Untitled, oil, acrylic, aluminum foil
& dispersion glue on canvas,
40 x 30 cm , 2011
What are you working on in your studio right now?
In the first paintings of 2011 the subjects were often objects or buildings. I find them fascinating because they contain their own story. In another group of paintings I relied purely on memories from places and events. I don't try to reproduce these recollections directly but endeavor to capture in my studio something that reminds me of the experience. During the last months I have been consumed by recording the effect of time on my work so I have tried to set a kind of timetable in my paintings. In my current works I am interested in what happens on the surface and underneath as it wares away from a treated surface, to raw canvas, to nothing. I am also very interested in the deterioration process of objects, in this case the surface of the canvas and the durability of a contemporary art piece. I'm working on a series of two-dimensional pieces, some of them on canvas, in which in a rational and conscious act, I take advantage of natural and accidental events such as weather, decay, and leaving deposits of earth.
Can you describe your working routine?
There is a difference between my life and the way I approach my work. In my daily life I try to have a routine, this makes me feel good and organized. I like to do something physical in the morning. After breakfast I go jogging, preferably in the woods, on soft ground. I need this contact with the nature. This helps me to concentrate during the afternoon when I work. However when I work I try to avoid order in every possible way. I prefer uncontrollable events or accidents. I try to avoid starting a painting from a point that I already know. A painting could start from a small drawing inspired from a walk through a snow track or from a detail of something I've seen. Forms from nature often influence me. Most of the time I don't have to go very far to find a point of interest. I often find enough inspiration a few steps out the door of my house.
Untitled, colour photography, 2011
Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
The most important thing for me is to have a relatively empty space. The melancholia of an empty space appeals to me. There are places where I feel very secure and others where I feel deeply vulnerable however I cannot say which of the two would be better. I find that the studio space indirectly influences the work. A space can change your perception and approach. The space where you work can help to overcome the initial fear of starting, it can also give you the confidence to experiment. The studio space can give you a better understanding of your work and can also allow you to be more critical.
This is a special period in my life because I am a guest in an artist residency program in Leipzig called LIA (Leipzig International Art Program). Here I have a very large space, there are white walls, large windows and facilities to make the working process easier. Working here has been easier in comparison to where I usually work in Milan which is quite hectic or in Belluno which is an isolated place and sometimes uncomfortable. There are no excuses here in Leipzig not to work and no reason to complain.
Untitled, oil, aluminum foil
& dispersion glue on ruined canvas,
40 x 30 cm , 2011
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
I find it hard to explain my painting approach because in the studio things happen very fast, often in a confusing and random way. The approach in my work can shift rapidly from day to day, even hour to hour. I find it difficult to work for an extended time in the same way. Since I do not use photos, sketches or direct references my starting point is always like diving into icy water. I am interested in the painting process and in how the surfaces are transformed by provoked accidents.
I like to work on different types of paintings simultaneously, with different materials and dimensions, this keeps things fresh and spontaneous. I like to think of my artwork as one continuous research more than a projection of my personality or personal life. I do not like the idea of an art work as a representation of myself or another person.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
There are so many problems to solve when I work. I often don't know where or how I could start a painting. The problem is whether or not to include some sort of narrative. I ask myself, 'is it still important that a painting has a kind of symbolic value? Is the image still the protagonist of the painting?' Perhaps the most important thing for me is to have an immediate and tactile experience whilst painting. I try to limit my involvement with the painting and to avoid giving the painting any personal references. The work is the result of a process.
Installation view, Crash & Cut Up, studio Cannaviello, Milan
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
I use several different types of materials, every new color and material gives me alternative possibilities. This constant exploration of materials allows for the unexpected to happen. I could probably use alternative mediums like video or performance to create my artwork but I don’t know much about those mediums. I use painting because it is the medium that I am familiar with.
For example in a recent work I used a kind of textile called non – woven. I found this piece near my village in Italy, in the mountains. This piece retained all kinds of natural residues for more than a decade by being exposed to the elements and time. Nature transforms the surface, the result being a layering of information that has very painterly and abstract aesthetic. This piece is also very fragile, pieces of earth are constantly coming away from the material and the surface will continue to change with time.
Untitled, soil, sand plant debris,
fine particles & acrylic primer on non woven,
mounted on wooden stretcher
each 290 x 190 cm , 2011
What does the future hold for this work?
I feel a little anxious about this subject at the moment because I am in a situation where my work could take any direction, something very unexpected could happen, this feeling both scares and excites me. I would love to be less concerned about this subject. I need to continue to experiment and to further question my work. I think it's important to be open to falling into the unknown and not being afraid. I'd like to push my work even further beyond its limits, for me a medium becomes interesting when we abuse and mistreat it.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to talk about my work!
Untitled, oil & acrylic on canvas, 70 x 50 cm , 2011