CV & BIO
b. San Diego, California, United States
Dual Degree BFA , Illustration with a focus in Metal and Jewelry Arts, California College of Arts and Crafts, 2004 & University of San Francisco, 2004
Sylvie is a multi-ethnic queer artist, originally from San Diego, California. They grew up in a family that was very focused on psychology, the arts and social justice. In 2000, they moved to San Francisco to study for a Dual-Degree Bachelor of Fine Arts between California College of Arts and Crafts (now CCA) and University of San Francisco. In their last year of college, their father unexpectedly passed away and they took a break from painting. In the years between, they have designed costumes for local drag and theatre events in San Francisco, pursued drawings and illustrations in pen and ink, and painted and fabricated stop-motion puppets for use in motion pictures and television. They now primarily focus on creating oil paintings at their home studio in San Francisco, CA.
My background directly informs my identity and in turn, my paintings. My family is working class and ethnically/culturally mixed. My father was a therapist and social worker and he worked to reconnect with his Native American roots and to heal the intergenerational trauma in our family. These struggles have found their way into my work. As I had to turn away from my own art making in order to survive, it seemed particularly important to explore the themes relating to why that was. These include psychology, family/relational stories, the experience of being mixed-race/cultural, and gender/queer identity.
My work visually explores the construct of the human self and identity. As we move forward through life, our memories, relationship experiences, and physical and emotional connections to the natural world keep us moored to our growing self. I’m fascinated by the stories people tell themselves about who they are and I layer imagery to create an emotional mirror for the viewer. Being queer and having a culturally mixed family, it is particularly important to me to portray subjects that aren’t part of the mainstream art world, and the majority of my models come from “marginalized” backgrounds. Yet though my work is intimate and sensitive in theme, it is bold and brave in execution. The use of color is of great importance to me: I enjoy color and I have come to realize, after reconnecting to my roots and the stories in my family, that bright colors were stolen from us through colonization and forced assimilation into mainstream culture. Reclaiming the use, even the overuse, of color has been greatly rewarding to me. Through the use of the natural imagery as well as nature-based symbolism, I use these colors to create glazed settings for my subjects. When viewing my work, I hope that the observer sees not only someone else’s story, but also finds a place to resonate and consider their own perception of self and being.
2023 Upstairs/Downstairs II, Pop-up Gallery, Mission District, San Francisco, CA.
2023 Upstairs/Downstairs, Pop-up Gallery, Mission District, San Francisco, CA.
2023 Pyramid Scheme, Bass & Reiner, San Francisco, CA.
2022 Two Person Show, Art in Neighborhoods, Counterpulse, San Francisco, CA.
Invitational exhibition curated by Counterpulse
2022 Group Exhibition, Opening for Medicine for Nightmares, San Francisco, CA.
Invitational show curated by Tan Khan Cao
2021 Group Exhibition, I'm Speaking: The Language of Art, PxP Contemporary, Juried by Alicia Puig.
2021 Group Exhibition, Familiar Strangers: Self-Portraits, Online, The Vacant Museum
2021 Group Exhibition, VOX: Multiple Voices in Portraiture, an.ä.log gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Invitational show curated by Don Ross
2020 Group Exhibition, No End In Sight, Vantage Art Projects, Vancouver, Canada.
Invitational curated by Charlie J. Meyers
2020 Group Exhibition, 10xTEN, Faultline Art Space, Oakland, CA. Invitational show curated
by Mario Navasero and Felicia Ann
2020 National Juried Exhibition, Small Works 2020, Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY.
Juried by Tiffany Gaines, Curator at Burchfield Penney Art Center.
2020 Group Exhibition, Creating In Place, an.ä.log gallery, San Francisco, CA.
2020 Group Exhibition, Eat, Sleep, (I Can't) Breathe, Online, The Vacant Museum
2020 Group Exhibition, Quarantine Cuties, Online, Mexakitsch, Bay Area, CA.
2019 National Juried Exhibition, Alchemy, Arts Guild of Sonoma, CA. Juried by
Jenny Gheith, Assistant Curator of Painting & Sculpture at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
2018 Group Exhibition, Dark Creatures, Somewhere Else Art Space, Berkeley, CA.
2018 Semi-Finalist, MUNI Art 2019, San Francisco Beautiful, San Francisco, CA.
2021 All She Makes, Edition 2, July/August 2021
2021 Faultline Artspace, “10XTEN: 100 Bay Area Womxn Artists,” Exhibition Catalogue and
Artbook, Oakland, CA, February 10.
2020 Sarah Jansen, “No End In Sight: Exhibition Catalogue,” Vantage Art Projects, 2020 Issue-Q4,
review and catalogue, November 20.
2020 The Vacant Museum, “Eat, Sleep, (I Can’t) Breathe: Exhibition Catalogue,” catalogue,
2021 Private Art Commission, I. Showalter, oil on canvas, Portrait of Mother and Self
2020 Private Art Commission, I. Showalter, oil on canvas, Portrait
2019 Private Art Commission, M. Taplin, oil on canvas, Portrait
2017 Private Art Commission, E. Houseman, oil on canvas, Portrait
Member, Berkeley Art Center
Member, ArtSpan San Francisco
2020 Instructor, “Drawing Portraits for Painting,” 3-week online course.
2020 Instructor, “Painting with Bright Color,” 3-week online course.
Film Credits - Stop Motion Animation
2020 Painter, Animation Outlaws, San Francisco, CA.
2016 Painter, Mermaids on Mars, Athena Studios, Emeryville, CA.
2015 Painter and Fabricator, The Delivery, Athena Studios, Emeryville, CA
2012 Painter and Fabricator, Henry Selick's The Shadow King, San Francisco, CA
2014 MLee Aetherial Arts, Love is Queer! With Honey Mahogany, 17th Annual
Queer Arts Festival, Children’s Creativity Museum, San Francisco, CA.
2010-14 Seth Eisen/EyeZen Presents:
HomoFile: Chronicling the Life of Samuel Steward, 2012, CounterPulse,
San Francisco, CA.
Feast of the Pink Moon (Buffet Flats: Queering Slow Food Salon Series), 2012, Million Fishes Arts Collective, San Francisco, CA.
Harvest Moon: Shine On! (Buffet Flats: Queering Slow Food Salon Series), 2011, Tenderloin National Forest/The Luggage Store, San Francisco, CA.
Red Moon, (Buffet Flats: Queering Slow Food Salon Series), 2011,
Private Residence, San Francisco, CA.
Blackbird: Honoring a Century of Pansy Divas, Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory, 2010, San Francisco, CA.
2000-10 Bridge Theatre, Midnight Mass with Peaches Christ, San Francisco, CA.
Public collection, City of Coronado, Coronado, CA.
Private collections, Los Angeles, CA.
Private collections, San Francisco, CA.
Private collection, Portland, OR.
Private collection, Paris, France.
Private collection, Sydney, Australia.