Interview: Yanna Kali
Luca Curci talks with Yanna Kali during CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space, and during RITUALS, first appointment of ANIMA MUNDI, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Yanna Kali was born in Athens and she graduated from the School of Fine Arts at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2007. In 2017 she started postgraduate studies at Ionian University in the department of AudioVisual Arts specializing in Audio Visual Arts in the Digital Age. She is actively involved with different forms of art including installations, drawings, constructions, sound art, and performance art. Recently she was selected with nine artists, from all over the world, to participate in a residency at the Daugavpis Mark Rothko Art Centre in Latvia. The works that she produced during the residency now belong to the collection at the Mark Rothko Art Centre. In 2019 she was one of the nineteen finalists for the London Contemporary Art Prize, she was selected to present her work at Roma Artrooms Fair in Rome she also presented her work at the exhibition Emozioni in Mostra which was held in the Castel Dell Ovo in Naples. In 2017 show her work at the exhibition Life After Death in Pafos-Cyprus as part of the cultural events in the Europian Capital. She was also chosen to participate in the competition for the Derwent Art Prize in London in 2016. In 2011 she took part in the main program of the 15th Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean, entitled Symbiosis? in Thessaloniki and Rome. Yanna has participated in many group exhibitions, she has held one solo exhibition at Zina Athanassiadou Gallery and she also has many awards and publications.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Yanna Kali – I have been drawing from the age I can remember myself. Drawing is a partner in my life or maybe a friend from which thoughts, expressions, feelings, and observations come out as visual results. Thoughts are becoming shapes and colors. But creation begins with drawing and there is no end to the experimentation of materials and mediums for the production of a two or three-dimensional artwork. I studied fine arts at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and graduated in 2007 with excellent grades. Since then I have participated in many exhibitions in Greece and other countries of Europe such as Rome, Venice, Napoli, London, Latvia, Nicosia, etc. The experience that has influenced me most was a residency program that I took part in Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre in Latvia. I had the opportunity to live and work in the Mark Rothko Art Centre close to Mark Rothko’s paintings.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
YK – It is a project that has to do with the depressing psychological spaces of our existence, set in contemporary time. I mostly use graphites and colored pencils to create a three-dimensional illusion, throughout the drawing process. The viewer becomes an active element; as a voyeur, by moving close to the painting so he can discover the different layers. Thus, clarifying the artwork with this movement, a complete work has been created. Although the subject has to do with depression the final result of the painting is optimistic.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
YK – Everything around us is constantly changing. What changes for me as an artist is not actually the style, but the medium that I use to express the meaning of an artwork. Any idea or thought might need a different medium for the creation of a visual composition.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
YK – I am interested in any kind of art theme that has a good quality and can challenge me to see and think of another aspect.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
YK – The conception of the artwork is informed by the feeling of life and this sensation is captured in two ways. The one concerns thinking and the other experience.
The result of the art piece is in a dimension where experience and thought are intertwined with the process and the progress of the creation.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
YK – A classic object as a medium for painting became a contemporary subject for an international exhibition. The concept of the exhibition leads artists and visitors to see the history of art over time and follow its evolution, reaching today and contemporary art. It became a source of inspiration for me since the main theme of the works that I present in the exhibition is the fabric and how its movement can be rendered through the painting process.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
YK – “Through the Window” is a diptych artwork that represents the movement of a curtain, as the wind blows through an open window. The colours that are used refer to the different hours of the day. The blue one refers to late afternoon and the red one to early morning or sunset.
The art piece “Untitled” is also a diptych which refers to the mirroring of a piece of fabric which is flying into the abyss. In this case the piece of fabric represents the human soul that is flying out of the human body.
Both artworks have been drawn with coloured pencils and graphites on paper.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
YK – The result of the exhibition is excellent because of the long year experience and the professionalism of the organization. It was a great pleasure for me to collaborate with ITSLIQUID group and be a part of such a high standard organized exhibition.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
YK – ITSLIQUID Platform is full of art worldwide. It is a platform that refers not only to artists but to anyone that is interested in art and design. It has become a global community for art with no end in evolution.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
YK – Cooperating with ITSLIQUID was an easy procedure because of the professionalism of the team. The communication was direct and effective. Therefore, it was an enjoyable experience for me to collaborate with ITSLIQUID group.