Xochi Solis is an amazing artist and the whip-smart Director of Public Programs and Events at the Visual Art Center. She’s also an avid collector of “littles” (that is to say, any thing tiny and sweet: small ceramic tug boats, pretty post cards, vintage photographs), a thrifting junkie, a serious coffee drinker, a great dancer, and such a lovely, lovely person.
Everything about Xochi’s life feels carefully curated – nothing’s out of place. Tiny vignettes fill every corner of her East Austin home, happy succulents perch in windowsills, pretty bits of string or necklaces hang from hooks and each article of clothing in her closet is prudently selected. Wild prints, bright colors, soft silk tops and big wooden wedges were the stars of Xochi’s wardrobe. Humming along to Donna Summer records and nibbling on cherries we talked about riding our closets of polyester (incredible prints be damned, polyester is just to itchy for hot Texas summers!), the thrill of pieces with history -- like her little wooden box clutch decoupaged with horses, and watched her sweet pup, Azalea, do tricks.
My personal style is... printed, pretty, bright and vintage.
My style icons are… I’ve long been enamored with amazing ladies of the silver screen. Gena Rowlands, Faye Dunaway, Elizabeth Taylor, Karen Black minus the crazy eyes, Maria Montez, and Natalie Wood are just a few but there are so many!
I’m inspired by… other people who aren’t afraid of taking risks. Courage can come in so many different forms. Could be big like taking a chance on a new business venture or a little thing like ditching your Chapstick for a bright shade of lipstick. I am always motivated to be a better more interesting person by interacting with my peers. They surprise me in so many ways, always challenging themselves and others around them with their unique visions of creativity.
If I lived in another era I'd choose... I actually consider myself pretty lucky to live in this era. We have so much to discover from generations past and so much potential for moving forward with that information.
The last book I read was… From cover to cover, it was Marcia Tucker’s A Short Life of Trouble. She was the first female curator at the Whitney and the founder of New York’s New Museum. Basically one amazing lady! The three books I have in progress are Dance with Camera, a visual arts perspective on dance and cinema, Julio Cortazár’s weird travelogue The Autonauts of the Cosmoroute and Elizabeth Crane’s collection of stories, You Must Be This Happy To Enter.
Right now I’m obsessed with… Well, I just discovered a few things. One—the German director, Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He had a short lived career, but made something like 40 films, not to mention two made for television series and a slew of short films and videos. Really bizarre interiors and visual metaphors. Two—8tracks dot com. I am currently obsessed with making mixtapes, I have no idea why. I never really share them with anyone but it is incredibly satisfying creating little mini soundtracks to imagined events, even if it’s just for me. Oh, and plantain chips.
Lately I’ve been listening to… When it’s me by myself, I tend to get very bizarre and I am rarely in silence. I can jump anywhere from Indian ragas to doo wop and I find myself voraciously seeking new tunes. Three songs playing as I write this are: Brian Eno’s By This River, Caetano Veloso’s Tonado de Luna Llena and Kanye’s Mercy.
When I’m at home I love to…ha, is it silly to say clean?! Yes, clean. I could forever push little things around in my house, organizing and fussing over my houseplants while singing at the top of my lungs to records and dancing with my dog.
If I were in a movie I’d be in… anything by Pedro Almodóvar or John Cassavetes.
When I walk up to the bar I order…Gin and Tonic with extra lime, super refreshing and simple.
My go-to beauty product is… In love with my new collection of Tarte Lipsurgence tints. They are light, bright and minty and come in so many great shades, I can’t leave the house without one in my bag.
I’m crushing on… those fringy Brazilian hammocks for my backyard, everything in the new Hey Murphy lookbook for my neck, and Marc Jacob’s 2013 Resort collection for my body. Hello print paradise!! Oh and of course, my sweetheart George, who is my favorite co-conspirator lately for all adventures imagined or real.
On a sunny afternoon I love to… sip on iced coffee and hang with my favorite ladies as we hit the thrift for treasure hunting.
When I’ve got money to burn I head to… I am a thrift hound whether I have a lot of money or not. If I do happen to have an extra 20 spot or more I just extend my thrifting boundaries to new cities and make a weekend of it. A West Texas journey complete with a luxurious stay at the Thunderbird Hotel was my most recent splurge.
Five things I can’t live without are… my dog, Azalea. Coffee. Music in some form or fashion. Fresh vegetables. Co-conspirators.
I feel most myself when I am… making things. Making friends, making food, making art, making new discoveries and new connections. Sounds like a corny way to end this, but it is true, I would be a shell of myself if I couldn’t create something.