We had the good fortune of connecting with Carmen Zella and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carmen, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Living a life in creativity and art is full of potential and full of unknowns. Its not the ‘safe path’ and its harder to calculate the rate of success in almost any creative sector. No matter how measured you are in life, fate plays a key role and will always be a main author on your life journey. I’ve always been attracted to poetry more then prose. I love the combination of space between words and the emotion and visuals articulated rather then the structure of a full sentence. My path towards success was strongest whenever I combined instinct, measured my environment for opportunities, wasn’t swayed by failure, and took risks. My personal risk taking kept my instincts on alert and responsive so I was aware enough to recognize opportunity when it came by.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The focus of my career is Public Art. It is a revolutionary form of art because it is meant for the public, to stimulate and inspire, memorialize and bring awareness. The access to this type of art is non-discriminatory so that all people can experience the creative splendor of our humanity in its highest form. My utopian world would be a community that cultivates expression and allows architecture to thrive and place art in complimentary forms within its landscape, buildings, parks and corridors. Both temporary forms of art and permanent structures would be celebrated – and political as well as aesthetically motivated works would be acceptable. Communities would play a part in the selection of work – and the art would be respected for its role in beautification, cultural representation and showcase of local talent. Studio artists would be able to participate and the barrier to create public artwork would be streamlined so artists would be encouraged to participate. A wide range of materials could be used due to the opportunities available for temporary art to be created. The public would always find their communities rich in expression, and have an outdoor circulating gallery to encourage them to walk the streets and be outside with families and define them for visitor and for themselves as a unique community. Technology would be encouraged and the public artwork would be a balanced range of performance art, video art, sound art as well as sculpture, installation and paintings. The challenges and the lessons are found in every project. My brand and my story is that our artists define us in books, music, theater, films and in galleries. These talents should also be made available to help us celebrate our communities and the landscapes in which we live.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Speakeasy’s are most interesting in Hidden LA. I’m not sure what is open anymore….. Lets pause on this until Covid is no longer a part of our lives.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes! Jessica Lall. This young lady was a leader and believed in a vision that I had for Public Art and Los Angeles in a way that few others believed in. She backed my vision and placed me in front of Developers, City Officials and Business Improvement Districts, sparking my career in Downtown Los Angeles, and beyond.
Koury Angelo Phil Sanchez Oli Von