Q & A With Silvia Poloto

Could not be more excited for this part of the blog. I love sharing the people that inspire me. And to begin 2017 with Silvia Poloto is such an honor. I had the pleasure of meeting her once when she had an art showing here in Tulsa and I have kept up with her over the years. I am so intrigued with her style. She has no boundaries with fashion and mixing textures and always has the best shoes. And don't even get me started on her incredibly unique necklace collection...! She is also a wonderful mother and is incredibly passionate about her work. 

Silvia Poloto Interview:

-What brought you to The Bay Area?

Originally I came to the Bay Area with my late Irish husband to spend one year while he was taking care of his business. I was working in Sao Paulo, Brazil as an engineer at the time. As soon as we arrived I started making art, and have never looked back. 

- Where do you shop and why?

I do not have a specific place where I shop. I never really ‘go shopping’, but when I least expect it my clothes find me somehow.

-What is the most stylish spot in SF? And anywhere in The US?

 A lot of places that are considered ‘stylish’ don’t do anything for me, but if I could choose a place to hunt for uniqueness in the US that would most likely be New York.

-Who is your style inspiration and why?

Whoever dresses themselves for themselves and with confidence is an inspiration. Because being yourself is the way to be.

-What is your guilty pleasure?

A quest for unusual necklaces, usually during my travels. An extraordinarily odd one will always find its way to me.

-What was your first fashion moment?

I was a late bloomer ( a complete dork in high school ), it took a very long time for me to figure out how to express myself through clothing. I must have had many fashion moments, and each one bringing me closer to where I am now. Maybe my first fashion moment was falling in love with a Barbie doll dressed as Carmen Miranda when I was 8. Or imagining how much shorter my first communion dress could really get before being expelled from the church ( it was impossibly short already ) when I was 9.

-Oldest thing in your closet? 

I have had several adored things for a very long time, maybe the oldest piece I can think of right now is a 20 year-old dress, bought in a Thrift Store in the mission district in San Francisco, an unknown brand. When I bought it, I took it to the dry cleaners and had the collar ( which was high ) modified into a low square shape. It became very unique and very Poloto.

-What are you wearing today? 

Right now? As I type these words at 10:27pm? My old comfy PJ’s with a furry fleece robe over it, which used to belong to my 16 year-old son when he was 14.  

-From start to finish what would be your ideal food day?

I love to eat healthy delicious food but don’t have much time to shop and cook, so my son and I end up eating a lot of burritos. I dream of being served freshly home cooked delicious food as soon as I feel hungry with the plates being taken away immediately and washed. I would put the paint brush down just to take the fork to my mouth. And  immediately go back to painting.

-How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

The pain is felt, tears shed, grudges forgotten.

I sleep like a baby. 

-Best advice you ever received?  

Honestly I can’t remember any. Maybe I am a bad listener.

-Worst advice?

I have been given a lot of bad advice from “ tone yourself down" and “we know your husband just died but you should not cry in front of your son” to “don’t buy that building”, but I always trust my intuition immensely and all the very big decisions I have made were based mostly on my intuition. And they all happened to be very good decisions.

-The spring/summer 2017 item you are coveting?

I never have any idea of what is in fashion or out of fashion, and couldn’t care less, I just wear what I like. 

That being said, I don’t have anything specific in mind right now but as soon as I see it I will know.

-Advice for the woman just waking up and getting out of bed?

I am so lazy in the morning, if I didn’t have to wake my son up or walk my dog, I would just lay in bed daydreaming for at least an extra hour every morning. What helps me get up faster is to have a ‘to-do’ list next to me. The list sets the day in motion. And a good day for me is a productive day.

-What do you wear when you are working in your studio?

Even in the summer my studio is very cold, so I tend to wear a lot of fleece, comfortable overalls, working boots and a wool hat. They eventually get all covered with paint and stand up on their own.

-What's next for Silvia?

For Silvia I am not sure, but for Poloto the sky is the limit.

Brazilian-born Silvia Poloto is an accomplished artist working in a range of visual disciplines. She is known for her lively abstract canvases and mixed-media sculptures. Recognized for her dynamic compositions and color sensibility, Poloto exploits a vibrant visual vocabulary of boldness and subtlety. Her deftly handled juxtapositions unfold in rich, textured hues and expressive gesture. The result is a body of work characterized by equal amounts of surprise, playfulness and provocation. Her aesthetic choices engage the viewer on a visceral level.

Poloto has worked in a variety of media, including photography, sculpture, painting and video. Elements of each of these media find their home in her current work.

While the Bay Area is her current home, her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad, including United Arab Emirates, France, Spain, Jordania, Italy, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and China among others.

In the Bay Area, her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Italian American Museum and the DeYoung Museum, where she was an artist-in-residence.
Poloto’s work has been acquired by more than 80 institutional and corporate collections around the US and by more than 900 private collectors around the world.

Check out Silvia's amazing art here.  I know that you will find it fascinating!

She truly is such an inspiration.

(all photography was taken by Hans Kwiotek)