In Conversation with:
Interview by Durga Chew-Bose.
The women who occupy artist Amber Vittoria’s world take up space. Their forms are undisguised, alive, and moving. They hold your attention with a vibrancy that is unafraid, pushing the female form into something more fanciful. Color, rubbery limbs, big noses, bizarre and lovely postures, tiny heads, heeled boots that seem to appear from tangled and ballooning bodies—all of it is loud and hyperbolic, fantastic in its total disregard for moderation. Vittoria’s work appeals to our imagination, and also, how tired we are, how delicious it is to see potential and extent not expressed as achievement or goals, but with…roundness and Matisse-blues, and bodies that bring to mind, of all things, liquorice and watermelons and CMYK.
It’s Friday. How have you found ways to create a sense of weekend, to really carve out time away from the week’s demands?
I traditionally take off on Friday’s if I’m able - today I’ll spend it eating outdoors at my favorite restaurant (who are family) Atoboy, and watching Scrubs (which I have yet to watch through to completion).
Describe your workspace—do you keep any special tokens around, keepsakes?
I work from the kitchen table in our apartment, which is surrounded by a lot of pens, paint, and artworks from artists I admire.
Do you ever listen to music on repeat? If so, what song?
Currently I’ve fallen back in love with the song “My Girls” from Animal Collective - I used to listen to it all the time while working in art school.
Who are some women artists whose work you cannot unsee? Who altered your world.
Isabelle Feliu, Ana Leovy, Laci Jordan, Adriana Picker - all of whom I’m thankful to see their work grow and evolve as time passes.
Do you have any advice for artists who are wondering if they can pursue their practice full time?
I’d say that the path to being an artist is different for everyone, and there is no one correct path.
If you could design the book cover for any novel, ever, which one would it be?
The Giver - the use of color as a narrative driver was so impactful to me when I read it as a child.
If you could design the album cover for any album, ever, which one would it be?
When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go by Billie Eilish
What has illustration taught you about yourself?
The biggest thing it has taught me is to allow and embrace the unexpected.
When I’m feeling a little anxious, sometimes I redecorate the room I’m sitting in (in my imagination, that is).
Do you have a similar mechanism for pushing through certain tense moments?
...honestly, I do the same exact thing!! The focus of this allows my mind to part from whatever was stressful. I also call my parents to talk, as they always help.
A color you are currently crazy about?
A burnt orange, probably due to the season change, haha.
A color you need a break from?
None! I love them all, haha.
When this interview is published, the American election will have happened. How are you feeling about it...all of it?
Terrified, but knowing that the push for equality will need to continue as heavily as it is currently being pushed, is what I am focusing on.
In this moment, who are you missing?
Seeing everyone in person.