At ARTPIQ, understanding art isn't only about trends, styles, and colors. Understanding art is also about the artists, their motivation, their stories. That is why we feature our artists on our blog so that you can better understand them, and, by doing so, better understand their art. Below is our interview with Elisa Carutti below!
Where do you come from and where do you now call home?
I am from Milan and after studying abroad for a while I was back to Milan where I live right now and I have my studio. Definitely, I would say Milan is my home.Where did you study?
I did my BA in Painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan (2014) during which I spent six months as part of my Erasmus exchange in Paris at the Ecole de Beaux Arts.
After that, I went to London for my MFA at the Slade School of Fine Arts where I graduated in 2018.
What influence did your studies have on your art?
A lot, especially for the people that I met there. When I was studying in Brera, my teacher was Alberto Garutti who had a conceptual art background and I think this influenced a lot of the students in our class as it was more about the idea rather than the making of the work. This “philosophical” approach to art was very challenging for me at the time. I was very young and I tried different mediums to express myself while I was there without finding my thing.
I think the turning point was the Erasmus in Paris where I felt totally free, and I created a work which I am still working on right now. Finally, my MA in London was focused just on painting and that time helped me to become confident with colors.
Describe a little about your style and painting method. Your work has taken different turns over the years – how did you get to where you are today and what makes you happy with your current method of expressing yourself?
It’s true, my work has taken different turns over the years. Especially because, as I said earlier, during my years at Brera my art wasn’t about painting as it is today. I tried different mediums to express myself, and then in London I dedicated myself only to painting. After that I complete a show featuring art of mine, I have this feeling that I have finished what I wanted to say about that so I start wondering what I can improve for the next one. That’s why I see my works as an evolution - they are all linked by the materials I use, the touch they have or the colours I use, and each one speaks to a different aspect of my interests or of my life. Probably, the thing that makes me happy today is that I realized I am an abstract painter. I want my images to be open to the viewer’s free interpretation, a shape or color can be an atom or a circle. It depends on what you want to see in it and I love playing with this ambiguity. It makes the work more magical...
You recently made copper plates – how did you decide to do that? What attracted you to making copper plates?
Actually the copper plates are one of the oldest works of mine. It’s a work I originally made when I was in Paris during my Erasmus and had quiet a lot of success with. After that, I decided to move on, I almost threw it away and started making new works that had less to do with it. With that said, however, I recently went back to it with fresh eyes and I am trying to renew it by making new copper plates that will be part of my next show in Milan.
Who are some of your favorite artists that you look up to (either from the past or contemporaries, or both!) Why?
What a difficult question! I love so many of them. Right now I am into the work of Roni Horn, her series of drawings. I like the fracture lines given by her way of cutting the paper in thousands of small pieces..
What would you tell an up-and-coming artist that wants to make their art their career?
Don’t give up! Think about the work itself and how to improve it . Also, I would say listen to other people and don’t hesitate to compare your work with others. I think that the exchange with other artists is one of the most enriching things you can do for yourself and your artistic growth.
What is your plan for the future? How do you see your work continuing to grow and develop?
I can’t wait to show my new works on paper on which I am working on right now to the people . The next show will be held next winter in Milan and for that occasion, I want to bring together the works I make from the new copper plates with the paintings too. It’s something I always kept separate but now it’s time for me to give sense to both of them and finally see them together in an exhibition space.