Artist Leila Cartier's fashion magazine collages are the definition of a beautiful mess.
Leila Cartier’s Green collage.
Leila Cartier, originally from coal-country Virginia and descendant of 15th-century explorer Jacques Cartier, is known for her explorations of nature and beauty through ornate paintings and collages. A graduate of elite art schools Moore College of Art and Design and the Art Institute of Chicago, her work is tinged with beautiful decay and controlled abundance: Spot the skull, lurking praying mantis, or slithering snake blended into her rich creations. Cartier’s new series of large collages in the shape of trees, on view March 18 to April 15 at Schmidt-Dean Gallery (1719 Chestnut St.), are fashioned from images of jewelry handcut from magazines. Here, she talks about her crafty creative process.
Work essentials: “English bluehandled Winsor & Newton watercolor brushes.” Art heroes: “Gustav Klimt, Pipilotti Rist, Sally Mann, Marilyn Minter, Andy Warhol.” Inspiration points: “Fashion magazines. I have stacks of torn out pages. I find it meditative to cut out the images. It’s borderline obsessive.” In the zone: “I’ll bring food and drinks so I don’t have to leave my studio. I’ve worked 10 hours straight, but you have to know when to stop so you don’t ruin things.” Words to live by: “During my undergrad year in Rome, my instructor, artist Stanley Whitney, said, ‘There’s already enough art in the world, so if you’re going to make art, you need to be serious about it.’”