Interview: Sal Massimini
Luca Curci talks with Sal Massimini during CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at ITSLIQUID ART SPACE – Venice Grand Canal.
Connecticut born, painting and drawing was Sallyanne’s (Sal) compulsive passion from when she was a child, selling portraits at the age of ten, evolving into private commissions sold through and post-college. Graduating with a B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art, her studies included an internship at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and abroad in Italy with exhibitions from Europe to the U.S. In 2003 Sal moved to Los Angeles and applied her fine arts background to the film industry, becoming a visual effects artist, supervisor and currently director. Credits include True Blood, Fast and Furious, Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” and American Gods. Her awards include two Emmy nominations for visual effects. Sal’s fine art upbringing is ever-present in the film where she believes every frame is a painting.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Sal Massimini – I am evaluating artist proofs to turn my original “Morocco” painting into a limited edition series of fine art acrylic prints. Additionally, I’ll be applying a second coat of resin to my next painting. Once that is cured, I’ll start photographing close up images, searching for the next series of prints!
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
SM – Art has always been a major part of my life since I was a child, continuing onto my B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of art. As far as influence, I would first attribute it to the exposure to art that I had at an early age – all of the museums, symphonies, ballets, the art books I would get at Christmas, and then all of the travel I have been lucky to experience.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
SM – Travel. Mother Nature and life. Plus seeing work by other artists.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
SM – There’s always a push and pull with mother nature and the strength of the elements. How we are so helpless, how easily we can be buried. Never underestimate the power of mother nature. When I pour white paint, blanketing layers of work, it’s as if snow is blanketing the mini world on my canvas. When I pour the resin over the piece, it’s like the ocean spilling over the landscape. I love outdoor sports, and I think that also helps inform my art as well. Be it skiing, hiking or surfing. That’s my initial reality check in terms of how small we are, and then I let that feeling transfer over into my art.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
SM – Instinctive. It comes to me over time. I’ll start to see specific colours and think of emotion before I even start to paint. But then when I do paint, it’s very much in the moment. It’s my time to be present, to embrace all the little accidents that can and will happen. These colours/smells/feelings can stem from memories of a specific trip I took, or a feeling/emotional event that needs release. Right now there’s a gold paint that keeps forming in the back of my mind. That’ll be fun to get into next.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
SM – It’s never done. Only abandoned hah! (Thank you Mr Da Vinci for that quote!) I’m a perfectionist. I’ll look back at paintings and have to force myself to not go back into them.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
SM – I loved the concept. Coming from a traditional fine arts background where I spent countless hours stretching my own canvasses, I felt that it was interesting to see the evolution of that, how my current prints aren’t even on canvas, and instead mounted to a DiBond Composite metal with an acrylic front. Life is always in flux, changing, evolving, but there is always a starting place. So the fact that my series starts on a physical canvas with my large mixed media painting, but evolves into prints on acrylic is a fun way to look at that metamorphosis.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
SM – I think the platform is wonderful. I love the scope and variety of the art that you showcase, especially the latest Helen Frankenthaler series and the CHIHARU SHIOTA: TRACING BOUNDARIES show. Just gorgeous!
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
SM – Most definitely. It’s a very professional and well-organized platform.