Today the Venice Paparazzi spotlight shines a light on Artist Sandra Zebi.
Give us a brief bio of yourself:
I am an artist from São Paulo, Brazil who came to visit Los Angeles and ended up falling in love with the city, especially Venice, and decided to stay. I began my career in Venice 30 years ago, where I had an art studio that I shared with other local artists. My attraction to Venice was the mix of different cultures, eccentric personas, the creative energy, and the beautiful bike path; which all make me feel at home. My two children grew up in Venice, and my studio was their second home. Currently, I am part of the Venice Art Crawl and I support the local community.
Tell us about your art. Describe your style, and what influences it?
My work is primarily ceramics and mixed media paintings. I have developed my own creative style with distinct and vibrant colors, and simple designs. I like to create cheerful and graceful images that convey positive messages that make people feel good. My style is influenced by artist’s such as Picasso and Gaudi as well as my Brazilian culture. My art is also inspired by people and landscapes of Los Angeles.
How many years, and how did you get into it?
I first discovered my love for ceramics when I was 21 years old and took private classes in Brazil with a professional sculpture artist. Once I moved to LA, I began working for a potter that was based in Venice. During this time, she became my mentor and I learned how to make functional ceramics in an efficient way. After 2 years I decided to start a ceramic studio where I could create my own functional ceramics and start my own business. I have been working as an artist for the past thirty years.
Biggest accomplishment or favorite art show?
My biggest accomplishment was a public sculpture I was commissioned to make for the city of Inglewood. This sculpture was placed in front of the Inglewood City Hall for 15 years. I am also very proud of a public mural I made for the Brazilian Mall in Culver City, which depicts Brazilian history.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently I am working on a new series of large sculptures of women’s heads. This series is made up of women from different cultures and they each have their own personality. I am experimenting different materials for their hair and using different types of paint for the surface. I am also working on a project that is inspired by my original series of extra large cup-shaped lamps, made from mixed media.
How are you surviving Covid-19 and the lockdowns? What moves or pivots have you made?
On a personal level, I am taking care of myself by going on long walks with my dog, going to the ocean, watching biographical documentaries, and spending a lot of time in my studio. Because of the social limitations of showing my art publicly and having people visit my studio, I am spending more time learning how to use social media and online representation to market my work and connect with other artists and the wider public.
Anything else that you want to share with our readers? Announcements, upcoming events, etc.
My work is now being featured on an online 2021 exhibit of the Artfully Spaced Gallery. The exhibit is titled 360 Degrees of Healing.
Let’s get to know you!
Success for me is to be able to create art that people appreciate and want to have in their houses. It is the freedom to be creative and work with what I love the most, and look forward to going to work.
What is the best advice you have received:
The best advice I have ever received is from a good friend of mine who at the beginning of my career told me to reflect my Brazilian culture in my designs.
Finish off the statement “Art is…
“Art is a happy place in my soul. It is a place where I can express myself and have the freedom to be who I want to be.”
Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote:
Two of my favorite singers are Marisa Monte and Amy Winehouse.
List 1-2 things on your “post covid” bucket list?
Two things on my “post covid” bucket list are to apply for an art residence abroad and to socialize at art openings.
Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world? Fun facts or accomplishments.
I like to have fun by seeing live music, swimming in the open ocean, and riding my bike.
How many years in Venice?
Venice is a special place with a beautiful beach and charming houses. Venice has a mix of different people and cultures and is surrounded by creativity. It has been a “happening” place forever, where the freedom of expression is everywhere. At the same time, it has always had a dark side with crime and crazy people, which adds character but isn’t a fit for everyone. It is a desirable destination for creative people that are looking for a place that will bring inspiration and allow you to live a live without borders.
What do you do for fun in Venice during Covid times?
I have been going for long walks at the beach and on the canals, enjoying the beautiful gardens, and going to the farmers market.
What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?
My craziest experience was in the studio that I shared with two other artists in Venice. One night one of the artists spent the night in the studio and was visited by a ghost. We called a ghost buster that identified the ghost as a Shepard that came from the artist’s art work. After few weeks of all being terrified, a spiritual healer was able to send the friendly ghost away using prayers and essential oils.
What’s your involvement with the Venice Art Crawl?
What do you love about the Venice Art Crawl?
Anything else about Venice that you would like to say?
Venice was the first place that I visited and lived when I came to USA. It was love at first site. The boardwalk was my first impression of America, which was definitely exotic. Venetians are a special kind of human being, they are professionals at living the best life.
Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?
I would put the spotlight on Dcastro, a Venetian artist who has had an art studio off the boardwalk for the past 10 years.