Tell us about your relationship with art?
I use art to express my emotions and to help others express themselves. I used art for many years in Italy when working with children, and adults with learning difficulties. It is very clear to me that schools do not always allow students freedom in their expression and students leave school as clones. I like to encourage students to express themselves and embrace their own individualism. This is also how I work with art personally, it has been a very powerful form of self-therapy and an important escape.
What is the key to your work?
Experimentation. Experimentation is what I do every time. I am no expert of ‘Art’ or of famous artists. I know my art. My art is my religion because for me art is freedom. The salvation of my life is art and I have always used it to reflect upon myself.
Do you think human connections are made stronger through art?
Yes. For many years much of my art, ceramics, paintings, sculpture have been abstract. About five years ago I became increasingly interested in psychology. Carl Jung’s work is of particular interest to me. Dreams have a very strong place in my artistic psyche. Sometimes the meaning of my paintings only become clear afterwards, in my dreams. This has also happened when I have been awake. In Berlin I was viewing the city from the famous radio tower when suddenly I realised that what I was viewing was one of my own paintings. I called this painting Berlin. This type of situation, premonitions through art realised later on, make me feel something very strong – like there is another dimension to this life which can be discovered. This is the same with our dreams, they are like a parallel dimension.
How do you approach a painting?
When I paint I would compare it to listening to music. I don’t plan anything, I don’t think, I just feel. I listen to electronic and psychedelic music so there is a lot of influence in the painting from the music. My paintings are both abstract and conceptual. They use naturally occurring microstructures. Often I paint a series of 6 or 7 paintings using the same model with the microstructure naturally developing through each painting.
I don’t invent anything. I feel like I am painting things I have remembered but not just things from my lifetime, things from the earth, its people and our history.
How do you know when you are finished with a model?
A painting is never finished. I don’t make a conscious decision to stop using a model it just happens. But no model is finished with. I keep them for when in the future I discover other models which I can mix with the models which came before. It’s like the human body; we discover a finger, a foot, our eyes and when we have finished discovering we put it all together.