content copyright 2019 Lisa Occhipinti/all rights reserved
Los Angeles + Portland
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Everything I do is a balance, a balance between the digital and the handmade, the organic and the graphic, the personal and the universal, the inner and the outer, and also the private and the public: the work I do that answers the questions I ask myself, and the work I do that answers the questions people ask of me. This balance is part of what keeps everything evolving, electric and endlessly interesting.
The work often consists of smaller pieces combined to make a greater whole. Pages in a book, stitches in a shape, forms in a sculpture, images in a composite. Combining smaller parts into a larger form creates strength from within, sometimes despite outward appearances. I work with materials and methods that can be considered delicate and feminine. Fabric, clothing, paper, thread; stitching, sewing, knotting, folding. Pliable and ubiquitous yet when combined and assembled, they strengthen, becoming resilient and distinct. These materials are tools to relate the stories I am compelled to tell. Often found materials are employed (books, clothing) because they are artifacts that carry with them their own stories that thicken the plot. Self-prescribed queries ultimately lead to answers about identity, and how we each live our lives. Every piece aims to draw a line between our inner workings and our outward appearances and how we connect to one another as individuals.
Transforming things rather than always creating anew, Lisa constructs her works so that they lend their own histories. She creates bespoke sculptural assemblages that utilize the book as a metaphor for humanity and that embrace its physical form, as well as soft sculptures made from found textiles. She also creates photographs embroidered with pattern that merge narrative and design, that counterpoint her hand-bound artist books. She has written and illustrated Novel Living and The Repurposed Library. Some of Lisa’s work has been included Papercraft and she is a contributing essayist to The Laws of Subtraction.
With a BA in fine art, Lisa has studied in France with Parsons School of Design and in Italy with the School of Visual Arts. She was a faculty member at the New Hampshire Institute of Art for five years and coordinated and taught their first summer abroad program, at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughn, Ireland. She has also taught at the Art Center at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH and the Brentwood Art Center, the Craft and Folk Art Museum and the Marlborough School, all in Los Angeles..
Lisa received a fellowship from the Clowes Fund for a full residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson VT, and won residencies at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in Woodstock NY, and at Zygote Press in Cleveland, OH. She has spoken on the role of books in the digital age at a TedX Talk as well as at CalPoly San Luis Obispo. Her work is in private and corporate collections worldwide.