'His memory of home'

Kristin Texeira provided the exquisite artworks that are the Opener pages of Elle Decoration’s Summer issue – The Great Escape. Kristin decodes the world she sees, hears and tastes through color with the resultant artworks taking viewers on a journey. DECO dug a little deeper…

Collection of Bay Maps

Three words or a quote that best describes your work…
Time travel portals

Please elaborate on the Memory Maps.
Memory maps are abstract interpretations of memories. They are the product of retelling a story with colour. I find the best way to translate the essence of a moment is through broad marks of colour that signify a feeling or place since memories themselves are not concrete.

Your studio space is…
My studio is in the Brooklyn Navy yard. I work out of an old letterpress print shop. It’s a massive space filled with printing presses and drawers upon drawers of type. I have a little set-up in the back of the shop. My space faces west so my favorite time of day in there is when the sun begins to lower and the whole space glows orange. We’re on the tenth floor – so there is a great view of Manhattan from our windows – I try to sneak up to the rooftop garden every once in a while.

Do you have one particular artwork that is your favorite?
Matisse – The Red Studio

Clockwise from top left: ‘A horse in the hotel room’; ‘a forgotten umbrella’; ‘the skeleton key’;’ a fox two deer and a willow tree’

Please elaborate your thoughts on colour.
Colour is a means of categorizing my everyday life. For instance, certain songs bring to mind certain colours – so when I make a playlist on my computer it is organized by the color of these sounds. When I’m recalling a memory or a person, specific colours are evoked and I use these colours to retell the story. At times, the colours that I mix reference the physical world – like the colour of a sweater but, for the most part, the colours are emotional translations.

I also use colour as a way to remain present. I might be out taking a walk and if I want to make sure to hold onto the moment, I take mental notes on the colours of the sky and my surroundings as proof that I was there. I bring those notes back to the studio and mix the colours as a way to preserve the memory.

You say you paint “to provide proof—for myself and others—of existing in certain moments in time.” This sounds very much like a photographer’s words of documenting life. Does this underlying concept influence your work a great deal?
Yes – it’s the reason why I paint. Proof is in the paint.

How do you balance commercial work with your own personal work? Are they much intertwined?
For the most part they are intertwined. I produce some pieces faster than others. The competitive, survival side of me just wants to produce as much as I can every day – to get my colours out in the world. At times this feels phony – I don’t want my work to get watered down just to make a fast buck – to paint just to sell.

So, I try my best to maintain a balance. I create projects that are longer investigations. They are bit more sacred to me. I set myself up with a series and beat the idea to death. These projects satisfy my personal relationship with paint – the study of time and memory. That’s why I’ve always painted so I can’t loose that.

‘Miss Helen the twins and bam bam’

Specific rituals to prepare for new work or exhibitions?
I write every day. Usually a project comes to me through patterns I discover in my writing – a subject that pops up more than once, a time period or a place. I create a series that I can get deep in to. For example, one series I spent a year on involved all of the windows I could remember looking out of – creating a timeline of place. Another project I worked on told the story of all of the boys I’d ever kissed. I try to be scientific about it. I gather data; make lists and sketches all in order to create a deeper story with color. Other than that – travel and living in new places always instigate a new project.

Do you draw inspiration for your work from life, travel, people…?
Yes – most everything I create references something specific – a story someone has told, a walk around a new city, colours that come to mind when I interact with people. I’m always telling stories with paint.

The ultimate material to work with?
Williamsburg oil paint, Cobalt teal – it’s extinct now though. So, I rarely use the one and a half tubes I have left.

Your works would translate beautifully into other mediums and materials – woven, glassware, tiling. Would this be something you’d be interested in?
I’ve been experimenting with fabric lately. It’s a faster way to play with colour. I can lay colours next to each other and move them around. It’s like a colour puzzle. Anything that already holds colour is fun to play around with.

The ultimate colour combination?
Cobalt green – and a warm Cobalt Violet Light — this is just how I’m feeling today though –it always changes.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t go lookin’ for it

What are the main positives and negatives of working in an Artistic role?
Positives – being able to create, explore – travel and interact with others. The idea that work and what I love are intertwined. Negatives – having to deal with the business side of being an artist – emails for days, taxes, framing, packing, shipping – anything that takes away from the “making” time.

Top 3 major influences on your work?
Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthauler, Ray Bradbury

Who should Elle Decoration be following on instagram?
@onemoregoodone @thingofwonder @apprvl @uprisenyc

Kristin website | instagram: @kristintexeira

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The Summer Issue is all about new beginnings, rejuvenation and adventure. Consider it a celebration of both indulging in wanderlust and the sweetness of coming home. We discover the most spectacular design hotels around the world, show you a beautiful collection of outdoor furniture and décor, and tempt your tastebuds with a new indian tapas restaurant. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #SummerIssue.