Interviews | October 24, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Sarah Montani

Interview: Sarah Montani
Luca Curci talks with Sarah Montani during MIXING IDENTITIES, first appointment of SENSES ART FAIR 2023, at ITSLIQUID Monti – Rome Art Space.

Sarah Montani, born 1972, is a Painter and Sculptress with a long-standing international exhibition profile. She is a Digital Pioneer and focuses on connecting traditional Painting Techniques to Augmented Reality. She loves nature, the Metaverse, and AI. Her Artworks are 100% human generated. No AI is used.
Sarah Montani’s Artwork is shown in more than 30 Museums worldwide today (World Expo+). She was the first Sculptress that showed Augmented Reality Art at the Skulptura, one of the largest sculpture exhibitions in German speaking Europe (2022). At Biennale Art Expo Venice 2022, she was the only artist with AR Art. She is a TEDx Speaker.

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Image courtesy of Sarah Montani

Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Sarah Montani – I am a technology optimist. I find new technologies exciting and I grant myself the artistic freedom to incorporate them into my art. Some say I am a digital pioneer. I am curious and want to link the new technical possibilities in an aesthetically pleasing way with traditional painting and sculpture.

LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
SM – While I’m creating art, I’m highly focused and fully in the present moment. I often feel that my thoughts don’t wander during the artistic process (no mind wandering). I tend to lose track of time and place, and I often do not notice when I’m hungry or thirsty. I am just fully immersed in the current moment. I believe the most important ritual is meticulous preparation (selecting precise colors, determining shapes, etc.) as well as maintaining perfect cleanliness and order in my workspace.

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Image courtesy of Sarah Montani

LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
SM – It depends on the painting series. For this art exhibition here in Rome in 2023, I delved into ancient female statues, so I primarily engaged with old art books.

LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
SM – It always is. I use encaustic, a 3,000-year-old art technique, and combine it with futuristic methods like augmented reality.

LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
SM – I am always surprised, sometimes pleasantly or not. Mostly, I find it dreadful, and only years later do I start to truly appreciate my artwork. Sometimes, I find them wonderful, but as soon as it comes to exhibiting the artwork, I no longer find it fitting.

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Image courtesy of Sarah Montani

LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
SM – The idea behind “MIXING IDENTITIES” revolves around reshaping new identities. Our self-development is deeply intertwined with our interactions with the identities of others, as well as the broader identities of communities, cultures, and societies. This event here in Rome highlights the human body as a dynamic entity that connects us to other beings and environments, helping us grasp the reality around us. It acts as a potent communication vessel with its distinct language and countless expression methods. I wanted to bring the old sculpture ‘Wounded Amazon’ of the Capitoline Museums in Rome back to life. The Capitoline Museums in Rome, known as the oldest public museums in the world, display an extraordinary collection of ancient art and sculptures. In particular, the works ‘Capitoline Venus’ and ‘Wounded Amazon’ stand out.

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Image courtesy of Sarah Montani

I wanted to breathe new life into the ‘Wounded Amazon’: in a special augmented reality art installation, visitors can now see the statue move and gracefully greet them. The sculpture can be viewed for free on smartphones through a QR code. The installation is located in a gallery in the heart of Rome, a stone’s throw from the Colosseum and the historic Roman Forum. I am a jurist and a passionate advocate for gender equality in the art world. Women remain significantly underrepresented in the art sector. A 2020 study at the National Gallery in Rome showed that only 10% of the works come from female artists, even though they contributed 517 pieces of art. This motivated me as early as 2022 to present my augmented reality art at MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art. The underrepresentation of women in art has historical roots. In the past, they were excluded from many artistic opportunities. Today, however, there are numerous initiatives to rediscover women’s art, including a remarkable exhibition on Lucrina Fetti (1622), viewable at the Capitoline Museums until October 1, 2023. And of course, now we have ITSLIQUID to support arists.

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Image courtesy of Sarah Montani

LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
SM – Great opportunity, the team is very engaged and Luca Curci is a very innovative pionier.

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
SM – Yes, thank you for your work. I am very grateful.

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Image courtesy of Sarah Montani
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Image courtesy of Sarah Montani

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