Thursday, September 29, 2011

Artist Interview: Patrice Tulla

What is your name: My name is Patrice Tullai, but I also go by the name “alicedean”

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I am a graduate from the University of Washington School of Art Program. I received a BFA in both painting & sculpture, but I would also consider myself a self taught artist cause one learns by doing, and I have been creating seriously for years before ever going to college.

What is the style of your pieces: I have a diverse background in my works, using sound as an element in my sculptures, I have also done many series of pop art, currently I am creating a series called “guns”, these art paintings of guns. All of these paintings are large 36” and up.

What is the medium in which you work: I mostly work in oil paints, sometimes on canvas, and sometimes on found wood.

What started you on your path as an artist: I had plans to become an anthropologist, but a friend suggested I pursue an art degree because as he put it “you make art all the time anyway”

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Probably giving me a sense of place. My perception of things is quite different from the mainstream, my being an artist allows me to be me

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Found art sculptures

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: No, I paint in what I am wearing that day.

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? Not having enough money to live like normal people. Hence, going without.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: Peanut butter, honey, and banana.

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: Yes, using multiple colors in my pixel series is quite beautiful

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Vincent Van G, and the artist in los angeles that using scrap metal to create works, I especially like his gun series.

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: The most
moving piece of art I ever saw was an installation of canaries inside a gallery space.
The birds were free to fly and did so, all around the space...they were really moving...

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I have a chocolate lab
named “spot” who likes the sound of the brush moving on the canvas...his eyes pop out when he hears it

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us:
I am looking for a place to show my current gun series...

Patrice Tullai was born in Los Angeles California in the false eyelash era . Her mother raised six children alone in the ghettos of Los Angeles while suffering from the disability of common sense, something she has seemingly passed on to Patrice.
At an early age Patrice was moved to be creative, always making things, often times, forced by poverty to make something out of nothing.
In high school Patrice twirled baton (including fire) which she still does today. As part of the marching band she participated in many parades, including the Disneyland parade inside the park. She quit this group after discovering the politics of favoritism. Patrice went on the be chosen “Miss El Monte/South El Monte 1979”. “The day after she won the contest, the executives went to her house and wanted to remove the crown her mother was so worried, the contest had been entered for her sake. Apparently the other girls had mentioned she hung around the local hamburger stand and was a noted “stoner”, also she had had sex with the judges. True she was a stoner, but the later was false. She agreed to refrain from unscrupulous activities.
During the 1980”s Patrice attended college on and off, working in between to support herself. Her early studies were in anthropology but she changed over to art when she moved to Seattle and attended the University of Washington. Patrice graduated in 1992 with a BFA in Painting, a BFA in Sculpture, and a BA in Art. She has been making art relentlessly ever since. You can see some of these pieces at, and
In the spring of 1993 Patrice answered an ad in “the Rocket” for a soft singer. She teamed up with some stellar musicians and recorded an 8-track demo for the next few weeks. She and a band mate took off in an old Dodge Dart and headed south to Los Angeles. They left a cassette tape of their recordings on the coffee table of a popular pot dealer. Two weeks later a call was received from A&M records showing interest in the group, Pretty Mary Sunshine (PMS). PMS had never done a show, so one was booked at “the offramp” so the A&R guy could see the band. The show was possibly the worst show in the history of music. The band had been booked with a punk rock act and the punk fans booed PMS. Patrice simply turned her back to the audience and droned on.
A week later PMS played a warehouse party and sent the video tape to A&M. Another week passed and a call was received inviting the band to Los Angeles to meet executives and start the record deal process...on and, albums, Patrice has since recorded with “frownland” and with “alicedean”.
For many years Patrice has been painting POP art, e.g. pills, booze, and guns, but she also creates beautiful unique land and seascapes. Patrice has also had much interest in endangered species and has painting many birds. Patrice has created thousands of works since the early 1990's.

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