Friday, December 21, 2012

INTERVIEW: Antonio Natale - Painter

Throughout the year 2012, we have met many artists with a variety of unique styles in their creations. And at the end of this year, allow us to introduce you to one of them, his name is Antonio Natale, born in Foggia (Italy) in 1965. Here he attended the “Arts High School” and courses for poster advertisements and figure designs. During his school years he worked as an advertising designer and illustrator for a local daily newspaper and he also created several book covers. In 1984, he moved to Rome to attend the “Accademia delle belle Arti” (Fine Arts Academy), where he graduated in 1988. While he was at the Academy he also attended courses on artistic sculpture at the “Calcografia Nazionale” (National Moulding Graphic) in Rome. Furthermore, he conducted researches on themes such as << the myth and history in the operational procedure of the “Nuova Maniera” (New Manner) thinking.
Over this period and still in Rome, he also worked as an interior decorator and he started to travel through Europe. A very important moment of his artistic life was represented by the impact the work of northern European expressionists while he stayed in Northern countries. Since 1991, his career as an artist continues to shine, and until now he has got many achievements. We were fortunate to get a little conversation with him, who had just held a solo exhibition in Brazil.

  Interview with Antonio Natale...
-      How long have you been an artist? 
Since I began to think for my self, when I understood that with my drawings I was able to communicate better than with words. Thus, since I was very little.

-      Is being an artist a full-time career for you? 
Yes, the creativity occupies all my time, 24/24, 12 months per year. To be a creative artist, one needs to have total mental freedom.

-      Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects? 
Since 1997, I chose original banknotes from around the world as the pictorial support for my artworks. So, every single work of mine is made with original notes, and on top, my pictorial intervention. But it was not the first time that I painted on already existent supports. Before 1997, I painted on maps and plans of the cities I visited. On them, I made visible my sensations, as if they were pages of a diary.


-      What was your inspiration? 
My inspiration for painting on a banknote note happened in a day in 1997, when, a bit by chance and a bit for fun, I stopped to read a message written by an anonymous "writer" on a thousand lire banknote (back then, our Italian money was the Lira). And think: if words and money are compatible, could Art and Money also be? And more, Art permits that the recreational and forbidden dreams reverse the sense of money. I was there, left with the banknote in his hands to reflect throughout the entire night. The next day, exciting new creative horizons were open for me to explore. That is how my first painted banknote was born the "# 1".

-      "What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
     What is Art... certainly a question that may seem trivial and that it can still get discounted and predictable answers. Conversely, every time I ask my self this question my answers vary from period I'm going through, and on my mood. At this time the art for me is a way to get to know deeper the human being, its weaknesses and strengths. And I, as an artist, feel called to eternalize these moments. To make the whole world see the various human conditions. And to paint these conditions on banknotes makes the “All” much more prevailing. Banknotes are always the only real evidence of our history. Since they made their first appearance, they have always lived alongside the human beings, sharing joys and sorrows. ​​

-      What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
The advice my Mother gave me: "Feed yourself  with only a piece of dry bread, but paint what you see and imagine, without ever listening to advices of others...". It was my first advice, I have always listened to, I listen now, and will listen forever. It is Indelible. 

-      Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
When I paint in my studio in Italy in Foggia, a studio/museum. More than a studio, it looks like a grand Bazaar... I'm surrounded by items collected over many years, objects that remind me of my life until now... I need them to start creating. When I'm in Switzerland, I paint in Leysin, where I share the space with a local artist. But what I feel more mine is my studio in Foggia. As for my creative process, it is very simple. Usually I am always looking for banknotes that interest me, where I can already see the story I will paint. I buy them around the world, people give me as a present or I find them on the internet from private collectors. The process consists of two parts: the First and most important, it is the to study the banknote, and that sometimes can take me a long time. I observe the banknote until it begins to talk with my creativity inspiration. I study the country it belongs to, its history. Thus, a crucial moment.
The second moment is the one of the execution, when I paint, when I turn into an artwork. And this moment arrives when I have my ideas very clear, when I have everything ready in my head. I do make preparatory drawings, sketches, or drafts. I paint the notes directly, without schemes, or I might lose my initial idea. This time, the one for the execution does not last long, much less than the first.

Antonio at work.

-      What has been the biggest challenge in the work you create?  
 That of telling the world that money can have another meaning.

-      Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
Usually I go to many Art sites, and I stop only on those that really interest me. Lately, Asian art site intrigue me. But I always prefer to instruct myself on specialized magazines.


Here are some of Antonio's works from his exhibition "Fora de Circulação" held in Porto da Barra, Brazil, December 8th, 2012. His next exhibition will be held  in Switzerland. We will try to follow him, so we can preach to you. If you want to know more about Antonio's work, you can visit his facebook page here!



"Fora de Circulação", 2012, the event....


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