Eugenia Loli’s psychedelic pictures rocked 2011’s Tumblr community and made her art famous worldwide overnight. The Greek filmmaker and digital collage artist has even been featured in The Age of Collage, by Gestalten, which dedicated several pages to include her amongst the most influential contemporary artists. Her narrative vintage inspired imagery always conveys a message, while her original work is hosted in numerous galleries around the world as well as in glossy magazine editorials.
Loli recently made her way into the fashion realm, via her collaboration with the internationally acclaimed Australian fashion house Alice McCall.
After about a decade in the technology sector, where she worked as a programmer and later as a tech journalist, she made the decision that a career change was necessary.
“I kind of had enough of it,” Eugenia Loli tells Neos Kosmos. “Additionally, my health deteriorated and I couldn’t work any more in these fields. So I stayed at home, and art was what came out of it eventually.”
Her art only flourished again when she recovered in 2011. Having worked in multiple fields, her experimentation on different methods that interested her led to the creation of her signature expressionistic style.
“My career in technology originally inspired me to do some tech-related collages about privacy and encryption, which didn’t fly well with the more artsy viewers,” she admits.
“It helped me establish myself as an artist though, as I knew how to use my tools properly and take advantage of social media in a more tight way than most other collage artists did.”
Collage art, though, was not the same back in the day as it is today. Most artists were doing the ‘dada’ style, which is nonsensical and didn’t quite resonate with Eugenia’s personality.
“I didn’t like it back then, and I don’t particularly like that style today either.”
It wasn’t until 2010-2011 that a new, more ‘pop’ and retro-futuristic style started growing among artists, particularly emerging on the Tumblr website.
“That style was easier to get into, and more magnificent. It was then that I fell in love with it overnight,” she tells.
Loli originally liked the Magritte-like collages of Julien Pacaud, but eventually found her own style while discovering artists like Cur3es, Glassplanet and David Delruelle, who worked in more creative ways, producing original ideas.
“I own 750 vintage magazines, mostly from the 1950s and 1960s, which is where the imagery comes for all of my collages,” she explains.
“What most intrigues me is film. I’m not very affected by my immediate surroundings. Movies are able to carry more meaning and emotion than a static image.”
Whilst browsing her vast collection of vintage magazines, she’ll find an inspiring image and then start building a ‘situation’ on top of it, by trying an array of different mediums and ideas. Sometimes the work seems witty or sarcastic, other times horrific with a sense of danger or urgency. Sometimes the image creates a peaceful, Utopian effect, nevertheless, Eugenia’s signature surrealistic appeal makes sure the viewer gets ‘hooked’.
“It’s important for me to ‘say’ something with my artwork, so for the vast majority of my work there’s a meaning behind it,” Eugenia continues.
“I usually do this via presenting a ‘narrative’ scene in my collages, like there’s something bigger going on than what’s merely depicted.
“Surrealism was originally about exploring the dream world. Today, it’s both an aesthetic and also a quick peek at meta-psychedelic experiences and meanings. My works lately include spiritual meanings and imagery, so I’m definitely inspired by it.
“I leave it to the viewer’s imagination to fill in the blanks of the story plot, especially for my more abstract pieces,” she says.
“The interpretation is … generally up in the air, but for my more simple ones, the title I choose usually helps to identify the meaning behind each work.”
Eugenia is working on developing a sci-fi TV script at the moment but keeps returning to Greece in the back of her mind.
“I feel very connected to my heritage as I am 100 per cent Greek, and visit Greece almost every year,” she says.
“If Greece’s financial problems resolve and the situation stabilises, I will be retiring in Greece and relocating to my father’s village in Epirus.”