Lolita Eno (b.1993, Spain), works across photography, digital painting and performance, to adress themes surrounding trans-humanity, instinct, self physical exploration, myth, collective identity, love, skin and metamorphosis into self biological objects. Her background is in the digital field, which is where she initially began communicating and elaborating these ideas.
Through her work, Lolita focuses on self metamorphosis using digital skins as a channel to form multiple beings out of one being. Her work has been exhibited in Shibuya, Tokyo, Paris Fashion Week, Madrid Solo show and the most recent one at the BMW awards in Spain, where she attracted the attention of moguls of the cultural world such as Kanye West.
Hi Lolita! Thank you for sitting down with me. First question that I always ask. How does a regular day look like for you in Madrid?
Hello Rubén. Thank you very much for sitting down to talk with me.
This question is a bit complicated for me because I try to make every day as different as possible in most aspects. But when trying to sum up a week and a regular day I will tell you that I like to get up around 8 in the morning and go for a walk while listening to music for about 30 minutes. See people, see life and have a little notion of reality before locking myself in my Studio.
Then I have a coffee looking at references, sending emails and then I take my time to “play”. It depends on what i’m working on. If I’m working on a project that I’m doing, I will do one or two things. If I am doing creative direction, I will spend all my time looking for references and think about what I see and how to apply it. Sometimes in this process I don’t see a single reference and it’s as if I were chaneling something that comes from outside my body, and suddenly the ideas look for a way to experience themselves, but I have nothing to do with it.
If I’m in the process of running and editing, I’ll be locked in my cave until I achieve my goal for the day. Then I’ll go for another walk for another half hour and try to do something to get me out of my obsessive thoughts.
I’m curious. Growing up, what kind of kid were you, what did you enjoy doing and how did you spend your time?
I was a pretty lonely girl most of the time. When I played with other kids it always had to involve something physical like running, biking or a bit more aggressive things, but most of my time was spent in my room playing with my imagination, drawing or creating worlds. I loved designing houses.
I also hated the fact of being a girl and I tried to be perceived as something masculine. I didn’t like stereotypical references of how I should be as a girl, although at home I’ve always had a mother who never fulfilled those stereotypical visions. I felt that all the girls that surrounded me, in movies etc.. were something that I didn’t wan’t to be, but that I had to be like them, because of what’s between my legs.
I wanted to be the active and strong element of the story, with thousands of adventures, without anyone helping me achieve my goal. I always dressed as a boy, even for Halloween.
Somehow I loved warmongering and history. I always went back to characters from the past where men physically fought for something to end, and I wanted to be part of the fight from the front row. The times I spent alone, which was the majority (my choice), I spent painting and drawing my own dolls that had nothing to do with barbies. I used to draw strong female characters (all were me in a dystopian future), with animal parts, I created tribes of women, all with animal and medieval parts, very geeky without even having seen YouTube.
I’ve always had a fixation and a special love for animals. I never stopped drawing them. And when I saw one I stayed with it for hours, without paying attention to anyone or anything else. I hated babies, every time they gave me a baby doll, I would dismember it as if I was furious at the assumption that I had to like it. I basically did the complete opposite of what I was supposed to do. At school I had friends but not many, I didn’t care. My mother forced me to go to birthday parties, but I preferred to stay at home with my freaks. I was a very strange and introverted girl. Right now I am quite extroverted, but because it’s something that I have learned, it doesn’t come natural to me.
I used to be super messy, I couldn’t bear to see my room tidy, it gave me the feeling that my space had to be a reflection of my mind, and my mind just wanted drawings and paintings and stuffed animals everywhere.
I watched animal movies like the lion king and I refused to watch princess movies, it seemed to me that they had a shitty life. They always had drama that they couldn’t solve without love being involved. I liked reading about the anti-princesses. I loved the witches, they had a cool life and they were doing experiments and they could carry out their evil plans without the need for a fucking prince.
Of the princesses, I only liked Mulan and Pocahontas, but I was on the witch team, they were creating. The more time passed I learned to love my femininity and feel strong with it. Now I consider myself a very feminine person and all my expression comes from the vagina. I love being a woman.
Although I was very introverted when I got together with my friends, I remember doing stand up comedy. I felt that it was a way of creating being in a social environment where people also accepted me, but I have always had acceptance problems with myself, and by not accepting myself as a child, others didn’t want to accept me either.
I think I was also a very compassionate girl, and always stood up for people who couldn’t stand up for themselves, I had a cause.
At some point you start playing around with various 3D programs and show an interest in photography? How old were you? And when did you start taking being an artist seriously?
