DORA: Artist Conversations with Nastassya LaRocco

As we approach DORA opening weekend, we are continuing our series of conversations with local female artists. Today’s post is with DORA production designer and artist Nastassya LaRocco. Nastassya has exhibited her work around California as the director of Less Than Zero, a one-woman collective of traditional art, vintage clothing, and pop culture curio. She mainly draws inspiration from architecture, movement, and television. As an Associate Artist with KOLT Run Creations, she has enjoyed a challenging and fruitful position as designer on many of our shows and, in 2010, she received an Elly nomination for her work on “Crime and Punishment.”
1. What type of art do you create? What themes does your work usually touch on?
My art, which has evolved into more of a curation of imagery, can span everything from traditional painting to clothing, to short videos and digital collage. I am obsessed with pop culture and television (both modern and decades past) and it bleeds over every aspect of my work.
2. What has your artistic journey been like up to this point? What has been your proudest achievement? What has been your biggest challenge?
I have to admit, I don’t feel that my journey as an artist has been particularly difficult – which either makes me a very shitty artist or a very lucky one. Maybe a little of both! I pride myself in artistic adaption, and whether that means I adapt my supplies to what is available to me, or modifying my vision to successfully achieve that of the project I’m working on. I love fitting my work into boxes, into a effective means of production. I liken myself to an artistic businessman. That gives me a lot of joy. My biggest challenge is finding the time to express the visions I am so consumed by internally. To bring them out externally takes more time than I usually have!
3. In Adoration of Dora, the role of Dora Maar is actually played by two actresses. One is Dora, the ego, consumed by the need to be seen and adored. The other is Maar, the id, who acts as Dora’s inner voice and inner critic pushing her to create her own work despite Picasso’s involvement in her life. How does your inner voice/inner critic articulate itself while you are working? Is it a positive or negative influence?
I think if you guys did a play about me, you’d need like, 20 actresses – LOL! I have 13 inner voices and 7 external ones. Some are positive, a lot are negative, but all are necessary. All perspectives are necessary to complete the trajectory of a successful project.
4. How has being a woman altered your perspective on being an artist? Are there difficulties you have faced as an artist solely because of your gender?
Truthfully, I feel like being a woman has helped me on a person-to-person, local level in the art world. People are too easily impressed by a female visual artist when met face to face, in my not-so-popular opinion. The difficulties come in on a national, and international level when you become just another female artist in a sea of other females. In this tiered system, where there should be camaraderie as there is in the local scene, there is cut-throat backtalk and the typical art world gossip. If you do not fit into the male-driven vision of a small, timid, white girl, you are all but ostracized (unless you come from money, which is a topic for another discussion.)  These things must change for all women in order to truly achieve international success, as true contenders in the famed ‘art world.’
5. Have you ever sat or been depicted by another artist? If so, what was that experience like?

I more or less refuse to do this, haha. I’m not interested in how others perceive me  at all. I hate having photographs of me taken, I’m not patient enough to sit for anyone!


ADORATION OF DORA opens Friday! Opening night is sold out, Saturday night has only 8 seats left and the rest of the run is filling quickly – so get your tickets online today!

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~ by KOLT Run Creations on October 19, 2015.

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