Our latest collaboration features a limited edition of 20 works by Puerto Rico-born and Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist Larissa De Jesús Negrón. We sat down with the artist to learn about her inspirations, her spontaneity-driven creative process and about the edition she created for this collaboration.
What about Her Clique’s mission is most significant to your life and practice?
I think giving back is the most fulfilling act. From the beginning, I was excited about working with Her Clique because of the team’s generosity and vision. My main goal as a creator and as an artist is for people to identify with the imagery I create, and if my work drives somebody to discover something new about themselves, I feel that I have done my job well.
Could you talk to us about the work you created for this collaboration?
The artwork is called “Promises” and it is an intimate scene of a woman wearing a gold chain, washing off rice from her body in the shower. The work is about being optimistic of the promises of the future, whether that be wealth, relationships, children or anything else. I often depict shower scenes and water droplets as a way to allude to fluidity of thought and introspection.
Do you feel like the pandemic affected your work?
The pandemic affected my work and my entire career intensely yet beautifully. I found the time to listen to my own thoughts and that led to immense creativity. I went from making paintings of interior spaces to, almost manically, creating faces and human bodies. I realized the true value in many things for the first time but the thing that I yearned for the most was not a thing at all, it was people. My growth during that time, the struggles I overcame and the self-discoveries I made were all enabled through art making.
Larissa De Jesús Negrón, Mírame Ahora, 2021. Oil on canvas.
Who is your muse?
My muse is my partner. We talk about my work on a daily basis, he listens and gives me constant feedback on everything I make. Our conversations and life experiences have inspired numerous works throughout our past seven years of being together.
Who are some of your favorite artists and why?
Louise Bourgeois, Salvador Dalí, Magritte, Caravaggio, Jimmy De Sana, Gina Beavers, Marilyn Minter, Carlos Davila Rináldi, Ivan Tovar... Artists inspire me in different ways, some inspire me technically and push me to be better and others inspire me through their story and what they overcame. The artist that inspires me the most, mostly due to my father having prints of his around the house during my childhood, is Salvador Dalí.
As a contemporary artist, do you feel the pressure or need for your work to be globally relevant?
The only need I feel is to make work that is relevant to me. Meaning, whatever I make is true to my intention, my experience and my story. I’ve accepted that I will constantly be influenced by the world, the people and the artists around me. I’ve learned not to be concerned with things I have no control over.
Where do you source your inspiration?
Anything and everything can be a source of inspiration. It really depends on how much attention I am paying to whatever I am experiencing. I could be mesmerized by a leaf and all its colors and textures and that could trigger my sense of play and creation. I can also be incredibly moved by a life altering experience and that could trigger my coping mechanisms, thus driving me to paint.
What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
I focus primarily on psycho-analysis of the self. Meaning, I am focused on discovering meaning in the imagery that comes out of my subconscious mind. You could say I’m obsessed with storytelling and also using various materials and techniques to do so. Through my work, I talk a lot about accepting and overcoming trauma, whether that be body image trauma, family or relationship trauma and other regrettable life experiences that need to be revisited. I also bring attention to living with social anxiety and coping with being alone with my thoughts. My work is where my inner, most intimate thoughts come to life.
Larissa De Jesús Negrón, Promises, 2021. Hahnemühle German Etching.
An edition of 20 signed and numbered pieces created for the collaboration with Her Clique. 25% of sale proceeds from these works will benefit Safe Passage Project.
Could you talk us through your creative process?
I am a rather spontaneous and playful creator. I don’t feel the need to plan or sketch my paintings because I enjoy the process of seeing something new unfold in front of my eyes. I make paintings very regularly, creating is part of my routine because I reap the psychological benefits and also the success that comes with discipline. Depending on my mood, I will switch to a material that is the most satisfying for me in that moment. For example, if I am feeling anxious or stressed, I might use soft pastels. Working fast and using my fingers to blend helps me because the touch has more of a tendency to alleviate some of that anxiety and stress. I can also get inspired by a photograph or a video that I create and that can ultimately give birth to a painting. I love painting but I am at heart a multidisciplinary artist.