When I was in college, I was very bored and I felt that I wanted to express myself with new technologies, something that was there but made me dizzy. After uni classes in the afternoons I started learning 4D cinema at home, I was obsessed with John Raffman and his dark net art-world. At that time I wanted to make videos. All the videos I created had a high sexual component to them and were quite twisted. I got very into the second life mentality and the fact of expressing your darkness with an avatar in a parallel world.
At this moment in my life I was going hand in hand with my shadow, but it was good to discover that part of me. At this point I was a lonely creator, I didn’t want anyone to interfere with my creations and I was leery of everything.
After several years like this, I began to want to apply photography to my digital art, and that is when I discovered my light side, and to share and learn from the people around me. My first project as Lolita, was with my two great friends; Stephania Yepes and Sofia Alazrraki, that was when I discovered how beautiful it is to share your creativity, and I let myself go and reach places where I would never have been able to go.
The person who has helped me find myself creatively has been Stephania Yepes, without her I wouldn’t be here today. So I can say that I believe in love. Lolita, and love is always shared with oneself and others. I will be eternally grateful to all the people who have believed in me and has helped me. Before I was a real nerd, and now I’m a nerd but I’m not alone anymore.
Since I learned to share what’s on my mind, I have learned to love creatively, and since I learned to love, I create the best I can create.
A lot of your work features humans that are fused with animals into a hybrid physical form. When did you come up with that idea? And what are you hoping to convey?
I had this idea inside me for a while, and now it has come out and taken shape. I’m like a channel that this idea used to come out into the open. Also, all of my inspirations from my dark times and my good times came together and made me who I am today. And therefore my work is combining the darkness of role plays, here exotifying the furry community and the sublime of industrial architecture. Empty spaces where you feel small and there are gaps of light, as if there were divine points in the space that at first sight is dead and empty, thus appealing to what is yet to be built and worked on, but that is still empty. That emptiness has its soul.
The fragility and strength of the women capable of owning it. Women like me and women as creations, with the vagina as the maximum power of life. Here finally owning what I am and what I will be. Im basically summing up my whole life with this. I am my art.
There is nothing different about who I am and my art. That is my form of expression to its fullness.
In each project I try to convey something different from the previous one. All extremities of my body that change like the skin of a chameleon. They all have my style, which, as I have explained, is what I am. The recurring thing is always a high sensual but twisted, somehow content, love, risk and worship of the vagina.
With that in mind. The various scenes and poses of the models/characteers. How do you come up with them? And what’s the inspiration behind them?
If there is everything, it is inspiration from artists, choreographers, paintings or directly sensations of the moment. Lately I love Isabelle Wentzel, Vanessa Beecroft, Marina Abraimovich… I gather some foundational elements for my ideas, but I do this to ensure that the outcome is distinctive. Beforehand, I engage in groundwork involving emotional connections with models, and through conversation, I strive to reinterpret the references I have.
I know you already talked about this. But can you elaborate a little bit on the kind of trippy, sexual and provocative undertone of your work?
Yes, all my work is sexual and trippy. It is the way I have to express myself. That is who I am. I love my vagina and my sexual energy. I believe in it. I don’t know how to do it any other way. There is nothing more natural than this, we are biological beings. it is in us. It is the strongest energy there is, and also the energy for the creation of life. I am totally embraced by it. I’m a scorpio.
Nature, biology, life, and animals. What is it about those topics that resonates with you and makes you want to document them? Can you tell me about your use of symbolism?
What has always moved me emotionally the most, is how nature looks. Those who do not speak, but do. The pure, passable, temperate emotion that accepts life as it comes. Something very hard and very real, but the most beautiful and sublime thing I’ve seen.
It’s a very humbling experience, when you stand in front of a pack of wolves and see them, accepting their life, beautiful, beautiful. How insignificant you feel when you face an incredible mountain system, suddenly not everything revolves around you, right?
That is the most divine moment for me. I am in connection with myself, with you, with them, with that. I’m talking about how I feel with my art, but who am I without everything I just mentioned? Who am I without the earth and without the moments in which I can feel God. It is a ladder to get closer to my spiritual person.
All animals have a symbol for us. Right now I am wearing chameleon skins because I am experiencing major changes within me. And the beautiful thing is that I did not know why I was now using these skins, it is as if an angel was the one who guided me constantly, and it’s the truth. Horses, for example, tamed by us, without them we could not have waged wars, we could not have transported ourselves. They are part of the cradle of our civilization and of life. Therefore, as creators of our civilization, they are our mothers and fathers.
Now that we’re talking about your work, and we’re going through various topics. Overall, what are you hoping to convey with your work?
