Document cover model Jolie Alien discusses her practice, process, and how it feels to open her first exhibition at Kino Gallery in Moscow.
With Jil Sander exclusives, Valentino catwalks, 50,000 and counting Instagram followers, and two Document covers already under her belt—Jolie Alien isn’t slowing down. On November 14, the 16-year-old model’s first solo art exhibition, Just Felt Like It, opens at Moscow’s Kino Gallery, featuring large-scale mixed-media illustrations, paintings, and collages. Document spoke to Alien, who is represented by Ford in New York and Premiere in London, about her practice, her first exhibition, and balancing her art and modeling careers.
Document—When did you start creating art? How has your work evolved since then?
Jolie Alien—I’ve been painting since I was little, but intensively and expressively I began only a few years ago and have grown a lot as an artist. Emotionally recently my work has reflected the loss of my grandmother that has transpired into my art.
Document—What is your process like when you set out to create a piece? Do you have a set vision of what you want to capture or is it more or less improvisational?
Jolie—The most important element for me is to have a fresh canvas, then the subject comes spontaneously. Like dreams, it creates itself.
Document—Do you think modeling has impacted how you approach your art? Has it exposed you to artistic influences you wouldn’t have otherwise encountered?
Jolie—Modeling definitely has influenced my art, as well as my life in general—it gives it more meaning and clarity! The world is my catwalk, and my life is a canvas.
Document—The work is quite graphic and visceral—in the best way. It feels very immediate. What’s your state of mind when you create a piece? Is there a mood you want to evoke in the viewer?
Jolie—I paint indeed viscerally as I feel that it’s important to express the spirit of the very moment in my art pieces. If my work evokes emotions, I feel a sense of achievement because it’s not an easy task to make the audience feel something nowadays.
Document—This upcoming show will be the first time you’re showing your work. At the same time, your modeling career is also thriving, and you’re still quite young! How do you see these paths developing or converging over the next few years?
Jolie—It confuses, excites, and frightens me all at the same time. It’s not easy to predict, but I truly hope to succeed in both paths and am thankful for all the opportunities that have come my way so far.