Emma Loizides is a British painter based in London. Emma creates candy-coloured oil paintings of cityscapes, skylines, ice creams and fast-food menus. Her uplifting palette and nostalgic aesthetic fuses a love of Americana with influences of Pop Art, with a nod to American painters Edward Hopper and Jasper Johns, and hints of Peter Blake.
Emma studied Spanish at university and worked in banking for many years before turning to painting in 2005 after being inspired by the London skyline. Many of her paintings – of beaches, palm trees, gumball machines, taco trucks, juke boxes and sunsets – are inspired by her time living in Las Vegas and travels along the west coast of America. Emma’s art has been featured in the Hollywood Reporter, her painting “Monos” was exhibited in this year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, and she has collectors all over the world. Culturalee caught up with Emma to talk about all things cultural.
How would you define culture?
Culture is constantly evolving, and it’s shaped by the surroundings and influences on a group of people such as music, food, art, traditions, and way of life.
What was the starting point for your career as an artist?
I always enjoyed making things and being creative from a young age. When I was around 24 years old, I entered an open call at a gallery in Bedfordshire. When I arrived, they said the painting was too big for the competition but said they would hang it in the gallery anyway… to my surprise it sold. That was the very first painting I had in a gallery and sold. A few years later I had my first exhibition which was in the Bank of Nevada, Las Vegas.
What has been your most moving cultural experience today?
I think it would be visiting Havana. I loved the music, the relaxed way of life and how people would get up and start salsa dancing in the middle of the day. It was very different to anywhere I had been.
Who is your favourite artist?
My favourite artist is Wayne Thiebauld who was an American painter. I discovered his work at Frieze Masters a few years ago and was in awe at the way he had painted an ice cream. I love the way he used the oil paint and how he experimented with colours.
Who are the cultural icons who have influenced you the most.
Michael Jackson had a huge influence on me growing up and I learned a lot through his music. He was a style icon and influenced the fashion world and music industry, but also shared important messages through his music from climate change to racial inequality.
Any tips for young people wanting to break into the art world?
Be patient …and keep making art.
Can you describe the process of making art and how you developed it?
I am a self-taught artist and started out by doing short courses to learn about painting. I like to sketch a place first and take photos. From the photos and sketches I will make a smaller painting in my sketchbook to work out the composition before getting started on the main painting. I like to use several layers of oils on a wooden panel.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a collection of paintings of California. Earlier this year I did a road trip and got lots of inspiration especially in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. I’m enjoying painting all the palm trees and americana.