two pieces - Forever & That's the End of That in the upcoming Laluzapalooza group show. Can you talk a little about the show and what acceptance into the show means to an emerging artist?
Diana: La Luz de Jesus is a stronghold gallery that has been part of LA’s culture for over 30 years now. I remember walking into the gallery for the first time years ago and being so inspired to become a part of their heritage. Essentially, being accepted and part of Laluzapalooza is a tap on the shoulder and spotlight preview for the emerging artist to the world. Acceptance into the show is of course a pretty swell achievement, as well as dignified – to have my works displayed on the same walls where some of my most favorite artists all time had their first solo shows, it’s a pretty great thing to be a part of.
Mark: The La Luz De Jesus Gallery is Hollywood mainstay and in some ways introduced the larger world to LA Lowbrow art? That term gets misinterpreted quite a bit or used in many ways. How do you view the sense of "lowbrow" art?
Diana: I think when the term developed a couple decades ago it was during a time when this new style was such a deviation from the norm, it kind of developed this infamous narrative for the artists that were doing something new and something different. Of course, this style was radically innovative and provocative and inspired a whole slew of emerging artists that were following the likes of someone like Mark Ryden for instance who is the godfather of the pop surrealist aka “lowbrow" movement. I think art that is created under this canopy references most art movements and has an interesting balance of reference – classic and contemporary, refined and rugged, innuendo and overt, and so on. It’s interesting because this movement is still so very young in the scale of things, yet brilliant and epic artists have come forth from it.
Mark: I've always seen this work as more of a sardonic take on the surface glamour of LA and the entertainment industry. Do you see this commentary? How?
Diana: This work was born in LA, and this town is both a metropolis of all things beautiful and glorious and yet also a graveyard of broken dreams and deranged souls, a land of gods and monsters. The Oscars take place at the Dolby theater and literally 2 blocks away there will be homeless people who haven't eaten anything that day. The juxtaposition here is much more extreme, and therefore makes what is pretty and shiny to glisten that much more. Most come to this place with a head full of dreams and a thirst for fame and success, and it is often that that governs people's choices and morals. It's a carnal Disneyland where anything and everything is possible. I've seen and heard so many stories, some of triumph and stardom, some of defeat and failure, either way it's cynical and hedonistic, but that's just the way it goes.
Mark: You've also been involved in modeling and acting. How does making art balance those pursuits?
Diana: I have been a fashion model since I was 18 years old – scouted in my hometown of San Francisco, then began working full time in New York, until I got homesick and needed to come back to California, and began working from here. Because of this career, from a young age I was able to travel the world and meet so many different types of people of all walks of life. I would always have my watercolor sketchbooks on me during travels and long shoot days and resort to that any chance I would get. Eventually I realized that it were the times when I was painting that I was truly the happiest and felt the most fulfilled, and that is when the epiphany came that this is the life for me. Art is my main focus now, however the fashion world is always going to be an important part of my life. Something I hope to be doing in the near future is collaborating with fashion designers to create wearable art.
Mark: Famous actress or famous artist? Only one. Why?
Diana: Anyone who knows me knows Lana Del Rey is the apple of my eye. When I came across her for the first time over 5 years ago, I was completely smitten by her in a way I never have been for another artist. Everything about her – the lyrics, the melodies, style, looks, everything about that girl is poetry. Her work is a major influence on mine, and I think we both have similar perspectives on things, perhaps which is why she is so relatable to me. And by sheer chance her and I (literally) bumped into each other on a street in West Hollywood right next to Shepard Fairey’s Elephant mural, and in real life she is even more beautiful and just remarkably charming.
Mark: The two pieces show different sides of your approach but also coalesce around words and language and pop culture which connect throughout your work. Why are words important to your work?
Diana: I have always been interested in typography and words being used in illustrative ways. Based on the choice of font and color, you create dimension and give the word even more meaning than you would get from a dictionary, essentially it develops it’s own unique personality. I think that there is something fascinating about embodying so much character into a word that you have read and used a countless amount of times, but now you see it’s portrait.
Mark: Favorite word?
Diana: Oh that’s a hard one, but I’m gonna have to go with “confirmed.” Think about it, isn’t it one of the most positive words in the english language? You are confirmed for the job, your flight is confirmed, your pizza delivery request is confirmed… Never heard it in a time I didn’t like.