Ieva Mediodia, ‘Emergent Behavior’ Creator, Paints Life’s Questions


Lucy Lu Cao and Sara Miranda

To express biology and philosophy, Mediodia used splatters and splashes of acrylics and inks.

By Lucy Lu Cao and Sara Miranda, Contributing Writers

Among the pungent scent of wine and small talk, people from all walks of life gathered together last Friday to discuss, contemplate, celebrate and marvel at the works of art of contemporary artist Ieva Mediodia.

Mediodia’s exhibition of paintings and drawings at SLA307, an artist-run nonprofit space, “Emergent Behavior,” was mainly inspired by both biology and her philosophy on life. More specifically, it stems from her research 15 years ago on neurogenesis and the birth of her daughter.

“I got caught up in parenting for a while, so it kind of shifted my craft as an artist,” Mediodia said. “I had to synchronize what I was doing at home with raising a child, a living human being.”

In her exhibition, Mediodia used fluid acrylics and ink with paintbrush, pen and airbrush techniques to convey her reflections on life.

“As an artist, you’re questioning; you never give answers,” Mediodia said. “So life is a very important theme for me.”

“Emergent Behavior” is Mediodia’s second solo exhibition in New York City. Her first solo exhibition in New York City was in 2003. Before that, her very first solo exhibition was 23 years ago in Lithuania, her birthplace. Even during her first exhibition, Mediodia said she felt confident during the exhibition because she had faith in her artwork.

“I knew I did everything I could,” Mediodia said. “It doesn’t have to be perfect. But I put my heart into it, my work into it, so I felt complete. I felt fulfilled.”

Mediodia had a desire to become an artist ever since she was a young girl. Coming from a family of creatives, her choice to become an artist was natural. She especially drew inspiration from her own mother.

“My mother always created art and from very early, I was very drawn to do that too,” she said.

When Mediodia was 11 years old, she begged her mother to allow her to leave her public school and enroll in an art school. She then continued her arts education at Hunter College in New York and received her MFA in painting. Her journey to becoming a professional artist, however, did not come without its struggles.

“For those who really choose to be an artist, go on a journey and never lose your passion,” Mediodia said. “It’s going to be a very bumpy road if you want to be an artist, if you want end up being an artist, you want to die an artist. It’s a bumpy road, but don’t be afraid of that.”

To aspiring artists, Mediodia advises not be too concerned with the judgement of the world. “You may feel a little bit off, like you’re weird,” Mediodia said. “You may not live like normal people live, like you may not have enough money,”

In those times of difficulty, she advised to meditate and, of course, pick up the paintbrush.

“Emergent Behavior” is on display at SLA307 at 307 W 30th St. through Oct. 15.

Email Lucy Lu Cao and Sara Miranda at [email protected]