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MUSE Series

MUSE: Scout Cuomo

July 30, 2014

Scout Cuomo doesn't know the meaning of the word unimaginable. Because her worlds are built on realizing the impossible. Unicorns? Easy. Magic forest? Done. An underwater abyss layered with darkness and light? Child's play. The only thing her art lacks is stillness: her creations move, breathe, swim and gallop. Scout's work is an exploration of life: from its vast skies and deep seas, down to its sinews and musculature. And there's always an element of whimsy. Not to mention she's the coolest, sweetest person ever. Basically, she does it all. She IS it all. Meet Scout Cuomo, who invited us to her studio one hot summer day and let us throw Ode clothes, hats, shoes, and some paint on her.

What’s your Spirit Animal?
Horse peacock. I was tied. That’s like a show pony.

What’s the first line in the book about your life?
When we first watched Scout jump in the pool at 9 months, we thought she was drowning.

Tell us about Pinchie. 
Pinchie is a creature that landed on a friend of mine while he was biking and bit him on his neck. But I wanted to keep it as a pet because I’m cruel I guess.  It was quite a topic of discussion in our house to free Pinchie or not free Pinchie.  She died a few weeks later and then, I immortalized her giantess shell with gold and placed her in a giant glass cabachon.  She hangs out with me in my studio. I guess you should probably hate me now that I kept this giant bug and then made it a desk top paper weight. The world has some crazy critters in it.

If you were an article of clothing, what would you be and what color/pattern?
I would be a short jumper covered in paint.

In your opinion, what’s hot for 2014?
2014 is sizzling with the woman who lives in her truth. That hotness boasts about her fine curves, she eats humble pie, she spits out humble pie too, she wears lots of eye liner, or she doesn’t, she laughs too loud, she’s messy, she’s shy, she is neat, she is unapologetic about being a woman, but sometimes apologizes for accidentally hurting your feelings because it’s a beautiful thing to care and care for.  And let’s not underestimate some good clunky leather shoes to match.

Who’s the most important person you’ve ever met?
Oh wow, I’m not sure.  Probably my first art teacher mixed with my parents. 

What’s your death-row meal?
Let’s see here, first there’s going to need to be some summer strawberries and a cold beer, then bring in the steak and potatoes with whatever that tomato basil sauce from Sierra Grille is and some red wine, but I don’t know which one, and I’ll finish this life up with a sugar cookie loaded with frosting and probably shaped as a unicorn. Actually two of those cookies.

If you were given a grant to fund the project of a lifetime, what would you create?
Ok, this is admittedly just self-centered, but I would get a big brick building and convert the rooms into a giant ‘making factory’.  A ‘making factory’ has  air conditioning and a hearty furnace.  It holds different rooms for different means of making.  There would be one for carpentry, for ceramics, painting, photography, textile arts, blacksmithing, animation, and silk screening to start. It would employ lots of professional makers and students to do their things, but also help me make big production projects.  I guess that sounds like Andy Warhol’s factory, but mine would be less sociopathic and with a roof top garden. I know, I really wanted to want to say something that would also save the world....

What are 5 things you could but wouldn’t want to live without?
Well, I don’t mean to get somber, but my hands and eyes, a car that can carry lots of stuff around, the beach, and a contraption to play music and podcasts.

If you had to listen to only one song on repeat, what would it be?
One!? Just one. Can I make a mash up then: Annie Lennox's “Little Bird”;  Glass Animals' "Gooey"; Hozier's "Take me to Church"; and Beyonce's "Drunk in Love." (...Sometimes the mash up wants Pat Benatar's "Invincible.")

What’s your fashion philosophy?
Do it! Do your thing! For me, I think I’m having a “you can take the girl out of Texas but not the Texas out of the girl” life where I think hair should go big, jeans are tight, and you should be able to run, dance, jump a fence, and go out to a semi-nice dinner in it. Otherwise, I’m probably uncomfortable.

What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
I am just having the toughest time picking one of anything here. Emma falling in love with her baby, Maurice, when she came out of surgery this year.  I never saw love like that before. Also scuba diving in the ocean.  It’s magic in there.

                                                   [Chattman Photography]