ISSUE # 25 - MARCH 2016 EDITOR IN CHIEF / ART DIRECTOR Attilio Brancaccio ARTISTS Nunzio Paci Simone di Stefano Kaitlyn Page Nina Tokhtaman Valetova
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ISSUE #25 | CONTENTS
PAG.2 HOOP DOOP MEETS NUNZIO PACI
PAG.12 “SPACELANDIA” SIMONE DI STEFANO
PAG.20 KAITLYN PAGE
PAG.28 NINA TOKHTAMAN VALETOVA
“MY WHOLE WORK DEALS WITH THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MAN AND NATURE, IN PARTICULAR WITH ANIMALS AND PLANTS. THE FOCUS OF MY OBSERVATION IS BODY WITH ITS MUTATIONS. MY INTENTION IS TO EXPLORE THE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES OF LIFE, IN SEARCH OF A BALANCE BETWEEN REALITY AND IMAGINATION.” Hi Nunzio. Tell us a bit more about your background. How did you become a painter? I began painting as a “graffiti writer” in the early ‘90s with a group of friends in the streets of Bologna. Over the years, my needs changed and, consequentely, also my vision of art changed. Before it was enough to be a painter, then I wanted to be an artist. Who did inspire you in the early days of your artistic career? I have never met an artist and man whose works or achievements have inspired me. I believe that inspiration is the result of deep reflections on what you are afraid of and what you are trying to tame and dominate through inside you. How would you describe your artistic imagination? It is quite difficult to define something you live in “first person”... Anyway, I think it is and will be always free from any rules and constantly changing.
You have recently shown five, never exhibited before, paintings at Art Stage Singapore. What kind of feedback did you get from this experience? Thanks to this kind of experiences it is possible to understand how the international art scene is going global. Today the art world is free from geographical and cultural barriers and artists from every corner of the globe have the courage to experiment and express themselves through their own languages. What are you working on right now? Any future projects? I’ve recently been awarded a stay at NKD - Nordic Artists’ Centre in Dale, Western Norway, an Artist-inResidence Programme funded by Norwegian Ministry of Culture. The residency will take place next summer, whereas, my new solo project will be introduced in Rome next autumn.
In many of your paintings is always present a symbiotic relationship between nature elements and human anatomies . What do you mean to show through your works ? I have always been attracted by the changes that time, continuously and indisputably, imposes on things. I think that he key to understanding my work can be found there... I myself am looking for the meaning of my work and I hope, one day, to find it. Where do you look at for new inspirations? I don’t know, I don’t put myself questions or limits, simply I will keep doing what I have always done in the most natural way. 3
SIMONE DI STEFANO
IT SEEMED TO ME THAT EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE HAD SEVERAL OTHER LIVES AS WELL.
Arthur Rimbaud, “A Season in Hell.”
“Spacelandia” is a painting exhibition by Simone di Stefano, his “creation” and “creature” that I have seen come into the world and grow slowly, between insights and changes of direction, over the last two or three years. I witnessed its birth and first steps, to then see it speed up and become a whirlwind research of exponential proliferation, where the details, often in the background of his previous work (still marked by the dominant trait of the designer and graphic designer) have come forward, magnified - as if under the lens of a crazed microscope - obtaining an unprecedented force in the passionate pursuit of color, of appearance, which is inclined towards volume. I said, “Spacelandia”, as it is a place where you can recollect, visit, and journey, but without a compass or astrological chart, since the best way to understand it is to lose yourself in it, letting yourself go to a “situationist” drift, to an unconscious wandering that allows you to find without looking. This is similar, very similar to the pictorial journey which inspired this exhibition. The artist got so involved, creating with full awareness and technical knowledge an admirable glittering spaceship able to traverse an entire galaxy, only to then lose the planned cosmic route and forget the plan and purpose of the trip, he himself discovering new and surprising things. It is left to us to determine whether the 46 paintings that make up “Spacelandia” are the galaxy to explore, or rather the metaphorical spaceship built for this purpose. In the latter case, we should look for the galaxy elsewhere, perhaps starting with ourselves. Speaking of being a part of something, it was my humble suggestion to Simone to read “Flatland” (a quirky fantasy/allegorical novel written in 1882 by Edwin A.Abbott, teacher and theologian - which describes a flat, two-dimensional, structured world in which a loyal civil servant meets a spherical messiah sent from Spacelandia, our, three-dimensional world, and becomes a prophet, mocked and misunderstood by his fellow citizens who were unable to understand the existence of other universes of three, four, or five dimensions) in order to gain inspiration for his “Spacelandia” vision, or rather, the name to give it. In retrospect it was part coincidence, part inspiration, as the rest was already there in Simone’s recent work: a thought that was also an action, a reflection that resulted in the creation of the paintings, without prior reasoning. Like all true painters, in fact, Simone speaks and understands the world on canvas, or, in this case, wood, since almost all the paintings were created using this material. It is only after that words are used to offer other clues and to give a name to what was already his perceptive drifting.
