Interview by Carla Sanchez Taylor (RiPple PuDdle)
Five generations of the Pissarro family’s world-class, museum provenanced and highly-curated art is coming to Austin. A collection featuring Lyora Pissarro, great-great-granddaughter of Jacob Camille Pissarro, the master of the French Impressionist Movement, will be on exhibition and available for acquisition at Austin’s premier fine art gallery Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery beginning June 9, 2018 and exhibiting through June 30, 2018. Ms. Lyora Pissarro will appear in gallery on Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. It is an art collection that spans more than 161 years, initiated by the renowned Jacob Camille Pissarro: the leading figure of the Impressionist movement. The appearance is complimentary and open to the public: RSVP’s are suggested at 512-478-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lyora Pissarro is a woman of only 27, but has the aggregated wisdom of 200 years of art experience. Upon impression, something quiet and noble seems contiguous with the qualities I imagine her great, great grandfather, legendary French impressionist, Camille Pissarro, to have. Those types of familial associations can be both blessing and curse.
Her mother, Leila (also an esteemed artist), taught her how to paint at a very early age but also wisely advised her to pursue her own passions. With this, Lyora was given the space to move toward the work of her ancestors on her own accord. And she does so without bravado or ego. The work has to come from the purest place inside of her, a place void of expectation, without self-judgment, and plenty of room for freedom of experimentation.
I have been in this same place, the sweet spot of creativity, where everything seems possible. It’s a hard place to hold. She thanked me for noting this, explaining, “ In Camille’s time, artists worked together in a very different way. He worked with all of his friends, communally. Today, we have to struggle with the call of social media, which is also our way of connecting.” So she sets limits on checking Instagram and Twitter, in order to keep her own expectations consistent with the resonance that lives inside of her.
Indeed, the world is more individualistic today, but the themes of yesterday are still the themes of tomorrow. “I’m continuously inspired by beauty. I know that’s not the most popular thing today, but I can’t help but be moved by it.” Though she explores it with curiosity and playfulness (just Google her Mirror Series). Her landscapes are lyrical, her modern pieces rooted in the ethereal.
What is the secret to producing such diverse, authentic work?
“My great, great grandfather said that to be a good artist, you must practice everyday. It is like a meditation. And that’s what I do too.”
And in this way, it keeps her experimenting, constantly caught between the old world and the new, but never conventional. In many ways, a tremendous torch is carried in the philosophy that has reigned true and kept a family steadily producing works that we can show our children. And our children’s children.
To see Lyora Pissarro’s work, and the work of 5 generations of Pissarros, the Russell Collection is featuring the exhibition, Five Generations of the Pissarro Family beginning June 9th through June 30th in Austin, Texas.
For additional information visit www.russell-collection.com.