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I am convinced that Beauty boosts our immune system
Interview by Alessandra Zocca
Anna, you define yourself as a "visual artist", what do you mean?"Visual" art is the terminology used to define art expressions/works which produce a visible object/item.
Amongst the various visual art forms I have a preference for painting and installations, but I am also engaged in art didactics and I teach art at school, public and private institutions, and in companies.
How is it that art has become your profession?
I have a specific memory from my childhood which can help me answer this question: when as children we were asked by adults what we would choose as a profession once we were grown up, some of us used to answer they wanted to become dancers, engineers, vets or mechanics, while I always answered, without hesitation, that I wanted to become a cartoonist (animated cartoons). Now I understand that I made my decision to work as an artist long ago and in a very natural, spontaneous, but also conscious, way. Later, along my journey I have developed the stamina and the competencies that have enabled me to work as an independent visual artist.
How do you get inspiration for your art? Have you had role-models in your life?
During my educational and professional development I have met at least five people who deeply inspired me: my teacher at the elementary school, my philosophy teacher at the high school, my art anatomy teacher at the school of fine arts (1) and two pedagogues during my post-university education.
These individuals have triggered my creative process more than anyone else - so far – by providing me with the appropriate cultural frameworks and with their living example, with their human qualities and expertise they empowered me and sustained me in finding my own path.
From the visual art side the artist who has impressed me mostly has been Bruno Munari (2), who represents for me an inexhaustible source of inspiration. The quality of his art shows without doubt how exceptional he was both as an individual and as an artist. I have become attached to Bruno Munari, whom I profoundly respect and whom I candidly call "my uncle".
I also find his writing style very touching (3), though simple, essential, ironic, intelligent, vivid, joyful and authentic.
The red path of my art is "sharing", I give you an example, Alessandra, of my own concept of sharing, how it works:
What is the red path of your art?
- When I read a book, watch a film or I simply talk with somebody, some elements - details, images or sentences – might touch me in a special way, move me or disturb me (as I guess it happens to other people too)
- These elements look to me like stones thrown into a stretch of clean water, which do not plummet to the bottom but always float under the water’s surface until an unforeseen moment when they start interacting in an unpredictable way
- I believe that any new idea is the result of a new interaction, something born in the stretch of clean water that comes to the surface - like a surprise - to be "shared".
How have you started your career as an artist? What was your first orientation?
I started by painting a series of pictures that I named "FACE TO FACE" (a mixture of acrylic and collage on canvas, various dimensions). These paintings reflect my thought that people can influence the climate of a place by changing the energy vibration through their presence, their voices, their gazes, the colours they wear.
So I have painted several facial expressions: for example an eyebrow rising up, a grimace, a tear, or laughter can reveal different moods.
While I was preparing the materials (cuttings of paper with different thickness), I used to reflect about how people experience different temperaments and that made me feel so enthusiastic!
Canvas - "FACE TO FACE"
Are your art works considered rather "traditional" or do you experience the graphic techniques offered today by new technologies?
I have a preference for painting on canvas, but at the same time I am fond of all that the new art technologies can offer. Concerning “digital painting”, I would like to share with you the story of one of my art works named "IN EQUILIBRIO" (In Balance) that combines both the aspects of tradition and innovation. It is actually a permanent "digital fresco" (size 5mx3m), I created according to the rules of the innovative technique called "Tattoo-wall" (4), a real permanent tattoo on a wall.
Digital Fresco - "IN EQUILIBRIO" (In Balance)
This digital fresco was commissioned from me by the consortium for land reclamation in Padua (Consorzio di Bonifica Adige Euganeo di Padova) (5) to celebrate a successful infrastructural work in an area mostly below the sea level - located in the north-east of Italy, between the Adige and Bacchiglione rivers, close to the Adriatic Sea -. This area was drained and taken back from the sea during the 19th and 20th centuries thanks to the ability of hydraulic engineers, the hard work of agricultural workers and, later, of the new technologies.
My digital fresco "IN EQUILIBRIO (In Balance)" celebrates the synergy between people and technology in order to protect the precious balance between the intervention of man and the miracle of nature. It was not easy to help my buyer imagine what the final work would look like … it often happens. He was afraid that the picture could look too modern and being a permanent tattoo, he feared a potential "permanent" mistake … Fortunately the project leader trusted me and my work turned out to be a unanimous success. You know, Alessandra, giving me trust makes my fly.
Anna, I know you are very sensitive to social issues, how do you reflect your contribution to
the society in your art?
Through my installations (6) I contribute to create awareness around some of the most urgent social issues of nowadays. For instance, across the world many women and girls are treated like merchandise, trafficked from one country to another, sold like toys: my aim is to involve passers-by in the topic of human trafficking, slavery and female body mistreatment. I think I can explain better with the example of one of my installations - which I named “TOYS?” (7) - that normally generates a deep impact on the public. This is the process I put in place for the "TOYS?" installation:
- I delimit an area – public or private – and throw on the soil in a random order 800 dolls, battered and with no clothes: they represent neglected human beings, in a state of need and abandonment.
- I ask passers-by to pick up a doll, to take care of "her" by dressing her (I provide also some white fabrics and red ribbons) and to symbolically give human dignity back to her, and then to lay the doll in a specific zone of the installation area defined as a “safe zone”.
