Interview: Natalia Mamaeva
Luca Curci talks with Natalia Mamaeva during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2019 at Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi.
My name is Natalia Mamaeva, I was born in Russia, the Volga region, Saratov. My grandfather was a painter and my father is an amateur painter too, so I was taught to draw and paint from early childhood. At the age of ten I entered Saratov Art School and studied there for five years. For all my life painting has been my main occupation, I don’t remember myself with no brush in my hand. Besides I’m a graduate of the foreign languages department of Saratov State University. Though I have been combining painting and linguistics for all my life, painting has been of primary importance to me. My works has been featured on TV and in mass media. My pictures are in many private collections in Russia, Chechnya, Italy, Germany, the USA, Israel. I regularly take part in national artistic exhibitions. In 2019 one of my works was chosen for a showbill of the International Festival “La Palette du Monde” in France. I took part in the International art exhibitions in Rome “Artexpo Autumn 2019” and “Contemporary Venice 2019” in Venice organized by ITSLIQUID group.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Natalia Mamaeva – I’ve been painting since early childhood. My dad presented me with art books on every birthday and they were my desk ones. Dutch still-life and surrealists as well produced the greatest impression on me, not only because of fantastic art of execution, but also due to symbols language, secret significance of depicted objects. When I entered the art school I was fortunate to be taught by a teacher who paid special attention to still-life. I prefer to paint from nature, to work with fine details, scrutinizing colour hue.
LC – What are you currently working on?
NM – I usually work on several projects at the same time. When doing one, I often prepare another, looking for necessary details and materials that would help me to realize them. Now I’m going to start my new still-life that I have been preparing for some years.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
NM – Inner world of a person is an object of never-ending inspiration for me. I seek to express in my difficult relation of people, their moods and different ways of thinking. Though I paint on the subjects that are close and based on my experience, my pictures aren’t that personal. I seek to paint about sentiments common to everyone. Some ideas for work come all of a sudden, like a flash, others are postponed, transformed and get more detailed with time.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
NM – The object of my constant inspiration is different state of a human soul. I try to render different moods and ways of thinking with the help of things that we use in our everyday life, like watches, books, pens, cards, mirrors, masks. All of them are deeply symbolic, there are no accidental things in my pictures, since I think a subject over in advance with no improvisation when working. Brought together they help me to tell a kind of a story, every time creating a different context. I want a spectator to feel one’s presence, though an owner of the things is not seen. Thus I tell my stories and I want people to decipher them.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
NM – Nowadays there is a great advantage – a modern artist is fortunate to exhibit works online, to stay in touch with different galleries and art lovers worldwide, take part in competitions, so the number of spectators is greatly increased… And the main aim of an artist is creation and demonstration of work. So I think that modern artists are lucky in that sense. On the other hand this work is and always has been very dependent and stressful. There is no guaranteed income. In fact a lot of things are behind our control and destiny of our works as well. But to be a creator is a gift of God, and when you get the feeling of a work well done it is happiness. The art is a way to people’s hearts. Even if there is one person who understands what I try to render I am happy.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
NM – I think that my picture “Quadrature of the Circle” is closely related to the theme of the exhibition because it is about difficult relations of people, mutual misunderstanding. I’d like to say ‘modern people’, but I think that human nature doesn’t change; it is only the environment that changes like decorations in the play. The formula “Quadrature of the Circle” known to be unsolvable has become a metaphor of a hopeless undertaking. Thus I wanted to say that people are sometimes unsolvable tasks for each other. Different mentalities, ways of thinking can become insuperable contradictions in spite of mutual attraction. Masks in my pictures aren’t masquerade, they stands for any person’s appearance, at the same time implying the secret inner world impossible to be perceived by another person. A sand glass and a globe mean that the situation has always been the same wherever you go. A box stands for experience. Schemes signify common efforts to solve the problem. The burning circle marks that the problem is actual up till now and there can be no solution to it.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
NM – ITSLIQUID vision of art is very close to me, since it considers complicated stirring of a human soul, inner life of a person in the modern world. Nowadays life is stressing, people are pressurized into balancing on the edge… Super speed we have to live in, mass media, social networks that influences fragile human psychic and at times disjoin us even more. Every chosen picture or performance is very expressive, at times strange and even shocking. But I agree that the main task of an artist is to disturb people, to make them think. The theme of the exhibition is acute and challenging… Art reflects the contemporary world, at times they both can be cruel.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
NM – I think that ITSLIQUID is a great platform giving artists from different countries the opportunity to exhibit their works, to share their ideas with colleagues and spectators.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
NM – I was delighted to work with ITSLIQUID, there was not a single problem. Thank you so much for your assistance and the opportunity to work with you. You are a great team!
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
NM – The event was organized fantastically! Venice, the city of art, a marvelous location Ca’ Zanardi, a dream of place to exhibit works. Every detail was thought over, alternation of performances created unforgettable atmosphere.