Jamie Rice does beautiful, colorful mixed media work. You'll notice the images she uses to manipulate for her art - Frida Kahlo, Venus, Albert Einstein and more, she calls them "remixes." Jaime will be presenting her work at this weekend's Coconut Grove Arts Festival, which runs Feb. 17-19, 2018.
TOM: Jamie I love the art, I think my favorite is Frida Kahlo, is this one of your favorites, or rather, which one did you paint first?
JAMIE: Thanks! I have a brand new Frida Kahlo I created especially for Coconut Grove. Visually, my favorites are the new pieces with the 3D gold leafed sculpture, such as Medusa’s gold snakes, or Frida’s golden antlers. When displayed indoors these pieces are dynamic, sparkling differently as the lighting changes throughout the day. Personally, I find my color palette (pastel flamingo pinks and light aquas) to be therapeutic. I kept “Liberty Leading the People-Remix” in my home before it sold because I found that the colors elevated my mood.
TOM: What famous artist, dead or alive, would you want to paint your portrait?
JAMIE: Salvador Dali. He’s the boss. Alex Gray would be a close second choice.
TOM: What medium do you work in?
JAMIE: Mixed media. I begin with a traditional black and white oil painting and then add layers of imagery and bold, abstract elements that help tell a story. Lately I’ve been hand sculpting 3D pieces to enhance the images and using lots of gold leaf, chains and anything that “pops”. Everything is coated in an ultra high gloss material that brings out all of the bright colors and enhances all the hidden detail.
TOM: Tell us about your studio or workspace.
JAMIE: I’ve got a nice spot in Dallas, TX with tall white brick walls and lots of natural light. I have no living room, just a studio. It’s quite a quintessential artsy space.
TOM: Tell me about the [email protected]#k series. What is that all about?
JAMIE: I brought them out for a Christmas show with the tagline “If you have no more fux to give, this holiday season, I’ve got you covered.”
My family is British, and swearing just seems more acceptable in the UK. You can still be posh and say “[email protected]” there, so I wanted to play with beautifying the most favored, dynamic swear word of the English language. My overall style could be described as “pastel grunge”, a little pretty, with a little edge, so these are a fun complement to my fine art body of work.
While I’m almost never allowed to sell them, my customers love them. Interestingly, the people who buy them the most are the exact kind of people we might worry would be offended. Dads are buying them for teenage daughters. Women are buying them for their coworkers and employees. Grandmas are buying them as gifts. Virtually no one has been upset by them.
TOM: I noticed the Spy vs Spy piece. Are you a comics fan? Do you have any favorite comic strips?
JAMIE: One of my recurring themes is “Liberty.” I was creating a piece about the 4th amendment when the story of the NSA spying had come to light. I needed something to symbolize the message and speak to the timelessness of the issue. Spy v Spy was the perfect choice, showing how the same issues were as relevant 50-60 years ago as they are now.
The Spies creator, political cartoonist, Antonio Prohias, was exiled from Cuba for being too critical of Fidel Castro. He created the iconic cartoon in1961, parodying the cold war antics for Mad Magazine. While children of the time may have enjoyed the high jinks, Spy v. Spy was an insightful political commentary about two warring entities being virtually identical, wreaking havoc, in excess. Prohias’ personal story is as much a part of my message as the characters themselves. Other aspects of the painting include current events and modern day symbolism related to the 4th amendment. My political pieces are intended to explore universal core principles rather than any kind of partisan, (black spy v white spy) ideas.
TOM: Is this your first time in the Coconut Grove Arts Festival? Are you familiar with the festival?
JAMIE: This may be my 4th or 5th time here. My first time was as an emerging artist when I first started out. I was so grateful for the opportunity and all the help they offered us. I met wonderful collectors right off the bat, many of whom come back to visit each year. The experience gave me the confidence to pursue this as a full time career. I’m proud to be returning this year with a huge double booth full of new work and hope not to disappoint my fabulous Miami collectors.
TOM: What do you like about the Grove?
JAMIE: I love it! This is my favorite city for art festivals. My aesthetic fits perfectly with the Miami style and people always seem enthusiastic about my work here. I do the South Miami Rotary Arts Festival the weekend following Coconut Grove, so I get to spend the week delivering paintings to gorgeous homes and hanging out on beautiful beaches. One delivery took us to Key West just in time to see the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. Not too shabby for a work week.
See more of Jamie's work at her website: jamiericeart.com