- During these activities people interact, exchange ideas, feelings and emotions, they develop awareness around these social plagues, and experience solidarity and sympathetic behaviours.
Interactive Installation - "TOYS?”
Anna, I know you are trying to advance your innovative idea of integrating the world of work with the world of art. What is your concept and how do you implement it?
Yes, I call this approach “art for business”. My goal is promoting people’s/ employee’s creativity in private and public companies, organisations and institutions through “art actions”. Again I think that an example from one of my art projects – "DISCORSO ALLA PARI (Peer Discussion)" (8) - could be the best explanation of how art can support an organisations’s goals.
An entrepreneur from Padua (Italy) - after attending my performance of "DISCORSO ALLA PARI" - engaged me for a dual goal: increasing the team spirit amongst his 100 employees and promoting his company products through an appealing monographic catalogue. The DISCORSO ALLA PARI (Peer discussion) project I put in place for this company included the following steps:
- Participants choose an object
- They treat/consider their object as an equal, as a peer
- They try to feel no prejudice, no embarrassment, no sense of superiority/inferiority, but to feel equals
- Participants talk to their object, about the object and about themselves.
Art for Business - "DISCORSO ALLA PARI (Peer Discussion)”
In the below video please see the spin offs of the University of Verona taking part in DAP project during the European Researchers' Night 2013 (8).
Anna, you are also an art teacher, a profession which has a great importance for you …Didactic is one of my greatest passions, teaching teaches, you know it, Alessandra. I love creating art educational curricula and specific training projects, like the one I called "OMAGGIO A CAPOGROSSI (Tribute to Capogrossi)", that I am happy to share with you.
When I studied the work of Giuseppe Capogrossi (1900-1972) (9), I have been touched by an episode that the artist narrates: " Once I went with my mother to an institute for blind people. In a room some children were drawing. I went closer: their papers were full of little black signs, a sort of a mysterious alphabet... I felt deeply moved. Since then I have understood that signs are not necessarily the image of something we have seen, but they can express something which is inside us... ". My educational project "OMAGGIO A CAPOGROSSI (10) (Tribute to Capogrossi)" is inspired by his quote.
I have structured "OMAGGIO A CAPOGROSSI (Tribute to Capogrossi)" into two phases: in the first phase participants create their own personal logo, unique and original, while in the second phase participants through a negotiation process are requested to integrate their own logos and deliver a collective logo.
Art Educational - "OMAGGIO A CAPOGROSSI (Tribute to Capogrossi)"
As in all my educational projects attendees are not required to have any specific design and painting ability or competencies. These types of art educational projects are addressed both to school pupils and to organisation employees or work teams. Actually these projects are excellent team building exercises.
I help the attendees feel proud of their work and see the beauty. As you can see in the above picture, Alessandra, what participants can do is amazing; at a glance we realise their art work is very beautiful.Beauty is my guiding principle: I am convinced that beauty boosts our immune system!
Anna, which are you professional or personal dreams?
Professionally speaking I hope to find a manager that likes my work, believes in me and that takes care of promoting me and my work: this is critical for my future success. Promotion is a very tiring activity for me; it's not my cup of tea at all… I dream that my art work can contribute to improve "equity" in our society. I have been inspired by my grandparents, whom I have never met and who have experienced both the world wars. What I mean is that I acknowledge the sacrifices made by my relatives and predecessors, who came before me and who contributed with their efforts to build a more free and peaceful society. Thanks to their living example I feel called with my actions and my art to do my part in building a better future for the next generations.
My heart’s dream is to live in Venice; in a house with a turret overlooking the lagoon …I have already shining eyes!
Thanks, Anna, I truly wish that the PWI Magazine brings good luck to you and that you can find your promotion manager or the "right" contact amongst our readers
Thanks, Alessandra, for this opportunity of introducing myself and my art to the PWI Magazine readership.
(1) Accademia di Belle Arti (School of fine Arts) of Venice
(2) Bruno Munari
(3) Books by Bruno Munari
(5) Consorzio di Bonifica Adige Euganeo di Padova
(6) Some installations by Anna Piratti:
SOTTOTITOLI (Subtitles): Europen Year For Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion (2010)
POLLINE (Pollen): an action for a sustainable future
DAP @ European Researchers' Night 2013
(9) Giuseppe Capogrossi (1900-1972)
(10) Omaggio a Capogrossi
|Anna Piratti is a visual artist. She currently lives and works in Brussels.
Her works include paintings, digital surfaces, installations and performances. Some pieces of her art are currently exhibited at Compar Bata, Consorzio Euganeo, Athlets World and Cinzia Araia.Since 2008, Anna has been creating urban installations, with the intention to actively involve the public.
Anna Piratti also works as a consultant for private companies and is involved in educational programmes commissioned by public organisations and institutions.
She approaches education with the concept that learning occurs through experience. Anna is also a teacher in a high school in Padua (Italy).
Anna Piratti was born in Dolo (Venice). She graduated from the School of fine Arts (Accademia di Belle Arti) in Venice with a major in painting. Whilst at college, she drew comic strips and illustrations.
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