Interview: Patrizia Casagranda

Interview: Patrizia CasagrandaImage courtesy of Patrizia Casagranda

Interview: Patrizia Casagranda

Luca Curci taks with Patrizia Casagranda during PLACES the second appointment of SURFACES FESTIVAL 2018 in Venice.

Patrizia Casagranda is a German with Italian roots and is born in Stuttgart, 1979. In 1994 she beeing Thomas Dürr’s student (artist in Stuttgart) for 2 years. She studied at Academy of Arts in Ravensburg and Trier. She is working from 2000 for International Art Center Netherlands. She graduated in designer with award at FH Niederrhein (2002). From 2002 she is art director in Krefeld/Düsseldorf/Venlo. She did book design and collaboration with Günther Uecker and Markus Lüpertz. She is working in Germany, Netherlands and India.

 

Interview: Patrizia CasagrandaImage courtesy of Patrizia Casagranda

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Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?

Patrizia Casagranda – I am painting since my childhood. I studied painting by an artist in Stuttgart at the age 14 till 16. And I worked first as a designer. It was always my passion to design something. I made bookdesign for Günther Uecker and Markus Lüpertz. I was fascinated by the power of Günther Uecker and how he worked with his 80 years in his atelier full of passion and attention. And I said to me I will try the same. Back to the roots.

 

L.C. – Which subject are you working on?

P.C. – At the moment I make a new serie, It is called diversity. I have different woman of different beliefs and races. Every religion have the same valence and order in their religion: 1.Islam; 2.Shinto; 3.Christian; 4.Jewish; 5.Hindu; 6.Buddhism. The number six stands for love and peace.

 

Interview: Patrizia CasagrandaImage courtesy of Patrizia Casagranda

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L.C. – Which is the role the artist plays in the society? And the contemporary art?

P.C. – The artist should illuminate something of the contemporary society.

 

L.C. – Did your style change over the years? In which way?

P.C. – It is always mixed media. I love structures, and this is how I can express them. I paint always in series. There are 30 pieces or even more from one serie. You can see it on www.patriziacasagranda.com. It was a development. First in the first serie and the second serie I used Photos and stencils, graffiti, Collages like a kind of street art. In the third serie I tried to paint the faces of the woman and I studied the old paintings of Italy from Pompeiji and I was fascinated about the colors and the structures of these old Fresques from Italy and also about the dream symbols. It is a eternal language till nowadays. I love the materiality of the paintings. It is like an old wall. The third series is described like this from an art historian:
The works of Patrizia Casagranda are an alluring invitation to dream, the opportunity to take your thoughts on a fascinating inner voyage. Looking upon these charming women‘s portraits, you are led to believe that they have originated from an alternate bygone era and world, although they clearly depict the faces of modern young women. Casagranda creates expressive connections through the coalescence of collage, painting and graffiti – the complexity she thus achieves in her paintings is fascinating. At first sight, these works appear very illustrative and aesthetic. However, the deceptive use of materials unveils a continuous array of new levels and perspectives; the fragility of the seemingly crumbling layers of paint, the lace and fibres that have been incorporated, as well as the relief-like impasto brushstrokes merge into a symbiosis of ancient murals from a long past epoch with that of contemporary, modern art. Through the apparent weathering of her works as well as random corrosion processes, damaged metal, torn and yellowed paper and structures, which are reminiscent of crumbling plaster, and decay, Patrizia Casagranda portrays a transitory world; however, it is one that also encompasses a piece of eternity. This transience – which is evident in both the material and the depiction of youthful beauty – is, on the one hand, part of „Vanitas“ symbolism, which is repeatedly used in art, but, on the other hand, proves to be a reflection upon the fast-paced media landscape and its rapidly changing advertising strategies and ideals for beauty. Through their almost tangible materiality, Patrizia Casagranta‘s works offer a remarkable level of fascination – which is quite rare in a world where we see an ever growing abundance of digital art. Layer for layer, they reveal their soul to the observer and what lies beneath. You can read these paintings; you can wander through them and even lose yourself in them. They tell stories from The Thousand and One Nights, quote from fairy-tale worlds and mythological legends and play with the contrast between transience and modernity. What is most important in this work is the use of strong symbolism, whose very meanings the artist does not deny us. It becomes obvious that there is a strong interaction between the women who are portrayed and the surrounding symbolic world -it is clear that their thoughts revolve around the deciphering of these symbols and their perplexed facial expressions question their very meaning. The symbolism is derived from the worlds of fairy tales, myths and legend and is subtly integrated into the visual language. We see mirrors becoming signs of self-knowledge, horses are a metaphor for irrepressible life energy, cherries stand for love and affection, does represent grace and speed, and peacocks stand for rulership and beauty – these and many other symbols have great significance for the artist. They serve the fragmentary narrative of the images and can be understood to be a possible mnemonic. Ultimately, Patrizia Casagranda would like to invite the observer to approach her paintings with their own stories and feelings. Of German-Italian extraction, Patrizia Casagranda spends part of the year in India; the influences of this world – which is often mysterious to us – can also be found in the imagery of her work. A further aesthetic design tool she uses is typography, which often appears in her work; As an illustrative element, it fits into the composition of the picture, but only serves as an inkling of a story – it is nothing that can be read or understood, but merely an invitation to the observer to see for himself, to develop his or her own thoughts and ideas. At first sight, however, the images appear to be fragile and transient – but if the observer examines the complexity of the presentation and its themes, it soon becomes clear that the materiality of the works, the sensuality of the young beauty depicted and the strong symbolism in their symbiosis serve as both an energy force and motivation. The centuries-old tales and myths cited by Patrizia Casagranda, which have been passed down from generation to generation, touch our collective memory and create worlds of reminiscences. They allow us to dwell in them, to take a moment out of our everyday lives and to sense our own thoughts and feelings. Patrizia Casagranda wants to provide us with pleasure through her pictures and to initiate a positive experience when observing them – with all the beautiful beings in her fascinating world of fairy tales she achieves this effortlessly. Patrizia Casagranda lives and works in Germany, the Netherlands and India.

