Luca Curci talks with Avvassena during VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Anna Vassena, in art Avvassena, is an artist and designer with a degree in Interior Design at Politecnico (Milan) and is attending the Communication Design master’s degree at the same university. In 2014 she joined the Cultural Group Artists of via Bagutta (Brera, Milan). After having worked on the board of directors of the aforementioned Association, since 2016 she has been a member of its Artistic Commission. Currently, in parallel to her personal artistic research, she attends an apprenticeship at the studio of the famous black-light artist Leonilde Carabba. Since she is 16 years old, she has exhibited in her city, Milan, and in several galleries and historic buildings of the main art cities in Italy and in Europe. The vital energy released by the human soul is at the center of her artistic research. Art is the scream of rebirth. A cry that rises from the figures that light up when the darkness falls into the soul. Avvassena wants to narrate the turmoil, the contrasts, the forces that break inside us. Her works connect colors and light, which becomes the means for making her works speak. In each artwork, there are several. In fact, in the daylight you see a picture, in the dark, you read what it wants to tell and with Wood-light you hear its scream. We wear many masks, they protect and imprison us, hiding us behind shields of appearances. Only in the darkness, in solitude, we can see the true light of what lies behind them, and we can choose whether to accept and overcome it or go on, with a new awareness of fiction.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Avvassena – Never as in this historical moment, art is revealed in all its strength as a ‘Scream of Rebirth’, to rebuild the world and ourselves in a better way. To be reborn as new ones in a new world. I have always lived art in its energy, in its creative and vital force. I strongly believe that it is not the artist who makes art, but it is the art that, through the artist, finds the means to communicate to the world. Art pulses in the veins and asks, indeed it pretends, with all its strength, to be freed.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
A – I have a classical background, I have a degree in Interior Design and I am attending a Master’s degree in Communication Design at Politecnico (Milan). All this has merged into art, which has been part of me since I can remember. For many years I have been making a journey on my interiority, analyzing the deeper spots of my soul. Now I could say that this journey within myself is still the experience that most influences my art.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
A – My main source of inspiration is the inner reality of each of us. There is a parallel universe, made of lights and shadows, explosive forces and delicate fragilities, which I want to tell. At the heart of my research there is the human soul, the manifested or repressed feelings. They are what characterize the richness and uniqueness of the individual, and, at the same time, they are what unites all of humanity without distinction, since mankind set foot on the earth.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
A – Being an artist nowadays is a challenge: a challenge to ourselves and to a complex and difficult world. “Non est ad astra mollis e terris via”, wrote Seneca: “There is no simple way from the earth to the stars”. And I think it must be the guide on which every artist must set his own path. We must go through the harshness that external reality and our soul present, but we must insist, resist and persist. Accept to fall, draw from the fall what can make us grow, and rise up again, ready to fight until you reach the goal. Today, being an artist means absorbing the infinity of inspiration that comes from an increasingly complex, multiple and frenetic reality. Means to be crossed by the reflections and emotions that it unleashes within us and to give these back to the world, translated into the light of the artist’s personal vision. This vision is a gift that every artist makes to himself and to others. It may be accepted, agreed or rejected, but it has the uncontested power to leave a mark on everyone.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
A – My style has changed a lot over the years. Initially, I painted in oil on canvas, then I began to combine the painting with unusual elements as a background: pages of ancient texts that I searched in antique markets. These were closely related to the subject depicted, either by the analogy of content or by contrast. Subsequently, I approached acrylic and fluorescent vinyl colors, always maintaining a strong interest in the mixed media technique, through the insertion of materials from different contexts. I have also made several three-dimensional works, creating backgrounds made up of masks in 1:1 scale, both those theaters inexpressive, both using facial casts taken from models in real-life. Then I approached the world of light, with the infinite opportunities that its spectrum can offer by the interaction with different colors and different materials. So I began to make use of the Wood’s light, the prismatic light, and thanks to phosphorescence, even of the darkness. The extraordinary expressive potential offered by the light has become the main instrument through which the textual element, constantly developed and enriched in my artistic research, can give voice to the visual piece. In this way, it can communicate with it and with the public. Although my art changes in the mode of representation, the core of my artistic career have always been the human being and his inner reality. Through my figures, I intend to narrate the contrasts, lights and shadows, the creative and destructive forces that vivify each of us, unique but at the same time identical.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
A – I greatly appreciated the international context offered by this festival. It was an opportunity to exchange with artists from all over the world. There were very different suggestions and styles, but they were combined in a harmonic and extremely rich whole.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
A – I believe that the theme of the festival, which analyzes the hidden parts of our identities, through an immersive experience inside the universe of the complex labyrinths of our consciousness, is a very significant point in my work.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
A – I believe that ITSLIQUID GROUP can be a great opportunity for artists, who find themselves in an international context, where professionalism and skills aim to enhance each one.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
A – I am pleased with the collaboration with you and I hope to have the opportunity to cooperate with you again, even outside Italy.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
A – ITSLIQUID is a platform for contemporary art, architecture, design and fashion: all these different skills are found here in a harmonious dialogue, which I believe is fundamental nourishment for creativity.