|Pop-Up Experience exhibit in Los Angles, California|
Ixie Darkonn is an artist, writer and filmmaker from Italy. In 2010 Darkonn started a page on Facebook called Pop Surrealism, focused on creating a space where artists, collectors and gallery owners can share and discuss art.
Darkonn's artwork, Poison Queen, has been selected by Universal Pictures to represent the Snow White and the Huntsman movie. She spoke with ArtSeen about her artwork and artistic inspirations.
Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic background and artistic processes?
I've always painted very quickly, acrylic on big canvas… I would let energy rush through me without letting my rational side get to my painting… I used to call it Outburst Painting. But then things changed and I started feeling the need for peace, concentration… a better understanding of myself… and I started reducing the size of the canvas, and using oil… then, I decided to try on tiny little pieces of wood. My painting is self-taught; at times I begin with outlining something on my sketchbook, at others I work directly on a piece of wood… I love finding antique frames and spending hours looking at them, imagining what I could fill them with! Just like walls…if I'm surrounded by empty blank walls I come up with so many more creative ideas. Actually, I started painting exactly for this reason, almost by chance… I had recently moved and walls were blank, white…”I had to fill them”, and I would have never imagined to then discover such a enormous passion.
What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?
I started when I was a little girl. Not painting, really, but devoting all my energy to intimate and dangerous journeys searching for answers to those questions that I hadn’t even rationally started asking myself. A terribly sweet and powerful restlessness fascinated me… I had no idea where it came from and never would I have imagined what marvelous surprises it would have brought me. When I was very little my teachers “worried about my psyche” while they tried to figure out my drawings… in fact, unlike other kids who drew themselves in the middle of the sheet, beside their house under crooked sunrays, I would portray “myself” from behind, at the very edge of the sheet, as if observing what was happening in the drawing. Or, for example, if I was drawing a horse, I would draw it as from the sky, as if I were sitting on a cloud looking down at a wild ride below me. And today, when I look at those drawings again, I ask myself, “How could I ever see a horse from above? Did I ever travel an astral journey without even knowing it?" I therefore started exploring the myriad of streets my emotions were leading me to. My "offstage vision of the world" made me want to be a movie director... and so I started writing ...novels and scripts, then I started acting, and directing short movies... but it wasn't enough. It was indeed amazing (in fact I didn't abandon that path) but my restlessness wouldn't stop. The first time I found myself in front of a white canvas is when I finally felt "at home". For me, inspiration is nothing but the irrepressible need to express myself. Actually, at times it becomes the attempt to "understand myself" in the reflection of what I do, a way to learn and understand myself better.
What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?
Talking about my work intimidates me, I blush as if we were talking about love... and even now, putting myself in the position to talk, sensibly, about the emotional process that drives me to creation, well… it makes me dizzy. What I can say is that I would like to be able to create an idea from the beginning, I would like to know how to convey that emotion in creating a piece of art that's "how I would like it to be". I usually start off with one idea, but when I'm holding a pencil things keep changing... and my characters seem trapped in that space between what they really are and what I would like them to be. A bit like we all are, I think, trying to accept our life or wishing to change it. That sense of unavoidability, of suspended time, those moments where we would like to abandon the path we are walking and start over again, moments in which we think we're free but then find ourselves trapped inside a memory or slaves of freedom itself.
Are there any artists that inspire you? If so who would they be and why?
Of course there are artists who inspire me. Many, actually. I also, unintentionally, come across new amazing ones on Facebook, on the Pop Surrealism page www.facebook.com/popsurrealism) that I created years ago. Rather than an inspiration, I would call it an emotion. Inspiration mainly comes to me from my own past... and I preferred to teach myself how to paint because, knowing myself, I knew that I would risk losing my instinct and spontaneity. I listen to music while painting. James Blunt, Ben's Brothers, Norah Jones, Damien Rice and others.
What do you want viewers to walk away with when they view your artwork?
I've always and only ever painted for myself, and in truth I've always felt embarrassed showing my work to others. So, this is probably a question I can't answer. Well, this is what I'd like: I'd like my viewers to feel suspended just for a moment, and listen to their own hidden clouds....
And finally, what advice would you give to other artists?
I think that art is an energy one is born with... being an artist means never stop asking oneself questions and searching for answers... hoping that those answers will never be found. A piece of advice? Be brave, don't be afraid to criticize your own work, and actually, the least you like it, the more you will want to grow, explore, and improve.
Darkonn has several shows coming up in the future. They are as follows:
Charity "Show Green Blood"
Curated by Alexandra Mazzanti & Tara McPherson
White Velvet project space, Dorothy Circus Gallery
Nuvole Nascoste" (Hidden Clouds)
Modern Eden Gallery
Modern Eden Gallery
San Francisco, California
"Moon Goddess Exhibition"
"Moon Goddess Exhibition"
Curated by Aunia Kahn.
All photos provided by Ixie Darkonn,