Notes taken wandering Spacelandia by David Laurenzi (Writer and Visual Anthropologist), Extracts chosen and translated by Manuela Ferretti 13
I ENJOY EXPLORING DEPTH AND MEANING BEHIND UNITY, ONENESS WITH SELF, EMOTION BEHIND THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS, AND THE FORCES OF ENERGY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE UNIVERSE. EACH PIECE IS AN EXPRESSION OF HOW I FELT ON A PARTICULAR DAY OR WHAT THOUGHTS WERE RUNNING THROUGH MY MIND IN WHICH I FOUND I WANTED TO CONVEY ON CANVAS, WITH THE COLORS REPRESENTING MY MOOD AND FEELING. MY PIECES HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED AS “INTRIGUING,” “THOUGHT PROVOKING,” AND “INTENSE,” AND THEY CARRY A PSYCHEDELIC ELEMENT WHICH HAS BEEN BROUGHT UPON FROM MY EXPERIENCES. COLOR HOLDS SOME OF THE MOST MEANING TO ME WHEN I WORK ON SOMETHING, BECAUSE A COLOR, SUCH AS BLUE OR PURPLE, CAN REPRESENT A MOOD OR A THOUGHT AND CAN EVOKE EMOTION IN THE VIEWER TO GAIN BETTER INCITE INTO THE PIECE. I DO NOT LIKE TO PIN POINT A MEANING BEHIND EACH OF MY PIECES, AS I BELIEVE ARTWORK SHOULD SPEAK FOR ITSELF AND THAT EVERY INDIVIDUAL WILL HAVE A DIFFERENT IDEA OF WHAT IT MEANS TO THEM WHEN THEY OBSERVE A PIECE. ALL OF THE BELOW PIECES WERE COMPLETED IN WATERCOLOR, PEN AND INK.
KAITLYN PAGE IS A 20 YEAR OLD WATERCOLORIST AND ASPIRING ARTIST FROM PENNSYLVANIA, USA, WHO’S WORK FOCUSES ON THE ABSTRACT AND SURREAL. I grew up in the countryside, far from a big city or town, where there was no focus on the arts, yet I’ve always had a deep yearning to create. I first began drawing around the age of 10 or so, in spring of 2006. One evening when I was bored, I picked up a “How to Draw African Animals Book,” from my school’s library, tried my first stab at it and absolutely fell in love with the idea of drawing. And although I never really saw myself doing anything with art as a career, I just continued to do it, every single day. As a beginner, I mainly focused on drawing realistic animal portraits and cartoon characters. I started with pastels, then moved to graphite, and stuck with those two mediums for multiple years. Soon, it felt more like an urge, or something far more addicting than just a hobby. When I was around the age of 16, I tried painting in watercolors for the first time. The painting was basic, as the subject matter was a basket full of fruit, but watercolor would become my favorite
medium within a few years time. I never thought I would completely change my style at 18 to work on surreal and abstract subject matter with a hint of realism. My thought process changed a lot from 1720, with many eye-opening experiences, thus my subject matter changed and my work has become more of what it is today.I think with practice, my eye for detail got better and I was able to find mediums which complemented eachother. I’m always looking at objects as lines, colors and shapes, lighting and textures and how it would feel to put it on paper. Everyday continues to inspire me in a different way. I did not find myself going to college for art, although I had considered it heavily and then changed my mind at the last second. I just couldn’t see myself studying in a structured environment. Thus, I decided to dedicate my time exclusively to my work and learn through experience, and as of right now, I have been taking commissions from a variety of people; from album artwork, to book covers, to line art tattoo commissions, to pet portraits and more, and although it is difficult at times, I hope someday to be able to accomplish my goal of becoming a professional artist.
ORIGINALLY FROM SOUTH URALS IN RUSSIA, NINA TOKHTAMAN VALETOVA NEW YORK BASED VISUAL ARTIST. HOLDING MASTER’S DEGREE IN ART FROM UNIVERSITY BGPU IN UFA, SHE HAS BEEN WORKING AS A PAINTER SINCE 1982. SHE STUDIED ART AND ART HISTORY AT THE AGE OF 12 WHILE ATTENDING ART SCHOOL THEN AGAIN AT THE UNIVERSITY. ART CAME INTO HER LIFE WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD, AND SHE CANNOT IMAGINE HER LIFE WITHOUT IT. THE IDEA TO BECOME AN ARTIST CAME TO HER AT AGE 7. NINA’S WORKS EXPLORE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANCIENT CULTURES, MYTHOLOGIES, FANTASY, METAPHYSIC, AND PHILOSOPHY METAPHYSICAL REALISM, VISIONARY ART , FANTASY ART REPRESENTED IN OIL PAINTINGS AND DIGITAL ART WORKS BY NINA TOKHTAMAN VALETOVA. EXPERIMENTS WITH COLOR, COMPOSITION AND DIMENSION MAKE PAINTINGS ENIGMATIC AND PARADOXICAL. HER WORKS HAVE PHILOSOPHICAL DEPTH . WITH IMAGINATION AND MEDITATION NINA USES AS A STUDENT OF EASTERN PHILOSOPHY OF ZEN THE ARCHETYPES OF THE UNCONSCIOUS TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNIVERSE MULTILATERAL THIN. HER WORKS HAVE DREAMLIKE QUALITY , WHEREIN OBJECTS FREQUENTLY TURN INTO ONE ANOTHER .