ARTIST PATRICIA COLLI
Pacolli is the fantastic, super fab artwork by Brazilian born artist Patricia Colli! It’s young and colorful, with a bit of a punk rock twist…just like the artist. We just can’t get enough of her artwork and were ecstatic when the artist agreed to a feature with her artwork, as well as an interview for Ponyboy. Let’s watch her soar! All artwork courtesy of Pacolli http://www.pacollipacolli.com/ https://www.instagram.com/pacolli/?hl=en
PONYBOY: Patricia! We’re big fans of your fantastic artwork! Tell us your background.
PACOLLI: Thank you! I’m a big fan of PONYBOY! I was born in São Paulo (Brazil). I grew up playing drums in indie rock bands and going to punk concerts. My mom lived between all the drag queen bars in the city, so I hung out there too from a very early (under) age. I went to a Catholic Italian school and spent most of my teenage years rebelling against it.
PONYBOY: Ha! Sounds fun. So how did you get into art? Did you go to school for it?
PACOLLI: I went to college and graduated in Communication and TV/Radio Broadcasting. I always had a sketchbook in hand, but would never show anyone. Art was my secret escape from the real world. Eventually I started sharing on Fotolog and people actually liked my drawings; it was weird for me. I’m self-taught and was just having fun with art! When I worked for MTV I found some financial stability and had a bigger apartment, and artists and musicians would crash there. And I learned a lot about making art by watching them paint and collaborating with everyone. That’s when I started screen printing and getting invitations to be in art shows.
PONYBOY: Your work is fun, colorful and very sweet – yet with a twisted sense of humor. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
PACOLLI: I’m a huge John Waters fan! I connected with his work when I was kicked out of Catholic school. Since then, I learned to put on my John Waters goggles and find humor in most things. Inspiration comes from everywhere. I live in the Tenderloin in San Francisco, and my neighborhood is crazy… I love it and hate it at the same time, but there’s some characters here for sure and it’s never boring.
PONYBOY: Tell us about your technique and mediums that you work in.
PACOLLI: Being self-taught is cool in the sense that you can create your own way of doing something. I found my way of printmaking, so I didn’t have to have the equipment and would not have to print the same image over and over again. My way is freestyle screen print – no paper, wood panel or garment will look the same. Each of them will tell a different story. Always edition 1 of 1. It takes much longer, but it’s more fun to print this way!
There’s also the mini stickers pieces I’ve been doing for a while, where I paste hundreds of small round, hand drawn stickers into a wood panel to create a bigger piece. I like trying out different mediums and printmaking techniques. I also just tried riso printing for the first time. I think everything is an experiment and learning possibility.
PONYBOY: Who would you say your favorite artists are?
PACOLLI: Christian Clayton is such a great artist. I love how freely he works with different medias and creates his own dreamy world. It’s so moving. Daniel Clowes has always been a big reference for me, too. I had my own Ghost World moment when I showed his book to an art teacher and she told me that was not art. I left the art class and never came back. He is an amazing artist, his originals are insane and the way he tells a story is perfect. Sister Corita Kent has to be on this list, because how can you not love a nun that stayed up all night screen printing and making art? She included her community in her art and shared her love of art with everyone. She was fierce! Banksy is on his own pace, ahead of time. I’m a big fan of a bunch of artists! I collect art (and t-shirts).
PONYBOY: Where has your work been exhibited?
PACOLLI: At Pictures on Walls in London (UK), Needles and Pens in San Francisco (US), Choque Cultural (São Paulo), Galerie Mekanik in Antwerp (BE), Giant Robot in Los Angeles (US), Krets Gallery in Malmo (SE), Heist Gallery in San Francisco (US), 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco (US), Together Gallery in Portland (US), AR4T Gallery in Laguna Beach (US), Webb Gallery in Texas (US), FFDG in San Francisco (US), New Image Art in LA (US), Think Thank in LA (US), Empire Seven Studios in San Jose (US), The Gallery in San Francisco (US), and the list goes on.
PONYBOY: Your work also pops up on clothing?
PACOLLI: Yes. I’m always screen printing something, either commission pieces or t-shirts and sweatshirts, as well as blankets that I add to our online shop – High in the Bay https://highinthebay.bigcartel.com/
PONYBOY: You are Brazilian born, but now reside and work in San Francisco. What brought about your move?
PACOLLI: I was traveling a lot and almost all the opportunities I had art wise were abroad. I was crashing on people’s couches and meeting artists in real life that I’ve know for years online. I kept coming back to San Francisco just to hang out and make art for shows I had in LA. I don’t drive, so San Francisco was perfect and it was cheaper back then. In the meantime, I started dating a local artist, David Heinbokel, aka Mildred, and we were making art together all the time. It was so much fun, so I moved here. It’s been 9 years, now all the printmaking I do are mostly collaborations between us both. Our styles merge nicely and we learn a lot from each other.
PONYBOY: What’s been your favorite project to work on so far?
PACOLLI: I have a special place in my heart for my solo show at Picture on Walls in London. They brought me there to sign one print, but we ended up making 3 prints and an art show. They hooked me up with an amazing assistant and the freedom to do whatever I wanted. The riots had just broken in London around the gallery area, but nothing could stop us. The team was so supportive and loving. It was another level we really vibed on. The whole experience was amazing and gave me confidence to keep on doing what I was doing.
PONYBOY: What would you say is your dream project?
PACOLLI: I would love to collaborate with a fashion designer in a whole collection. I’ve done a few pieces for a collection before, but I would like to do more, for example, paint the set and and go overboard and screen print everything and have more of an art direction part in it all. I love collaborating with other creative people – it keeps ideas fresh and open to different possibilities.
PONYBOY: What do you have in store for your artwork in the future?
PACOLLI: I’ve been quietly working on new material for a publication that I can’t talk much about it, but I’m really excited because it brings me back to my sketchbooks and drawing everyday.
There’s also a collaboration with a Brazilian photographer, my friend Fabio da Motta. He ties me up shibari style and covers my whole face with hand drawn mini stickers. The photos are cool and we want to keep on coming up with more ideas for the shootings. Last time we met we added some friends to the series and plan to publish a compilation of the work when it’s done. We call it Sticker Bomb Faceless.