Studio Visit: Polet Guzman
Interviewed by Madeline Carpentiere
Photographed by Stoltze and Stefanie
Polet Guzman is a designer, artist, and gallery owner from Puerto Rico. She currently lives in Brooklyn.
S is for
What’s the connection with your designs and artwork with sexuality? You also screenprint your clothing. Is there a reason behind that?
I try to find the erotic in women. I want every single woman to feel confident and sensual in my designs. I find it important to be self aware of your sexuality because it’s apart of you. Some might feel that it’s so taboo, but it’s a way of life. I also screenprint on a lot of my pieces as well because I like to think that I’m making art accessible in a way. It’s less intimidating and “precious” than looking at a painting. People need clothing because I feel as if it’s their second skin, unlike painting which is not necessary. So I decided to combine both.
Do you use social media as an outlet of expression?
I don’t have a lot of time for it. For my brand, I have someone who does it for me, but I do have a personal account. It’s just something to post about what I’m doing at the time. I don’t like to edit any of my pictures or the people in them. I like to portray them as they are.
Did you have any when you moved from Puerto Rico/even now?
Not really. When I came to New York, I wouldn’t say I doubted my artwork, but rather my English. I didn’t know much English at the time, so it was difficult communicating with people who I didn’t know or spoke Spanish. But I’m getting a lot better! As for my artwork, I changed the way I designed when I moved here. Back in Puerto Rico, I bought vintage clothes and screenprinted on them but when I came to New York, every designer sowed their clothing and I didn’t. So I learned, and I started to handmake everything.
Do you like to be alone?
I love to be alone! -laughs- Every morning I like to wake up early and drink coffee for about two hours. It’s my relaxation time because I’m so busy. But I mean I love to be around people too; I’m pretty extroverted with my friends and introverted around other people who don’t know me.
Are you a part of one?
I do have a lot of Puerto Riccan artist friends, and artists from my gallery and boutique, XY Atelier. I meet a lot of new and upcoming artists through the gallery.
What does success mean to you?
Success for me is being able to create a life from my artwork. It’s not having to rely on another corporation or business to pay my bills but to be able to live exclusively from my own art and designs.
What are you listening to these days?
I listen to a lot of La Lupe and soft rock. I like to keep it pretty chill.
Do you stalk anyone on the web?
I like to follow a lot of artists. Luiny, which is a jewelry brand, @oleknyc a crochet artist, @vanessa_alice and @anamarietta who are both muralists.
Any secrets you want to tell us at S?
My secret is to remain mine. Because if I were to tell you, it wouldn’t be a secret. What good is a secret if we were to tell everyone?
Anything to tell S readers to look out for?
We have a new website coming up for Muza! Watch out for us in September for fashion week. And at XY Atelier, there’s always something up. Check out our boutique on the lower floor as well.
Polet’s designs and artwork are sold at XY Atelier at 81 Hester Street, New York NY.