Monday, April 23, 2012

A Conversation With Ilaria Novelli


Ilaria Novelli, a self taught artist from Italy, creates surreal paintings filled with textural lines and patterns, bright colors, symbolic elements and pop culture references. What I love the most about Novelli's artwork is the use of color, the juxtaposition of animals and human figures in her artwork and the sense of surreal whimsy. Novelli took time out her schedule to speak with ArtSeen about her artwork and her artistic inspirations.

Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic background and artistic processes?

I'm a self taught painter. I studied at a Fashion School in Rome where I learned a few anatomy and color techniques that I constantly try to develop by working on them. My approach to art is very traditional so I avoid using already prepared tints or stencils to create my paintings. Once I have the idea for a new work, I prepare pencil studies of all the details of the composition and then I draw them again on canvas, this is an important phase of the process because the studies take the definitive shape.

What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?

My main inspiration comes from my own experiences. I always use to have a figurative diary; the female characters in my paintings are often self reflections. Animals and children are also very important in my works (I'm a young mom of two little girls and it's obvious to be concerned about the future), in my perception they are both innocent victims of the modern society and they well represent the idea of my personal romantic heroes. I have to create art to express my inner thoughts and feelings, it is necessary to find peace and rest my mind.

What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?

My themes are various, I'm a very curious person, I try to be interested in as many subjects as possible (music, literature, movies, fashion..) and every painting explores my vision of what influenced me in that particular moment. My works comes from actuality news, fairy tales, the web's virtual world, songs or even film stills.

Are there any artists that inspire you? If so who would they be and why?

I'm very lucky to be born in Italy, during my childhood I've been raised by my parents constantly traveling to visit museums or antique churches all around the Country, so Caravaggio, Giotto, Raffaello Sanzio, Piero della Francesca and Donatello ( to name only few of these great artists) caught my imagination and deeply impressed me. I love the work of many painters, actually my favorites are Jan Van Eyck, for his colors and patterns, Bruegel, for his themes and compositions, Frank Cadogan Cowper, for his use of the female figure and the fairy tale moods, Yves Klein, for his research and irony and Picasso, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo... but this is only a small part of a huge list.

"SEA SONG" 2011
What do you think the role of the artist is?

I usually think that an artist is someone who, through the personal imagination, is able to deliver something that already belongs to the viewer, something that is part of a common conscience. In every art field (as music or writing...) people empathize with the message or with the feelings expressed. So the artist is only a tool, a magnifying glass that helps to view inside us.

 "UROBORO" 2011
What do you want viewers to walk away with when they view your artwork?

I'd love that they bring with them a sense of wonder and discovery. My ambitious hope is that people learn to connect with the inner self and the outside environment through a deeper observation, maybe starting to focus on what lies behind my works.

And finally, what advice would you give to other artists?

Be yourself. Don't walk in a straight path, find your own solutions, be always inspired and even if you'll get hurt, always believe in your work. 


For more information about Novelli and her artwork you can visit her blog Das Shaben and her website for more details. 

All images courtesy of Ilaria Novelli.


Krista said...

I just love IIaria's work! Not only is she extremely talented but her stuff is so playful and full of color textures and crazy patterns, the paintings have a life all there own. She is also a lovely free spirit, I wish I could got to one of her exhibits!

Shawn Daniell said...

Hi Krista,

Thank so much for stopping by. Love your blog!

Lisa Graham said...

It's sort of Art Deco style... with a huge fantasy art kind of a twist.

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