Artist Spotlight: Daisy St. Sauveur

One of our favorite things about contemporary art is getting to know the artist behind the work. While the work itself tells a story, the artist’s background further paints the picture of where they came from and how they got to where they are today. We sat down with our artist Daisy St. Sauveur to learn everything about her - from growing up in New England to navigating her artistic career:

Abigail Ogilvy: Tell us a little more about your background.

Daisy St. Sauveur: I grew up in Cohasset, Massachusetts- it's a tiny ocean town in the South Shore. My mom is a graphic designer/painter, and my dad works in music. I knew I wanted to be an artist my whole life, but until 2015 I thought I would study illustration (I was obsessed with anime and cartoons growing up!). I ended up declaring as a printmaking major at MassArt and I've been studying it ever since.  

AO: So what was your initial spark to be an artist?  

DSTS: Since my mom is an artist, I was lucky enough to be introduced to art at a very young age. We would see all kinds of artists- from Miyazaki to Thiebaud- I was introduced to many different styles at a young age. Making art was the one thing I could focus on when I was growing up (I probably went through five sketchbooks a year!). There was definitely a period of time in middle school when I was fascinated with anime, and I think that interest inspired a lot of the shapes and colors I currently use.

AO: How did you choose your medium? 

DSTS: While I was a freshman at MassArt, I wandered into a student printmaking show one rainy morning. The work was so fresh and interesting, it was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Being the impulsive person I am, I decided on the spot that I would study printmaking instead of illustration. Print allows me to work in a layered, collage-like way, and I can easily make variables and play with the piece until I'm satisfied. 

I've also started painting a lot more- primarily acrylic. Painting has taught me patience, I can't be as impulsive with it, but I've learned a lot about creating unique shapes and spaces.

AO: What is your creative process like? When you begin a new work do you have a vision of the end result?  

DSTS: I always have a vague idea of what I want a piece to look like but I never know for sure. I'll start with a sketch and then realize 'You know what? I'm bored I'm gonna scribble on this.' Or I'll cut it up, collage it, paint over it, etc. I love to push my artwork as far as I can. I try to make things as chaotic as possible while staying along the lines of the original composition. Whenever I mess up, I'll paint a big square or scribble over it- kind of like white out. I always like the pieces I "mess up" better than the ones that go exactly as planned.

AO: We love that organic chaos in your work! With that in mind, what themes do you pursue? 

DSTS: Recently I've been interested in branding and advertising. The idea of interruption seems to be a common theme in my work lately. I love working with pop culture, social media, and the visual relationship between architectural and organic forms. As a young artist, my experience is a little different from those who grew up in the 90s. The 2000s fascinate me, and I take a lot of my subjects from that era.  

AO: What are you currently working on?  

DSTS: Right now I'm working on a series of screenprints that have advertisement-like interruptions. One of the pieces I'm most excited about features a pink and yellow jungle-like pattern with a vintage Sandals Resort ad in the middle of it. I really want to explore that frustrating feeling of interruption and obstruction. I'm constantly being bombarded by commercials- from Youtube and Instagram to the radio, billboards, or even airplanes. What would it be like if fine art had advertisements too?

AO: Are there any artists that inform your work?

DSTS: There are so many artists I love, but my favorites are Jonathan Lasker, Henri Matisse, Nona Hershey, Cy Twombly, Takashi Murakami, Ricardo Bofill, David LaChapelle, and Leroy Neiman.

Check out Daisy St. Sauveur’s work at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery on view through June 16, 2019!

Daisy St. Sauveur, Side C, Etching with screenprint, 22 x 18 in. (framed), 2018

Daisy St. Sauveur, Side B, Etching, 22 x 18 in. (framed), 2018

Curator Interview: Meredyth Hyatt Moses on Collecting Art

"There is never anything better than looking at an artist's work in person."

We sat down with Meredyth Hyatt Moses, an independent curator and former gallerist, who owned and directed Clark Gallery in Boston for decades, and asked her for advice on collecting art. Her involvement in developing Boston arts' scene gives her experience and insight on what it means to be a Boston collector.  Here's what she had to say:

1. Were you already collecting before opening your gallery, and what made you decide to start buying art?

We were just beginning to collect art and it was because our home in Weston needed to have interesting art on the walls.  After opening the gallery on November 15, 1976 we decided it would be great to move into more serious collecting.  

2.     Do you remember the first piece you purchased?

The very first piece we collected may have been Bernard Buffet prints in the mid 50’s when were just married.  Could not afford original paintings yet.  

3. What resources do you suggest to a first time collector for how to get started?

Of course now with all that technology has to offer you can go online to look at various galleries and artists throughout the country and even beyond, but there is never anything better than looking at artist’s work in person. Visit museums locally and nationally.  Visit galleries in the same way.  Whenever traveling to new cities visit the local galleries.  We in Boston have a wonderful opportunity to visit art galleries, which are mostly on Harrison Ave in SoWa, but don't forget Gallery NAGA and Barbara Krakow in our Back Bay Newbury Street, where almost all of our galleries were in the 80’s and 90’s. Also, frequently in various artist’s neighborhoods like Ft. Point Channel there will be two openings  a year of artist studios where they live and work.  That gives a potential buyer a leg up to discover someone great.

4. When do you know it’s the right time to buy a piece?

You know when to buy a work of art when you see something that you truly cannot leave behind and must have.  My rule of thumb was to always go to reputable galleries where you know the work is carefully selected, and then if you can say "OMG" three times, buy it!  Be sure to stay within your budget and size and get help from a professional or the gallery in doing the installation.  Installing your new purchases properly is so important.  

5. Thoughts on buying from emerging vs. established artists?   

As a young gallerist, I did buy prints of the major 50’s artists like Jim Dine, Claus Oldenburg, David Hockney, Ellsworth Kelly, etc. But within a year or so of being very successful with that, I personally realized that I did not have anything to do with their careers. I wanted to help the ever emerging good artists in Boston.  In earlier days, most developing artists had to move to NYC to really get their careers going, but in the late 70’s and all through the 80’s and 90’s, they could live and work in Boston, and their careers took off.  We started Boston Art Dealer’s Association (BADA) and shared ideas and became a national presence for the artists by participating in major Art Fairs in Chicago and NYC.  If you live and work in Boston, I encourage you to buy the work of local artists,  but never exclude the ICA, MFA, deCordova and beyond to find out what is going on nationally as well.  

6.     What is your favorite part of collecting?

My favorite part of collecting has always been personal education and a deep appreciation for the privilege of being challenged daily by the art in my nest.  All of the art becomes my friends and enriches daily visual life.