Tuesday 14 May 2013

10 Questions Column: Painter Nicola Rotiroti in Rome

Artist Nicola Rotiroti looking Byronic at his Rome studio in front of a new work for his next exhibition. Portrait by Andreas Romagnoli

Painter Nicolas Rotiroti is celebrated for his accomplished large-scale figurative paintings of people immersed in water. Andreas Romagnoli and Jeanne-Marie Cilento ask him 10 questions about his life and work and he sits for an exclusive photo shoot at his studio in Rome.

The artist began his career studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Calabria's capital Catanzaro, the city where he was born. While still a student, Rotiroti started to organise exhibitions and make videos about art. After completing his degree in painting in 1996, he went on to win awards for his work at Italian exhibitions including the Biennale Internazionale di Arti Visive held in Avellino. Along with participating in group exhibitions and holding solo shows, Rotiroti has created music videos and worked on creating the scenography for Italian concerts, television and fashion shows.

1. What are you currently working on?
I am working on myself. I’m trying to understand myself through the experience of painting. It is a continuous confrontation with the double nature within me. I'm just at the beginning of a journey that I foresee as very long and intense.

2.Where do you like to draw or create your paintings?
There is not a physical space that I prefer for starting a new creation.  My paintings are all born in my mind.

3. Do you have a set schedule of working creatively or is the process more fluid?
I paint everyday. I feel like a priest celebrating his prayers. For me, it is a way of paying attention to my soul. Painting is a way of expressing the unfathomable.

4. What part of painting gives you the most happiness and do you find your creative process is more rational or instinctive?
My pleasure is to paint instinctively. I want people to breathe that sense of freedom and creation in my work.

5. What do you find the most challenging aspect of your work?
The biggest challenge for me is to make my reality and my sense of the world truly shared and understood.

6. Is there a town or place in the world you consider inspiring?
I believe that more than cities or places, it is the mystery of an encounter that inspires, guides and surprises me.

7. What inspires your creative work now?
Life. Life and its relationship with the invisible. Or rather, with the not yet clearly visible - before it is unveiled. I find this inspirational – it is like a deep breath and then an exhalation. It is not just about the purely rational and the mind but about the body and the condition of my sentient being.

8. Can you describe the experience that has had the greatest impact on your painting?
There is a profound relationship between human creation and creativity. Like many artists, it is the idea of the mother and her mythical presence or absence that inspires my work. My paintings try to witness the extraordinary mother’s body which is a sign of love.

9. How do you assess your paintings?
For me, my work is not calculable and I am not objective enough measure the paintings I do.

10. In our digital age what does painting give us as an art form?
I don't think I'm ready to answer this question. Maybe I never will be.

For more information about Nicola Rotiroti's work visit his website: http://www.rotiroti.it

Click on the photographs for a full-screen slideshow 
The artist contemplates his palette before continuing with his new work at his studio in Rome. Photograph by Andreas Romagnoli 
Nicola Rotiroti picks up a brush in his studio in Rome where he is preparing for his new exhibition. Photograph by Andreas Romagnoli
Doppio 2011 oil on canvas 150x160cm 

Polittico 2011 oil on canvas one of nine 40x40cm

Polittico 2011 oil on canvas one of nine pieces 40x40cm

Cesca 2011 oil on canvas 150x180cm

Vale 2011 oil on canvas 100x120cm

Fluido 2011 oil on canvas 100x120cm

Blu 2011 oil on canvas 150x150cm
Polittico 2011 oil on canvas one of nine pieces 40x40cm
Mani 2011 oil on canvas 150x180cm 

Polittico 2011 oil on canvas one of nine pieces 40x40cm

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