Milan, April 7th, 2020

After the high school I had no doubt about which way to go: the Academy of Fine Arts was the only possible way! Initially I was enrolled in Decoration, but when, after a few weeks, the new experimental course of Restoration of Contemporary Art started, I changed department. I was very interested in the studies on old and new materials, the scientific techniques applied to restoration, the historical and artistic investigations of the works and the “practical” intervention procedures. Parallel to my studies I have always painted and my mentor was Vincenzo Ferrari, my teacher and master.

After the Academy I looked for a studio in Milan, I had very clear ideas about what I wanted to do and I certainly couldn’t paint in the bedroom that I shared with my sister at the time!

I have been working in this studio since 2004. Over time I changed rooms or walls to hang canvases and paint; I like to think of it as a “fluid” space that adapts to the creative needs of the moment.

Then there is the London studio, which is mainly the place where I make engraving: there is the press, the tanks with acids, the inks, the paper… in short, everything you need to print!

Over the years my aesthetic research has changed radically: I started from an almost hyper-realistic type of figuration to arrive today at an abstraction in which the use of language is inserted. I consider my year of “turning point” 2007, when I focused on the way forward. It was when I truly understood that for me color, shape, design and words have the same importance in the space of the canvas. They are different means of communicating and what interests me about words is their evocative power. I always say that in my works, in my paintings, I am not interested in giving answers, but rather in asking questions.

I would define my relationship with color visceral, it belongs to my deepest emotional irrational part. I had several long phases during which I painted with a single color or with a restricted range. I investigate the possibilities that color has of its nature, it is like a relationship of love: there is discovery, emotion, passion, discouragement, exaltation, challenge, limit. And how love sometimes runs out and that’s when I change the palette.

I haven’t been in the studio for about a month. In this suspended and complex time regarding folders, notes of completed projects, of others left in the middle and still others in an embryonic phase. I’m in a “listening” phase, I let the ideas settle down.

My books, biographies, essays, manuals, catalogs, atlases, are the faithful friends of all time, precious workmates. In isolation they are transformed into real physical and material presences: Hans Memling and Tracey Emin, Lorenzo Lotto and Agnes Martin, Samuel Beckett and the Chinese terracotta army. With them I get lost in unknown lands in an infinite journey between past and present.

Patrizia Novello

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