“Holly Savas is a contemporary collage artist with modernist sensibilities. Coming from a design background that is evidenced in the orderliness of her compositions, she creates abstracted urban landscapes. She speaks about the optimism in her work, and it is here that the modernist qualities manifest. The forms are simple, colours bright and warm, and patterns and textures lively, all of this speaking to a portion of the modernist aesthetic.” — Ariane Fairlie, Kolaj Magazine (January 2015)
Half Moon Bay (1), 2015 by Holly Savas. 12" H x 12" W x 1.5" D. $285
How would you describe your work?
I would describe my current style of working with mixed media as a study in harmonious contrasts. I strive to use bold, vibrant colors, but not in a way that causes the work to clash or produce a feeling of unease. I love to position areas of vertical movement immediately above and below horizontal lines, but only when I feel it causes one direction to anchor and support the other. I will definitely mix unconventional materials and debris with more traditional mediums — such as combining found cigarette wrappers with delicate pink acrylic paint — as long as it works for me aesthetically. And although my work contains a high degree of geometric abstraction, there are often recognizable elements such as buildings and trees to lend a representational feel.
What is your favorite part of being an artist? What do you find most rewarding?
My favorite part of being an artist is finding a way to distill everything I absorb from my environment — the shapes of buildings I see downtown, the light and shadows of trees in Golden Gate Park or the colors of the beach — into a small, concentrated dose of my experiences. [...] On canvas, I can make the ocean as blue as I want it to be or I can make it nearly white. I can make skyscrapers out of flower patterned wallpaper or from debris I find on the street. Through art, can I convert reality into a slightly more optimistic version of itself, which I find makes most people pretty happy.
What do you hope your art provides to viewers and to prospective buyers?
Above all, I want my art to be uplifting. There is quite a bit of room for interpretation in my work; from afar it may look like a bright, fairly monochromatic square that brightens someone’s wall (and hopefully, their day). Up close, there is a world of tiny embedded paint and paper detail in each of my collages that can become, with just a drop of imagination, just about anything. While I like to think that most collectors of my work appreciate it on that level, many tell me that simply having my art in their home or office puts those who see it into a cheerful mood, which is incredibly satisfying for me. If beyond that it inspires people to head to the beach, take a hike through the park or simply walk through their neighborhood, then that’s pretty big icing on the cake.
Pictured: Bolinas (1), 2015 by Holly Savas. 12" H x 12" W x 1.5" D. $285
Why is art important to you?
I see art as a key delivery device of color into my home. There have been so many studies of how color affects moods, relationships and health and I know that without color, my life would be incredibly lackluster. Art for me is also about connection — how I feel about the person who made it, or where I was when I bought it. It brings back wonderful memories and essentially, reminds me of who I truly am when I’m having a crazy day (or a very mundane day for that matter.)
Fort Bragg Winter (2), 2015 by Holly Savas. 12" H x 12" W x 1.5" D. $285
Christian Dicky Davies is a Bay Area artist originally from Austin, Tx. His paintings are inspired by the American quilt patterns that he grew up around with his mother being a quilter. His practice is an open ended meditation that draws on tradition and pattern as a means for exploring connections to his past and a greater collective experience. Christian is the co-director of the Adobe Books Backroom Gallery in San Francisco and works full-time as a producer at SFMOMA. He has shown in various galleries and spaces in San Francisco. He has two cats and currently lives and works in Oakland.