“I started because it was and still is a need to find a space of personal comfort”
AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?
GR: I live and work in Turin (Italy), but I was born in a town not far from here, a place that I always remember as vaguely gray and predictable (apart from some places that seemed a bit like oases to me). I am convinced that I have started to make my first attempts with drawings and colors to have my little space in which I can compare myself with what I needed and to express sensations and analogies, discoveries and revolts. I started because it was and still is a need to find a space of personal comfort. I think that the images are born from this will, the external condition is almost indifferent in this type of intention.
AT: When did it become serious?
GR: It has started to be serious for me when it still could not be, I think I would say in the preteen years, around twelve. It was very clear to me that this path would concern me and that I would always look for it. In this way, extraneous to verbal language, it seemed to me that I could hope to be able to empathize more with others and better analyze the human issues of identity, the unconscious and universal themes, in a way that I hoped for myself to be able to be more direct.
AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?
GR: Yes, there are people very important to me, but they don’t necessarily concern the art world. However, I have met artists,curators and gallerists whom I respect very much and who are a very important point of reference and exchange of ideas for me.
AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?
GR: I think the main thing about my way of working is a kind of balance between two or more opposing desires, and I hope that my intent becomes clearer over time.When an image of some kind is created, by any means a movement occurs which is as if it were an intertwining of two opposing forces that compensate and deny each other, or perhaps hope in it.I think every work has its own history and evolution, there are works that are resolved immediately and do not need second thoughts and others that are less precocious, and are tiring to carry on. But in general I try to follow instinctive ideas and the connections between different parts happen later, I think that in the type of painting I do it is important to follow the instinct, at the risk of making a stupid subject.These intrinsic dialogues concern the material, in this sense the material volume of the material is secondary but rather of vibrations of tones, and it is the most difficult part and the research that most enthralls me, actually makes me angry at times or amused.During the moment in which I make a work at a certain point I realize that this kind of tension is created between tones that prove each other right and other times that deny each other, in different measures. The process you choose and the attitude above all change things a lot. It is the difficult understanding between dynamism and static. Everything comes from the balance and the hope of putting together these two opposing desires and the emotions linked to them, they are the two main things from which all my work starts, the rest are consequential developments.
Finchè quel che fantastichiamo è stato, 2020, Castello di Rivoli – Espressioni | courtesy Castello di Rivoli | ph. Antonio Maniscalco
AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?
GR: An authentic contact with others and with myself.Returning difficult moods through layered sensations, in a similar way occurs in poetry.
AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?
GR: I use rather traditional techniques such as oil painting and drawing, and simple and easy to find materials closer to the spontaneity of working, closer to the moment when you had an idea and want to manifest it in a certain way and at times even with some urgency.
AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the final outcome beforehand?
GR: Generally I try not to be distracted by other thoughts and remain fixed on the work I am doing. it’s the best way to be immersed in the process. I don’t think too much about the final result, because it’s never completely predictable and controllable. I start with various studies done previously that give me an idea of general composition and some tones and contrasts, but sometimes I radically change the choices that I had previously planned.
AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?
GR: It is a very intuitive moment and a bit difficult to explain, perhaps it cannot be described.In my opinion, the important thing is not to be in any hurry to reach this moment, especially with painting, otherwise you exceed the threshold of tolerance of the painting or leave it too soon.
Libellula, 2018, 200×200 cm, Chalks and charcoal on paper, Installation view at Spaziobuonasera Turin
L’arcobaleno disidratato 2019 | He Heard with His Dead Ear at Almanac, Turin, 2019 | courtesy the artist and Almanac London -Turin | ph. Sebastiano Pellion
AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?
GR: The inspiration comes from many different things that meet each other and from which new relationships arise, like happens in dreams. Such as the memories, people and situations I saw during some of my walks, stories, images from the web, fake news, iconographies of art, literature, and above all sensations.
AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?
GR: Yes many artists , in this period I am thinking a lot about Wiligelmo, Pino Pascali ,Martin Kippenberger, Hannah Höch and Hayao Miyazaki.
AT: How important is the role of social media for you?
GR: They are quite important for me, as I think for almost all of us. They are very funny and have amplified our way of communicating a visual level but every now they create a strange state of confusion, I think that beyond all the more or less true or exaggerated interpretations there is a very physical discourse, in the our mind there is a part that lets itself be dazzled by the lights come some animals on the roads and we often feel this way and it is the most dangerous part.
Il primo amore, 2019, 200 x 150 cm, 200 x 150 cm, Chalks and charcoal on paper
Danza sull’erba, 2018 | A creepy and holy jingle 2018, Napoli, La Casaforte S.B | Courtesy Bite the Saurus | ph. Danilo Donzelli
AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?
GR: We are in a historical moment of transition and indecision, even art is involved and affected. But I think it’s good thing.
AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?
GR: The best thing is when unexpected ideas happen along the path of a work, for me it’s the most stimulating thing. It’s a very magical moment. The most discouraging part is when the result of a certain work is too explicit or with slightly predictable choices.
AT: What do you do besides art?
GR: Actually I spend most of my time in the studio, not only to work but also to browse catalogs, magazines, books and look at my objects . Apart from this I like walking and cycling.
AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?
GR: I would like to investigate more and more the relationship between space and painting, reality and the imaginative place, what is the modality in which thought with all its range of possibilities finds space on a physical plane.
Catatonico iridescente, 2019, 125x68x30 cm, paper mache sculpture | Courtesy , ALMANAC, London/Turin | ph. Sebastiano Pellion
"My research moves between painting and drawing, with three-dimensional contaminations. I intend to investigate interiority, its shadows, the most hidden corners of consciousness, of things and the non-sense as a place where unusual realities arise. My pictorial questioning is not explicit but veiled and shown as a mysterious tale, made of subtexts and allusions. Moments suspended between the present and the future penetrate our symbolic world". Giuliana Rosso (b. 1992) is an Italian visual artist currently living and working in Turin, Italy