I don’t think about it. I used to, but I don’t anymore. I simply allow myself to experience, embrace, and act upon it. I have complete faith in my own preferences, the things that influence me, and my own identity. Wherever my path takes me and whoever appreciates it, that’s how it’s meant to be, and I wholeheartedly embrace and cherish that.
Can you walk me through your creative process. From beginning, to end result?
It’s literally magic, mixed with confidence my taste and my ability to express it visually. I can literally be inspired by a potato grater if I’m on the mental and spiritual path that day.
In fact, there is one thing that I love, and that is sending random pics to my collaborators and if they catch it, it is the most sublime communication in the world.
But when we get serious I also look for a lot of references. The work of others is very inspiring when you connect. There are times when just one reference can awaken a world inside you, and from there you go and you have a hard time finding other references to explain your idea within a moodboard.
For me that is the most divine process. That is when you connect with your higher self and ideas open everywhere. It is a feeling similar to being in love.
Today, I conducted an experiment where I sought out ideas by using AI to generate images. Now, I plan to create a moodboard inspired by the images produced by the AI.
On the days wer’re shooting, I always have an incredible team. I always have immense luck in that regard. Life has given me luck, and on my path, it has put the best people in the world to work with me. Before the photos I always bring drawings to communicate with my team in a visual way. I try to motivate the models energetically and we start shooting.
Good vibes on the set are very important. If there is not that, there is nothing. Once the photos have been taken, I am left with the hard work of editing, which has its obscurities.
There is a very lonely process of hours and days where I question everything 290 times and where the flow can be complicated sometimes. My forte is also my Chiron, since I oversee everything. But I always try to surprise myself in some way. When you know your patterns, you know the result, I have to somehow get my Chiron not to know and fall in love with my work within my walls.
I know that in the past you’ve released your own NFTs. But in some of your other interviews, you mention that you’re not attracted to NFTs per se. Can you talk to me a little bit about that? And where do you see NFTs compared to physical art, in 10 years?
For me, NFTs are art with a digital record. Art is art, period.
NFTs are a good invention. To be able to track the work: who lied about it, who bought it, who was the second buyer, etc. This way you will always be sure that it is the artist’s authentic work and that they are not selling you a copy.
If you believe in Crypto, decentralization, etc. you should believe in NFTs as a digital fingerprint of authenticity. Beyond that, NFTs have managed to get digital artists taken seriously as artists. Obviously within NFTs there is a lot of bad work, but that’s always the case with art.
Last year you performed for Didu, at Paris Fashion Week, as well as working on their Lost in Translation campaign. How has fashion influenced your own work?
I love Fashion. I work with Didu a lot, and with other fashion brands as well. But not just any brand will do for me. They have to have a transgressive point and I have to be able to admire them.
In my photos there is fashion everywhere, but always accompanying the sculpture. Here my friend Stephania Yepes, is as important as me, when it comes to creating the piece. Without fashion I would be nothing. I have been lucky to work with the best stylists like Stephania Yepes, Ally Macrae or Kat Typaldos.
What motivates you?
Create, create, create, animals, nature, art, create for creating, love.
How would you describe a perfect day?
Walking up a beautiful mountain and having a hard time going up there. Going down and eating healthy. Returning home inspired and create.
Alright Lolita. I always ask these two questions at the end of an interview. The first is. What’s your favorite movie(s) and why?
“Heaven Knows What.” A film by the Safdie brothers ( my favorite directos ), about the life of Arielle Holmes, starring Arielle Holmes and written by Arielle Holmes.
It is the life of an 18-year-old homeless teenager in NYC addicted to heroin. Irritating and loud movie. Its a love film , if we were to ask Arielle what love is? The answer would be the movie itself. After all, this is a fatal love story. The same love that the protagonist proceeds towards the young Ilya, is the same that she has for her beloved heroine. Chaotic, dirty, violent as well as romantic.
We’ve become so engrossed in the film that we’ve started to think it’s a real-life documentary. Through the utilization of synthesizers and modern electronic elements, it’s effortless for us to become immersed in the environment and emotional state of the characters. Incredibly representing the atmosphere of chaos, irritability, instability, dispersonification and love.
The second is. What song(s) are you currently listening to the most right now?
A barely Lit Path – Oneothrix Point Never
Como un G – Rosalía
White Ferrari – Frank Ocean
Archangel – Burial
Sabrina ( I am a party) – Fred Again
Climbing Up the Walls – Radiohead
Artificial Death in the West – Death Grips
Still Life – Oneothrix Point Never
Caribbean Blue – Enya
Supersonic – Skrillex , Dylan Brady, Josh Pan, Noisia