100 Colorado Creatives: Marie Vlasic

Marie Vlasic, "Red," oil on board. Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles.
#11: Marie Vlasic

Like many of her portrait subjects, painter Marie Vlasic has nothing to hide. There's no pretense to her hyper-realistic work: She paints what she sees -- a lot of it skin, much of that skin tatted and otherwise permanently decorated. But her visual observations also peer deeply into what lies beneath each model's in-your-face physical presence, and the result is stunning and unsettling. In recent years, Vlasic has headed to Black Rock City with a camera to photograph denizens of Burning Man that she later reinterprets into paintings. Called the Black Rock Portrait Project, it's Vlasic's kismet concept, perfectly suited to her style.

What inspires Marie Vlasic? Get a closer look by reading her 100CC questionnaire, which follows.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Pangloss Gravitron

Photo by Anthony Camera.
If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

I'll be perfectly honest, I'm not much of a collaborator. I'm more of a lone-wolf sort of artist. I'm usually too neurotic and controlling to play nicely with others, but that being said, there are definitely a few people it would have been amazing to know. The first artist that comes to mind is DaVinci. The man was obviously brilliant, but so much more than just that. I really admire his multidisciplinary inventiveness and dedication, not to mention he seems to have been a bit of a rebel. I like that. I would have so much to learn from him. Andy Warhol would be fascinating -- there was so much more to him than that vacant facade he showed the world. I'd love to get a peak inside that brain.

Alexander McQueen would definitely be on my list. He was an astounding designer. His fashion was art, and I'm still so in love with his aesthetic. And Chuck Close. He is my idol. I'd wash his paint brushes, cook his breakfast -- heck, I'd probably lick the wheels of his chair just to spend a little time in the studio with him.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

I've been kind of obsessed with Bill Murray lately. Whether the stories about him are true or not (I dearly hope they are true), they are fascinating. He is so completely his own man, living on his own terms without giving a hoot what anyone thinks. He's having a great time just being Bill. This is a trait I want for myself. I care far too much what other people think. Mr. Murray is my personal hero. And I'd really love to paint him.

On the art front, I'm currently enamored with Yumiko Kayukawa, Van Arno, Will Cotton, David LaChappelle and Nick Cave, among others. Imagination and decadence is the common thread with these artists. I may be a decent painter, but I feel I lack the imagination of these amazing talents. I'm working on incorporating this more and more into my work and am excited about breaking out of my artistic shell, so to speak, through the influence of these artists.

Continue reading for more from Marie Vlasic.

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