Today the Venice Paparazzi shines a light on artist MB Boissonnault.
A message from MB Boissonnault:
I grew up in Vermont, moved to Europe as a teen, lived there for a decade, then came to the West Coast to expand my horizons in painting and living. As a challenge to myself a few years ago, it became my obsession to paint waves with a whole new perspective, no kitchy-ness allowed!!
As a student of the Duesseldorf Art Academy, studying painting under Dutch artist Jan Dibbets, the foundations of old-world European art-making and German Expressionism were the first building blocks of my art exploration. Obsessing over the vibrancy and juxtapositions of paint, I have cultivated color and light skills to create planet-inspired, expanded vistas for my artwork. Being a 22-year participant in the Los Angeles and Venice, CA art scene, I have developed a unique and deep visual relationship with my coastal community. The nature and light of my neighborhood,and the land I live on and water I swim in, affect my artistic expression with dream-like atmospheres.
My art business has been designated as a “Trusted Art Seller” with The Art Storefronts Organization, which means you can shop with confidence, and know that I stand behind the quality and value of my products.
MB Boissonnault was honored with the Legendary Women Artists of Venice Award in 2020. The award recognizes the contribution of Women to the Arts and their profound impact on society. Save the date March 17th for the 2022 Legendary Women Artists of Venice Award ceremony at Hotel Erwin. Details on VeniceArtCrawl.com
Let’s get to know MB Boissonnault!
How many years in Venice?
23, moved here 3 weeks after visiting the 1st time. Knew it was for me.
Give us a brief bio of yourself:
- Raised in Bennington VT, in the woods, with many dogs as friends.
- First exposure to art was at Bennington College while doing odd jobs there. Went to School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for 2 years but was not finding my way. Accepted at 20 to the Art Academy of Duesseldorf, Germany.
- Recipient of scholarship to Cite DesArts in Paris, France.
- “Legendary Women Artists of Venice” 2020
- June 2022 Artist in Residence at the 3.1Art.Saissac House in Saissac, France
Tell us about your art. Describe your style, and what influences it?
My artistic style has very much to do with the location I reside in–Venice, CA– and how the light + water influence every aspect of our collective community. I’ve combined the old-world painting influence from a decade of living/studying/working in Europe with the fresh, bright style of CA artists of the light+ space movement. My spiritual journey also very much influences my work and it’s now a much bigger mix of the depth of art history and the exploration of one small human standing in the cosmos. The waves I paint are meant to be portals of energetic movement and flowing depictions of our climate, Earth’s and our very own personal climate.
How many years, and how did you get into it?
I’ve been making art since I was a child, drawing incessantly and then learning calligraphy at 13. I made some of my first money doing wedding invitations and personal love poems for my community.
Biggest accomplishment or favorite show?
My favorite show was the last show I put on in my studio, right before covid hit + I had to shut down.
(It is now been taken over by Gjusta Goods) Olympio (Togo) Dennis Miranda (Mexico City) Onsept (Paris, France) and I showed and it was just a real solid group of like-minded painters. It also turned into a very good party, which always helps ; )
Tell us about some of your favorite pieces.
The best pieces are the ones that really move people, that bring them to tears or even that upset them with how much they DON’T like them. I remember how upset many folks were at the Academy when I made a huge painting of a stealth bomber flying over the Grand Canyon because I was so fed up with being identified as “the American Girl.”
Now that I’ve grown as an artist, the best pieces are immediately identifiable.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m doing a commission for a wonderful couple in Santa Cruz, CA for their 1st house together, and I’m actually doing NFTs, which is going very well. I’m dropping an NFT series for VICA (Venice Institute of Contemporary Arts) in their stable of artists and am committed to helping get that institution funded and built.
A few personal questions:
Success = happiness at home, having super-happy dogs, healthy food to eat every day and being loved as much as you love others.
What is the best advice you have received?
If you know a painting isn’t good enough, be brave enough to destroy it — Jan Dibbets (my incredible Dutch Professor)
How are you surviving Covid-19 and the lockdowns? What moves or pivots have you made?
Shutting down my studio on Sunset Ave. was the best decision made, because it forced me into the NFT experience after not being able to paint in a large space, as I was used to. I also forced myself to sit for the last few months and build an online art store with reproductions and gifts. When you run a studio and paint all day for exhibitions and clients, you can forget all other aspects of your business, or believe that “commerce” is unnecessary. I’ve also been able to learn a lot more about plant medicine and have gone much deeper into my practice of ancient methods of tincture and oil making.
Finish off the statement “Art is…
Art is the gas in my fuel tank.
Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote?
“The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood” — Voltaire
Favorite book, band or movie?
- Revenant — favorite movie
- Die Antwoord — favorite music
- Candide –favorite book
List 1-2 things on your bucket list?
Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world? Fun facts or accomplishments.
I’m in love with donkeys (esp. rescue ) and live to have a couple one day.
Venice is this unprecedented union of high-brow and low-brow, high-end and low-end, where the air can literally tingle with excitement and energy from all the souls vibing on one magnetized piece of land + sea. we had a really great thing going, where every walk of life was here, creating , mingling, expressing. Not sure we’ll manage to get that back without a major reduction in rents, or even better, an implementation of a whole new style of community, which we should really try for and be the forerunners of.
What do you do for fun in Venice during Covid times?
We built a “Covid-Times Tent” over our back patio and made it into a very cool living space for yoga, meditation, coffee, drinks and friend-sessions –where our closest peeps can come and hang out and let go. It’s important to create a feeling in a space thru what you put in it and how those things make one feel + see. Everyone who comes into the tent says they immediately experience a major mellowing, a release, an openness to talk + share. I love that these crazy times brought us that.
What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?
I met one of my best friends in the world, Jamuna, a profoundly spiritual and uber-human seer and thinker, in the dumpster of my old studio at 4th + Vernon (when 20 of us were evicted for “renovations” and invited back for 3X the rent) As fast as I was throwing things out, he was gathering them up to assist homeless friends down the block.
Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?
Achille –my neighbor + “long-board dancing” creator and engineer @ Google