Isabella Huffington began making art when she was 15 years old. She graduated in 2014 from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and debuted her representation with Friesen Gallery in 2015 with an exciting body of collage works on panel.
Huffington cites Yayoi Kusama and Keith Haring as major influences. Her works are reminiscent of these two icons; her swarms of images are reminiscent of both organic clusters and feverish hallucinations. 'I like using one idea, like birds or circles, and morphing and stretching it across many different pieces and seeing how it can change and be reimagined,' the young artist explains.
Isabella is the daughter of Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, and niece of Agapi Stassinopoulos, best-selling author and speaker, both of whom have appeared as speakers at the Sun Valley Wellness Festival.
While studying art history I became really interested in the question of art accessibility, and wrote my senior thesis on this theme through the lens of the Crystal Bridges Museum. I’ve always been drawn to everyday materials and processes — sharpies, stamps, stencils, hole punching, and embossing — and inspired by everyday life, which is why I’m so drawn to the pop art movement and its focus on everyday objects. In my collages and mixed media I’ve been drawing on political and cultural events, not in a didactic way, but to capture through my art important moments we’re living through. (Examples are my collages of the eyes of American soldiers killed in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, newspaper headlines of mass shootings, covers of magazines that body-shame women, a collage from OkCupid consisting of what New Yorkers are looking for in a date). In my mixed media work I’m interested in using social media (Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Snapchat) to explore traditional genres — creating a still life from an Instagram photo or a landscape from Snapchat.
At the same time in our tech addicted world, where speed is glorified, I want to create art that brings serenity and wonder into peoples lives. Inspired by Buddhist art, particularly mandalas, I use repetition and the exploration of one image or detail, to create opportunities to pause and reflect.
I love it when my art evokes in others their own creativity, especially in a world where so many people are afraid to tap into their artistic side. Because I use materials that are so accessible, and that can be found lying around the house, I hope my art can act as an entry point for people who otherwise might be intimidated by fine art. That’s also why I’m interested in elevating “art and crafts” — something we’ve all done as children and that can reconnect us with art later in life.