Marilyn Rondon- A Venezuelan born, head-to-toe tattooed bombshell who after living in NYC for 8 years is now currently residing in Miami, finding the time to make zines, DJ, bartend, paint, put together art shows AND chill at the beach on massive flamingo floaties. After hanging with her for the day, I felt the positive energy influencing me minute by minute to simply look at the bigger picture. What is life really about? And how can I experience every moment to it's fullest potential?
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU MOVED HERE FROM VENEZUELA? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING IN MIAMI FOR?
I moved to Miami from Venezuela back in '92. I was 5 years old. I've been living back and forth between Miami and New York since.
WHAT IS YOUR MAIN FOCUS AS FAR AS ALL OF THE THINGS YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON?
My main focus is to create work that lives on once my physical body and "soul" are no longer attached to it.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST START TO PAINT AND WHAT WERE YOUR SUBJECTS AT THE TIME?
I never really cared for painting until I started working at a tattoo shop. It became the only thing I could do because I wasn't apprenticing and was unsure how I felt about tattooing as a choice of career. I actually ended up quitting the tattoo shop to take watercolor and illustration classes at SVA that were dope, but I didn't even pass either of the classes cause I was working so much.
I've always painted women portraits, i'm not even sure why, it's just what my hands draw the second i'm standing in front of a new canvas.
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT MEDIUM?
I mainly paint with gouache. It's better than sex.
YOUR BRIGHT COLOR PALETTE AND DESIGNS HAVE A FIERY, ROMANTIC VIBE TO THEM, I CAN REALLY SEE HOW THEY WOULD FIT IN PERFECTLY BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, THE MIAMI CULTURE. DO YOU THINK THIS HAS TO DO WITH YOUR SOUTH AMERICAN BACKGROUND AND UPBRINGING?
Maybe? I think I'm just attracted to colors that look good together. If I'm going to look at something for a long time, I want it to be something that's visually stimulating. Bright colors tend to make me feel good, and painting is a sort of therapy to me, so I guess it makes sense that I use the pallets that i do. I like that you sense romance in my work because i tend to live in la la land while I paint, and i like thinking dreamy romantic thoughts.
WHICH ONE OF THE MANY THINGS YOU DO DID YOU GET INTO FIRST? PAINTING-DJING-ZINES-CURATING ART SHOWS?
I started making art probably around the same time I started school. Whatever age that is, I guess my teachers and parents noticed I really enjoyed drawing and painting and thought I was "good" at it or whatever so I was encouraged to take magnet art classes throughout my schooling. I also started to take photos around the 4th grade. I remember printing photos in the tiny darkroom at South Miami Elementary and immediately falling in love with the idea of physically holding my memories.
The djing I got into in my early twenties when I was also working at a tattoo shop and bar tending in the lower east side.
The zines i began making about 2 1/2 years ago, and the curating as well. The first show I participated in curating was a benefit for hurricane sandy back in 2012.
YOU RECEIVED 101 EMAILS FOR LATINA SEEKS THUG CRAIGSLIST AD, DID YOU RESPOND TO ANY? MEET UP WITH ANY OF THE WILLING THUGS?
I most definitely did not meet any of them. I replied to just two. One telling him he seemed too nice to be looking for a baby mama on Craigslist, and the other i thanked for participating in my social experiment after he expressed concern about my mental state and suggested I get my brain checked.
YOU RECENTLY DID A 30 DAY BUTT CHALLENGE, WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THAT?
I was asked to participate in a group show entitled "booty worship" and I was already doing a yoga challenge so decided as my piece I would do a 30 day squat challenge as a performance piece and documented it on video. I'm actually really stoked I did it too, I'm so happy with the improvement of my body from completing the challenge, I suggest anyone that struggles with body image try it.
TATTOOS ARE CLEARLY A HUGE PART OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST TATTOO, LAST & DOES IT GET ANY LESS PAINFUL AFTER SO MANY PIECES?
