Nazzarena Poli Maramotti


“Each work has many «endings»”

AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?

NPM: I come from a little town near Reggio Emilia, Italy. I started making art as many others: I liked to draw and I did it costantly. I come from a family that encouraged me to pursue in the direction I liked, so I chose schools linked to art. It has been a natural process, in a way.


AT: When did it become serious?

NPM:  I think I realized it was actually becoming “serious”, as You are suggesting, when I moved to Germany thanks to the Erasmus project; I saw my work wasn’t significant only for me, but also others found it appealing. It was curious that someone wanted to buy a paperwork exhibited at the summer show at the academy where I was studying.


AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?

NPM: Yes, for example my former professor at the AdBK Nürnberg, Susanne Kühn. She has been a light, not just speaking about painting and art making. There are actually many people I should be thankful with (and some others I shouldn’t thank : that’s why they have been precious, in a way), but I would end up writing a list of names.

“Dopo La Tempesta”, mixed media on canvas, polystyrene, gypsum, acrylic 200×300 cm, 2017 | ph. Johannes Kersting.

AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?

NPM: I developed a sort of “rithual”. I don’t know if “rithual” is the best word for it, but in lack of a better one, I’ll keep on using it. So, every time I start to paint again, I take a look at my archive. Over time, I collected a lot of pictures from the internet, from magazines and photos I take. They serve as notes, reminding me the reasons why I found them so triggering. I printed some of them on paper (some of the prints are really old and so damaged that they became something new: the colors are not a faithful reproduction of the original ones, and somewhere there are drops of paint or water, dirt, and fingerprints.


AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?

NPM: I love oil painting.


AT: Do you leave your work open to interpretation? Or do you think the viewer should engage with your work in a specific way?

NPM: Actually, my work is pretty open to interpretation, and sometimes it’s really intriguing to hear the reactions of the viewers.


AT: How do you feel while you are working? You think of the final result?

NPM: When I get to work I have a feeling about the final result, a goal that I let change as the picture evolves. It happens that my very different canvases had the same initial horizon.

“Bagnanti”, mixed media on canvas 200×160 cm, 2018 | ph. Masiar Pasquali.
“NEDO”, mixed media on canvas 170×130 cm, 2019 | ph. Masiar Pasquali.

AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?

NPM: Each work has many “endings”. When I’m focused to work, I can stop myself before going past the one that most convinces me, but I don’t always succeed. Happens to me to realise I have passed the moment of finitude. Then, I have to proceed to the next one, if there is one.


AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?

NPM: The inspiration for my work is largely from the outside world. Then, over time, I developed a language, a personal representation which I draw to interpret external stimuli.


AT: Do you think art can be learned or it is something innate?

NPM: I can’t say, to be honest. I guess there are no written rules.


AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?

NPM: Yes, I was really fascinated by the work of Nicola Samorì, some years ago. I saw some big paintings in Bologna and, at the time, I had -almost- the same topics. His technique is impressive and I felt little and naive. These feelings helped me, even not immediately, to change direction and look for a more intimate path.

“FRASTUONO”, mixed media on paper 42 x 30 cm, 2019 | ph. Masiar Pasquali | painted during the art residency at the NKD Nordisk Kunstnarsenter Dale, Norway.
“V1”, mixed media on paper 24,4 x 17,5 cm, 2020 | ph. Masiar Pasquali.

AT: How important is the role of social media for you?

NPM: Well, at the moment they are very present on the art scene and allow a greater exchange of information, which can be seen in both, positive and negative way. I personally use the social media as a showcase, thanks to which I can inform people about news and events. That is also what I look for when I see other accounts.


AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?

NPM: This is a very complex question. Also because the art scene changes a lot depending on the state. As in every field, there are trends, and suddently many artists follow them. Some genuinely feel attracted by those, but others do so because it is a easier way to be included in bigger shows. These tendencies seem to arrive, sooner or later, everywhere. We are all trapped in a system where the market sets the rules, where it’s difficult to prosecute one’s own path, uncorrupted.


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?

NPM: Well, I guess I answered just now 😉


AT: What do you do besides art?

NPM: I live my life.


AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?

NPM: I would really like to go on this way. I have no impossible expectations, at the moment.

Exhibition view “Unterwasser”, 2018, AplusB Gallery, Brescia | ph. Alberto Petrò.
Nazzarena Poli Maramotti (1987) is an Italian painter currently living and working in Cavriago (RE), Italy.

Her analysis explores the traditional subjects consistently – portrait, landscape and still life –and investigates the possible relations between shape and color, tone and light, matter’s density and lightness, experimented in the painting practice. Working with recurring subjects frees her from being worried about the content, allowing her to concentrate on the painting.