Interview: Giulia Filippi

Interview: Giulia FilippiImage courtesy of Giulia Filippi

Interview: Giulia Filippi

Luca Curci talks with artist Giulia Filippi during BODIES+CITIES SKIN exhibition in Venice on May 2016. Coming from Italy, Giulia Filippi has studied Illustration and Animation at the European Institute of Design (IED) in Milan. She is currently based in the multicultural and artistic city of Berlin, where she works as a photographer, illustrator, photo model freelancer, with past experiences in art galleries and fashion agencies.

Luca Curci – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival  or is it a part of preexisting works? 

Giulia Filippi Thank you very much. The artworks presented had been made for two international art contests. One of the two, “Key to Happiness”, won the first prize for the international art competition “Legatum prosperity index Legatum” and was exhibited in London, in 2013. Artists had to illustrate a possible better future for the humanity, the values that can do it.

 

Interview: Giulia FilippiImage courtesy of Giulia Filippi

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L.C. – Please tell me what are you working at right now

G.F. – In this period I’m doing a lot of things: when I arrived in Berlin, in 2012, I opened a VAT number for fashion, illustration and graphic, I love the idea to work at home with my Mac. I find customers, photo shootings, events, competitions that I like. Since January 2015 I’m studying photography, and a few months ago I started a weekly collaboration as a photographer for the newspaper “Berlino Magazine”. I’m doing also a lot of exhibitions: now, for example, I created an art installation for the international festival of art ART MAP, in Ponte De Lima, Portugal,visible until September 2016 and I participated in the collective street photography exhibition “INSIDE-OUT Berlin”, until November 2016. Another project I’m working on is to open my own place here in Berlin, together with my brother, chef and musician: the idea is to open a place where the culinary aspect lives together with the artistic and musical. It would be my dream!

L.C. – What is art for you?

G.F. – Art is my life: one of the oldest memories that I have is just my first drawing. I was very young when I started to draw, I loved to see all the colors on my hands. I’ve always drawn a lot, I never stopped. I am a reserved person, and I’ve always dedicated myself to art, because it allows me to express myself and to release what I have inside, without the use of words, since I was a child. In addition to this, art has always relaxed and amused me at the same time.

 

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L.C. – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?

G.F. – I studied Ilustration and Animation at the European Institute of Design in Milan and I must say that it was very important for my education: the teachers I had were all well integrated in the design market and they were also excellent teachers.I have experienced all the artistic techniques, but only at the European Institute of Design I found my way: there, especially with courses of the famous illustrator Paolo Rui, I discovered conceptual art, I fell in love and decided it would be my way of working. Important were also photography and street photography courses here in Berlin, with the photographers Anna Agliardi and Paolo Lafratta, and the course “Individual Coaching and professional Training”  (Weiterbildung): they taught me how to formulate a CV, how to face a job interview, how to write submission emails, obviously with reference to German canons and to my field of work. The turning point! Obviously, fundamental was my move to Berlin: this city is simply my heaven: Berlin made me realize what I really want from my life and allowed me to do what I do. I just have to say “thank you“ to Berlin! I had the opportunity to realize exhibitions, to work in various fields of art, and to know a lot of people. It’s an open city, multi-ethnic, where art lives everywhere. It’s a city that gives you a lot of possibilities, a city that always moves and evolves, that gives you every day more stimulation and desire to create. I always say “Wake me up when Berlin ends”, presenting another version of the Green Day song. I wish that Berlin will remain forever a source of energy and vitality for all the artists, where even if the competition is very high, you can create a really huge network of contacts and you can collect a lot of experiences. The best thing of Berlin is the possible collaboration between artists who come from the most various fields of art, cinema, music.

 

Interview: Giulia FilippiImage courtesy of Giulia Filippi

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L.C. – What role does the artist have in society? And the art?

G.F. – Art is a huge world and rich of meanings. Be an artist can have different meanings. Each artist has an infinite world, that can be expressed in different ways. Surely I can speak about my poetry: I took this job as a mission. This advice comes from Umberto Eco, famous Italian semiotician, philosopher and writer, that I studied at the university in Milan, and unfortunately died recently: “An artwork is always a confession”. I have taken literally this thing: there is nothing more true in the world for me. In every work that I realize, there is a piece of myself inside, something secret of my being and the viewer has the duty to understand the sense. I find that this mystery is great, something magic. I never had the opportunity to meet this great man, but I will never stop to take him up. I wish that my art could change society in a better way, to open the mentality of people, so that everyone is more united, and more available to the next, without racism and without prejudices. Now I’m forced to quote my artistic installation exhibited at the Museum of European Cultures in Berlin, from 2015 to 2017, a project in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Culture and the Association “Network Women Berlin”. I think it’s the best work I’ve done: a world in black and white, divided into two hearts but held together in several areas with red threads, gives rise to the idea of mental and expressive freedom, social equality and the joyful coexistence of different cultures, as a bastion of harmony, respect and brotherhood, where all foreigners become locals, where linguistic and ethnic differences are no longer an obstacle to overcome, but which actually contribute to mutual enrichment. This work was born in Berlin, and it represents this wonderful city. Berlin welcomed me in this way, with open arms, and I wanted to represent it to the world: I wish that every city will become so.

 

Interview: Giulia FilippiImage courtesy of Giulia Filippi

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L.C. – What is your creative process like?

G.F. – The best advice for my creative process came from my favorite teacher, Paolo Rui, at the university in Milan: “You have to look, look so much. Watch what the other artists do now and what they did in the past. To be inspired, to understand what you like and what you don’t like, what reflects yourself, what can work,what can be improved.” Every morning, I spend at least an hour to read newspapers, articles, to look photos and artistic projects. Observe is everything!
Then I start to create… I love to be versatile, I love doing the so-called “mixed media”, describing both personal topics and social. My works are complex also for this reason, the technique and the materials too: a mix of drawing, painting, graphic, photography. Then I try to create something that is not obvious and banal: this is conceptual art. I simply use some concepts and symbols, to express something else,something deeper. Conceptual art is not easy to guess and that’s what I like of it: I invite the reader to escape reality, to think, to discover unknown worlds.

 

Interview: Giulia FilippiImage courtesy of Giulia Filippi

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L.C. – What do you think about It’s LIQUID Platform?

G.F. – I think it’s a good platform for artists, already known, and also for those younger who want to be known. It ‘a platform that give the opportunity to exhibit artworks in a lot of countries, in very important buildings and obviously to create many contacts. And the best thing is that this opportunity is powerful for very kind of artist, graphic designers, sculptors, illustrators or photographers, without exceptions. For me exhibitions that involve together all the different aspects of art are the most beautiful.

L.C. – What do you think about our organization of the event?

G.F. – I think it was very accurate and intelligent: for the beautiful locations, for the advertising of the event with websites and social media, not only in Italy, and for the way the work has been exposed. And then, it was very exciting and captivating to have artists who made their performance at the opening of the event.

 Intervoew: Giulia FilippiImage courtesy of Giulia Filippi

 

Interview: Giulia FilippiImage courtesy of Giulia Filippi

 

Interview: Giulia FilippiImage courtesy of Giulia Filippi

 

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