K. Weeke Art Historian

 

Interview: Patrizia CasagrandaImage courtesy of Patrizia Casagranda

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L.C. – What is the message linked to the paintings you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?

P.C. – Now I work with mixed media. It is gypsum, pointillismus, stencils, Typografie-Fragments in the background (the speech of Charlie Chaplin The great dictator We are to machines, the power to create happiness etc.)and I try to ease the faces of the Indian girls. It is only important how they look like. It is standing for their vitality strength, beauty and power.
Here and now. I regularly work in the poor regions of North India. I have the privilege of getting to know some very remarkable and special women there. Every morning we shared a cup of tea and many words. The tribal women were proud beautiful women who with great skills collected goods that was discarded as garbage. Junk and garbage to some – but the survival of the collectors and their families. A tiny gap, only, between life, survival and disaster. All life concentrated on the “Here and Now” situation. I was taken in by these women’s skills to go on trusting “the Tomorrow” with an astonishing joy of being. The portraits of the women have titles such as, “Kiran, the Light”, “Sunder, the Beautiful” or “Laxmi, the Rich”. The titles could be interpreted as dreams –to me they represent the tribal women’s attitudes to life. The women focus on the present, the positive aspects of life and solidarity.
How to do it. How to create an image that embraces all conflicts. I create a background using the garbage objects, the women have found. Then I touch up the background with elements such as graffiti, stencil art, painting and various typographic fragments. All to create the base of the unique portraits showing the women’s enormous vitality. I use this technique as an original way to link conceptual issues together with a realistic form of design. This surprising symbiosis affects me, makes me consider philosophical themes such as beauty, life and the question of global justice.

 

Interview: Patrizia CasagrandaImage courtesy of Patrizia Casagranda

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L.C. – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?

P.C. – Surface is my theme in my paintings. The surfaces are so different. ITSLIQUID is a communication platform for contemporary art, architecture and design.

 

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

P.C. – I love the atmosphere of the old palace ca zanardi. It was a great honour thatt I could participate during the biennale.

 

L.C. – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?

P.C. – Yes. It was very well organized.

 

L.C. – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?

P.C. – I think I will get a lot of connections to work with in future. Thank you for that.

 

Interview: Patrizia CasagrandaImage courtesy of Patrizia Casagranda

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