Pipilotti Rist is a multi-media video installation and sound artist that is out of Switzerland. Her work is amazing and encompassing. The subject matter varies immensely in that it is based on dreams or trancelike states somewhere between fantasy and reality. If I had to come up with some adjectives to describe the work, perhaps beautiful, light, playful and interesting would be appropriate. She oftentimes uses rich, lush colorizations in her works and refracts the displays around the corners of walls and onto ceilings and floors and pretty much anything that surrounds a viewer.
Pipilotti Rist was born in Grabs, Switzerland in 1962. She studied at the Universität fur Angewandte Kunst, and the Schule für Gestaltung, Basel. She was introduced to Paul McCarthy, a total nut-job and professor at UCLA that I totally adore, and he asked her to come and be a professor. She has exhibited all over the world. And, I mean EVERYWHERE. One of her career highlights include a 2002 exhibit at MoMA entitled Pipilotti Rist: Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters), a monumental commission for the Museum's second-floor. She said in an interview that common themes in her work really deal with being alive, being in the world and being a sensory organism. She says it is
I was able to experience some of her work recently at the Henry Art Gallery in the University of Washington. A University Art Gallery seems like an odd place to experience somebody of this caliber, but U-dub is large and smacked down right next to Seattle downtown. There are tons of rich folks because of Microsoft, and new money loves to donate to art museums because it makes them feel like they truly understand culture. I know this because I worked in one of the most elite fine dining establishments and loved to “overhear” conversations of rich assholes… unless they tipped well, which made them wonderful rich people whose names I needed to remember. My favorite of her works might be the Lobe of the lung from her exhibit “eyeball massage” floating feet and bubbles and round things and bright colors. If she could include some bubbles I would be so damn happy, I might have to touch myself. I feel like I’ve become a tele-tubby and transported. The work is very dreamy and layered with basic-basic imagery.
Rist continues to live in Los Angeles where one day she will be legally married to her
common law partner Balz Roth, with whom she has a son, named Himalaya.