My first tattoo reads "innocence is bliss" on my wrist. My first boyfriend said that to me once and I liked the ring of it and got it tatted for life. My last tattoo is a Jesus portrait. He's crying and saying "aye dios mio" which translates to OMG. lol and no, they do not get any less painful, but I look forward to them more now than I did when I was younger. I guess it's cause I'm not impulsively getting them anymore.
WHICH TATTOO IS YOUR FAVORITE & WHY?
I really like the one I recently got on my right eye lid that says "no fear" I wanna get "no hate" on the left one now, I feel un balanced. It's my favorite because it reminds me to be fearless, constantly. I'm a very mental person so having little daily reminders really helps me stay positive.
I REALLY ADMIRE THE BALANCE YOU KEEP BETWEEN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE AND ART. HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF SO DEDICATED AND FOCUSED?
Like I said, I'm a very mental person, so from the second I wake up till the second I go to bed, I'm constantly in dialog with myself. I started by figuring out the best way to balance my habits in a way that keep me busy and from dwelling in negative thoughts. I started with yoga, making it my main focus daily. Just make it to yoga, even if it was the only thing I could handle mentally that day. Then that good habit spiraled into wanting to eat healthier, which then gives me more energy, makes me feel positive, and also helps me "look good". I make exercise something I force myself to do everyday and that causes me to work all my other goals around that. Some days if I'm feeling beast mode I'll take a bikram yoga class and then follow it with and hour of boxing. Also, resting helps with scheduling so much while being so physically active/ constantly creating. I try to tak enaps often, and I cook most of my meals so my exercise isn't in vain. I don't drink alcohol or party (unless you consider bar tending or djing partying- I consider them strictly work). I'm honestly just a productive stoner that's obsessed with life and staying active.
HOW HAVE YOU SEEN YOURSELF EVOLVE AS A PERSON IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS?
A year ago I was homeless eating ritz crackers and peanut butter because I had no money. I'm full of love, open to love, and wealthy in knowledge. And I haven't had to miss a meal in a very long time. I feel extremely fortunate to be where I am today. I'm excited about the future.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MORALS AND VALUES? WHAT TRIGGERS YOU THE MOST?
I try to treat everyone the way I would like to be treated everywhere that I go. We're all just projections of each other so if I find someone is rude to me, I try to understand what made them react that way, I find it I live a more peaceful life this way. If people are rude I go 0-100 immediately though, i'm still learning to balance that. :/
WE'RE ANXIOUSLY WAITING FOR 'DAT ASS ZINE VOL.4'. WHEN CAN WE EXPECT A DROP?
August or September, up in the air.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY LISTENING TO WHILE YOU'RE IN YOUR ZONE?
Drake, Future, kitty, Belly, The Weeknd.
WHAT ARE YOUR YOUR FAVORITE GO-TO SPOTS IN MIAMI? NEW YORK? LA?
Miami: My ceviche, Juice n Java, Soho beach house, Siracha house, whole foods lol
New York: The Jane Hotel, An Choi, Num pang, Nights and weekends
LA: Cha Cha lounge, any Mexican food truck, Bikram yoga downtown LA, Le Petit Ermitage.
WHAT DO YOU MISS THE MOST ABOUT NYC AFTER LIVING THERE FOR SO LONG?
Seeing cute boys everywhere and falling in love everyday.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT LIVING IN MIAMI?
Having no cute boys around to fall in love with everyday. And living blocks away from the ocean.
I'VE LEARNED YOU LOVE TO WHIP IT UP IN THE KITCHEN, WHATS YOUR FAVORITE CALIENTE CHICA RECIPE?
Here's a recipe I've been using a lot this Summer (minus the water) I find it that the tomatoes are juicy enough on their own: QUICK AND FRESH GAZPACHO
ARE YOU GOING TO BE CURATING ANOTHER ART SHOW FOR ART BASEL THIS YEAR?
Doubt it, unless I were approached by a gallery. It's a lot of work, I want to focus on just continuing to make my own work. I'll show/ curate when my head is there.
ANY LAST PIECE OF ADVICE?
Keep it real. Everyone is so fake now, just be real with yourself.