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Featured Artist: Vuori Scorpion

Updated: Jan 3, 2022

Decadent's first ever featured artist!!

I am beyond thrilled to feature Vuori Scorpion (they/them) on the blog this week. Vuori has been unbelievably generous and thoughtful in their responses to my millions of questions and I am very excited to share their thoughts and artwork with y'all today.

Vuori Scorpion, photo by Natalie Kissell

Interview with Vuori Scorpion:

Hi Vuori! Let's begin with where you're from (interpret that however you want).

I am from a small, docile town in South Dakota! A place aesthetically comparable to Courage the Cowardly Dog.

What’s life looking like right now? Any big plans for the future? Any important milestones you passed in the past year?

This past year. Wow this past year.

In December of 2019, I graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Business. In January of 2020, I became the manager for one of my favorite local acts here in the Twin Cities, as well as was offered (and started) my first “adult job” right after I graduated.

In February of 2020, I backpacked solo through Europe for the entire month and got home literally a week before they put the travel ban in place. The rest is self explanatory. I don’t think I could forget this year even if I somehow misplaced my brain.

What are you listening to right now?

Music in other languages! Mainly Portuguese, Russian and 70s/80s Japanese rock.

How do you like to start your day?

As slowly as possible.

I fall into the category of people who start their day with all dials on high before their eyes fully open.

Being able to gently appreciate the morning is a luxury. That being said, I love to get up and make some sort of art and sip on some black coffee. It’s simple, but brings me back down to earth.

Works in progress, Vuori Scorpion

What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired? Has that changed because of quarantine?

Conventionally, I try to mix up my routine as much as possible. Even in the most minute ways, like taking a shower at a different time of day or switching up what vegetable I choose at the grocery store. It makes such a difference in the diversification between days.

Less conventionally, I remember listening to an artist who often creates illustrations for the New York Times talk about how, all of the time as an artist, but especially when uninspired, you shouldn’t wait for inspiration to come to you to start creating. Rather, you should just start creating and know you will eventually start pushing yourself in a certain direction.

Personally, that thought alone is an incredible provocation to start creating something, anything.

Are you reading anything good these days?

I’m sadly not reading anything at the moment, I’ve been having too hard of a time focusing! But I am studying Brazilian Portugese!

When I do read, it’s always about the macabre. Death and all sorts of creepy sciences. I almost went to school for Thanatology, so it’s my chance to learn about it on my own.

What art projects are you up to these days?

At any given time, I have between three to five projects going. When I stall with one, I can simply move onto whichever calls me.

However, something I’ve never done before which I am currently working on is an intentional series of paintings.

The inspiration for this series comes from the fact that I used to see faces on the ceiling as a child, which absolutely terrified me. I thought these faces were the devil.

Then, one night as an adult, I saw them again, only this time they no longer scared me. I photographed the patterns to the best of my ability and they’re now becoming one of seven or so paintings embodying this specific change, and on a general, holistic level, what it means to not be afraid anymore, and to find artistry or peace in that which was once frightening.

A few pieces from the "faces" series:

"Tortilla", Acrylic paint and an actual tortilla on canvas, Vuori Scorpion

"Charmer", Acrylic paint on canvas, Vuori Scorpion

I loved what you had to say about your source of inspiration. You wrote

What inspires me the most is simply consciously consuming as much art as possible, either in a museum or on a social media platform like Instagram. They exemplify and reiterate that art does not exist as one, sole idea or fit into one box. It is as infinite as you allow it, both as a creator and a consumer.”

Could you expand on the idea of “consciously consuming” art? I think that we hear the term “conscious” applied to consumption a lot these days, especially in terms of the ecological and ethical impact of our consumption, but it means something different when it comes to art. What are your thoughts on that?

We constantly passively consume art. Whether it’s the oversized band t-shirt we wear to bed every night, the song playing in the grocery store, etc.

That isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing, rather it's just the nature of the beast.

But when I want to consciously consume art, I try to pause actually slow down with it, as if it’s alive. As if it is just me and the art in a still moment.

Maybe a certain piece of art is the favorite of the artist. Maybe it was what they created because they were in a transitional phase.

Which part couldn’t they stand to look at? Which was the most interesting to them? What hidden meaning could be in a certain section?

An infinite amount of curiosities. As artists, we know that we place these concepts in our art all the time, so I want to appreciate them in others.

In doing so, not only does it bring you closer to the work of art, but it translates to your own work. And the more art you do this with, the more you understand that there is no such thing as good or bad art.

There is only art, and it is important solely because it is created.

"Lily Perish", Acrylic paint on canvas, Vuori Scorpion, (NOT a part of the "faces" series)

Have you always loved art or was there some experience with art in particular that inspired your love for it?

Honestly, I grew up as the “creative” kid, which explains a lot now. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love creating. The passion to do so has only increased as my years have.

I want to hear more about your experience as an artist in 2020. You said,

“There’s a sense of chaotic relief, and it translates personally over to creation. A large percentage of the population is realizing how little of what used to be our day to day lives actually matters. Nothing makes sense and for me personally, I take that and apply it to my art. It’s enhanced liberation within being quarantined.”

First of all, can you explain exactly what you mean by “chaotic relief”? I think that is a very unique pairing of words and I would love to hear why you think it captures an aspect of your experience this year.

The vast majority, if not the entirety, of life as we once knew it has changed and is now uncertain.

How we learn, how we find comfort, how we get coffee from our immortal hole-in-the-wall spots, the strangers we pass on the way to get said coffee, how we make money, how we spend our money, our day to day.
Even the mundane is now unstable.

Within a reality where nothing makes complete sense anymore, there’s a sense of liberation. Boundaries are removed, artistic or otherwise.

What has always been there is now gone.

For others, it means learning how to bake bread or simply enjoying downtime they previously didn’t have. For me, it means creating whatever comes naturally, be it sculpture or painting or multimedia photography.

My art has always been unorganized, rapid, and boneless. I wanted it to be as abstract as possible. I thought I wasn’t pleasing the artist in my mind if it wasn’t non-realistic enough.

Now it just doesn't matter, my art doesn’t have to be any, singular thing - because we understand how little actually matters. I make whatever I want to make, and I feel as though I am more in touch with my authentic, creative self than I’ve ever been.

What a relief amidst so much chaos.

"Gary", Ink and acrylic paint on canvas, Vuori Scorpion

Thank you SO much, Vuori!

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