Passion for Painting in di Genova’s SEXY CITYSCAPES

The Wild East / Arts & Entertainment

Starting this month, two American artists Trista di Genova and Megan Angele are exhibiting their work in a two-woman show at DV8 in Taipei, opening this Sunday 2pm-2am. The two are featured in this month’s Centered on Taipei magazine.

Trista di Genova is an Oxford- and Bekeley-educated scholar who grew up in Arizona, traveled the world and then made Taiwan her home for the past 12 years. She’s had several solo shows in Taiwan, notably Contemplating Lilies (2005), BuddhaFish (2008), The Wild East Show (2007) and In Remembrance of Virtue Street (2009).

The Wild East: How do you feel when your style is described as ‘a sexy Picasso’?
Trista di Genova: Ha! It’s an honor, of course. I don’t really care for how Picasso painted the female figure, so I’m glad that my style is, presumably, sexier!

The WE: What life experiences most influenced you as an artist?
Trista: I’ve always been on fire to learn about the lives and works of the great artists. My education comes from visiting all the major art museums in Europe. I credit my artist older brother Jac Genovese; and my satellite outtasite father, too, the wood/clay sculptor Chip Fyn. When I was still a babe, he quit his engineering job, set off to California in a school bus and opened his own art gallery. So I spent summers in his artists’ colony in Pollock Pines, California. There, I was transfixed, fascinated with the metaphysical, spiritual paintings of a woman artist there, White Cloud.

One of Trista's recent works, 'L'esprit du bar', Spirit of the Bar, DV8.
The WE: Is there a definitive moment when you started on The Path of The Artist?
Trista: Yes, in 1996. In Paris, my buddy Tylr was crashing on the floor of my tiny chambre de bonne, rue Casimir Pinel, near the Bois de Boulogne. That’s where I started painting. Initially, it was purely therapeutic. After a short time our ‘exhibition’ covered my entire wallspace and we started envisioning the place as an art museum! Good times! I wrote about the experience in my novel, Chameleon de Neuilly.

The WE: You’re from Arizona. Does this inspire you or influence your style in any way?
Trista: Arizonans are fiercely independent people than most, I suppose. Also, the work of (Ettore) DeGrazie was always ‘around’ in my youth in Tucson, where he had his Gallery in the Sun. I think something about his colorful Impressionist rendering of southwest native cultures deeply influenced me.

The WE:Do you remember your first painting?
Trista: Yes, it was a watercolor painted on the back of a brown paper bag from the supermarket! The subject: ‘Napoleon in the buff’. There’s some prose with it, about Napoleon slipping away from his armies, heading deep into the forest, where he communes with nature by stripping down and getting naked. My mom still has it somewhere!

The WE: You stopped painting for a few years. Why?
Trista: After several shows only two paintings were sold, and discouraged because painting just wasn’t justifying the time and energy put into it. Like my brother’s song, “Art don’t pay”! So I did the practical, Taiwanese thing, and switched focus of my energies in my writing and teaching career for a while, working in private schools whilst founding my own Lone Wolf Publishing.

The WE:Who are the artists you most admire, besides yourself of course!
Trista: So many the European Surrealists, Cubists and Impressionists. Like Salvador Dali, Frida of course, Marcel Duchamp, Monet, Marc Chagall. Then there are the Classical works of the Renaissance, Ancient Greece and mosaics of Pompeii. I’m liking Cezanne right now, in my Tamsui landscapes.

The WE: What are your future plans, as an artist?
Trista:I’d love to study at the Uffizi Gallery one of these summers. My dream is to enter the International Biennale system. My next move is to find a gallery in Shanghai to show my work, since Shanghai apparently has one of the world’s best art markets.

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