Interview: Marco Avigni
Luca Curci talks with Marco Avigni during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2020 at Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi.
Marco Avigni was born and raised in Arlesheim (Baselland / Switzerland). He did an artistic training in applied graphics at the Arts and Crafts School in Basel. He spent several years as a graphic designer in various graphic and advertising studios in Basel. A professional reorientation followed at the end of the 1970s: secondary education at the higher Technical School for Social Work in Basel and additional training in System Therapy and Supervision in Basel. He spent many years of activity as Operational Manager of the Department of Culture and Social Affairs of the City of Liestal. Next to it and in addition to it (since the ’90s), he started his work as freelance painter and designer. Marco Avigni, now residing in Liestal / BL, has been working as a freelance artist since the ’90s. He created an extensive oeuvre with a large number of large-format pictures in different styles and techniques, starting from classic modernism. In the past years, in particular, an extensive and multi-layered oeuvre with different design characteristics has emerged (based on classic modernism as a starting point; further development under cubist influence towards figurative representations in connection with abstraction). A large and representative section of these artworks in large formats in oil, acrylic and mixed media, can be seen in the gallery of this site. “Painting is a form of examining life and a struggle for being designed”.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Marco Avigni – As a child I was an enthusiastic draftsman and painter. Early on I had the need to present visual impressions with my own creative options and thus to interpret experiences that were important to me in my own and creative way. Art is a unique opportunity to express oneself, and to give experiences and perceptions a new shape. Art is a longing to be designed, a search for beauty and harmony. Painting is contemplative. It should awaken feelings of contemplation in the viewer. When it speaks to people like beautiful music and touches their souls, painting becomes an interactive proceeding.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
MA – Even in early childhood I felt an inner need to express myself. I was fascinated of the great painters of the Renaissance and wanted to learn the artistic craft the things that I see and that impress me and to realize them on paper and later on canvas. I visited at the age of 12 drawing and painting lessons and later on I had a graphic education at the art school in Basel. Since I started a family early, I had to earn money and worked as a graphic designer in a advertising agency. The area of tension between artistic design and the control of advertising graphics couldn’t satisfy me. I turned to free painting, which do not give me any restrictive requirements. Over the years the motifs and the style has transformed.
LC – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
MA – This is difficult to say. Painting is a permanent process. It is a constant change. At the beginning I was fascinated by landscapes, moods in nature, beautiful historical villages with their romantic and playful architectures. I painted pictures with motifs of landscapes, under other things also of the beautiful city of Venice. Classical modernism with his famous representatives had a great influence on my painting. Of particular interest was the transition from figurative to abstract painting. The connection of both views has particularly fascinated me. I am constantly striving to find an independent form of expression in this synthesis.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
MA – For me, nature and people are inspiring, like beautiful pictures and impressions of everyday life. Every moment of life is steeped in the search for new design challenges.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
MA – Picasso already said that God was creating without being committed to a style, otherwise he could not have created this diversity. Probably like all most artists, how are working development oriented and experimental, has my art become more mature and meaningful. The origin of my painting lies in a more realistic depiction of motifs. The visual concept gradually developed and chanced – inspired by cubism and abstract painting – in a new visual language that emancipates itself from the purely visible and advances to something new. I do not speak of an actual style, since it can change according to the motif and my own mood – once strength in the real, once more to abstraction; once in strong colors, otherwise again in pastel tones. My most recent figurative works are a combination of concrete and abstract elements that potentiate themselves. This creates a certain surreal effect.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
MA – With the personal diversity of artists, it is important to go your own way. The enormous variety of artistic products makes it difficult to find orientation and to define quality criteria. The art market is managed heavily in monetary terms, and the power to define the artistic value of works is focused on powerful art market leader. As a result, access to established institutions for as yet unknown artists is severely restricted. They will hardly find opportunities to present their art appropriately in public. Against this background, projects such as those launched by the ITSLIQUID GROUP are important for artists who are hardly noticed by established institutions.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
MA – The outstanding works are part of my existing portfolio, which has been strongly associated with figurative painting in recent years. The title of the festival is very accommodating to my last creative period, which is why I feel particularly addressed by the topic.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artist?
MA – Yes sure. My experience shows that ITSLIQUID is involved about positioning artists who have little recognition in the art scene. This is the reason why the marketing of the art strategy takes place in the following cases. This means that there has to be a proactive networking with media, galleries, training centers, educational institutions and other circles interested in art to draw attention to the artists.