Saturday, April 14, 2007

Art Space Talk: Laurina Paperina

I recently interviewed artist Laurina Paperina. I met Laurina while attending the PULSE art fair in New York. Crowds flocked to observe her work.
Laurina lives and works in Mori (Trento, Italy). She attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Verona, Italy. Laurina is known for Duck Land- a world she created... a place where a strange cast of characters (Batman, Pigman, and The Amazing Pape- among others) live and fight. However, do not be fooled by the simplicity of Laurina's art- these child-like works reflect modern concerns.

Q. Laurina, we met during the Pulse exhibit in New York. How did you feel going into the fair? I take it your work did well?

A. "For me the art fairs are very funny! You can meet some strange people...and very good people.

About my art works and the fairs. It has been a good thing so far- because I see that people are amused from my "art-things", and this is great for me."

Q. During the Pulse art fair I spoke with an observer of your work who stated that your work reminds him of a "twisted Disney Land". This leads me to ask...why have cartoons influenced your work so much? One normally things of cartoons in an innocent manner- is it your intention to juxtapose the innocence of childhood cartoons with 'real world' issues?

A. "When I was a baby duck (in english Laurina Paperina is Little-Laura Little-duck), I was raised with the television, cartoons and the comic strips: therefore I see it as normal that this factor has influenced my art. Moreover, the cartoon-style is a simple and directed language and for me it is fundamental."

Q. You currently have a solo exhibit (RO(T)L) at Freight + Volume in New York. How has that exhibit gone for you?

A. "New York is the center of the art world at this moment. It has always been a dream of mine to have an exhibition in this great city."

Q. You studied at the Art Institute (Italy) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Verona, Italy. How did your studies influence the work your create today.
A. "My studies have been important for my works. I've studied the art of the past and of the present- this is fundamental for an artist in order to understand what she wants to make with her own art."

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "Boh! I don't remember. When I was a child I wanted to become a veterinary or cartoonist… when the time came to decided I started to become aware of the contemporary art world: so I decided to be an artist."

Q. Can you go into further detail about how society has influenced your art?

A. "For me it is very difficult to speak about my art. I draw what I see, what I feel...I keep inspiration from the music and the television, from the videogames and from the people, from the real life, from food, magazine, films, music, duck male, internet, pizza, comics....

I love Street Art, Contemporary Art... some of my preferred artists are Keith Haring, Ed Templeton, Barry McGee, Yoshitomo Nara, Takashi Murakami, Motomichi Nakamura, Cory Arcangel, Banksy and many others…"

Q. On average, how long does it take you to create a piece?

A. "I draw all the day, every day. But sometime I take a break..."

Q. Can you share some of your philosophy about art and artistic creation?

A. "My philosophy is: "When I create my pape-works I want to amuse myself and to be well". But remember... I am not a philosopher!!!"

Q. Has your art ever been published? Where?

A. "Yes! Pictoplasma, Arte (Italian art magazine) and others magazine. My last publication is on the Dpi Magazine (Taiwan). Sometimes I collaborate with fashion magazines when I draw illustration for them..."

Q. What was your most important exhibition? Care to share that experience?

A. "Every exhibition is important for me. However, I must say that the RO(T)FL exhibition was my favourite: it was my first solo show in New York, and I was much expectant, churned and happy at the same was a mix of incredible sensations. It was an incredible experience for me."

Q. Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

A. "Usually I work in the night. I love to drink hot milk with chocolate and smoke. The music is very important....but the television is the same: when I work I don't watch it, only listen to it."

Q.Where can we see more of your art?

A. "In galleries, on the web and soon I'll make a little book of my works (I hope...)."

Q. Are you represented by a gallery? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?
A. "Yes, I am represented by Perugi (Italy): but I collaborate with others gallery, like Magda Danysz (Paris), Freight and Volume (NY), Travesia Cuatro (Madrid)...and in the next year with Hilger Gallery (Vienna)."

Q. What trends do you see in the 'art world'?

A. "At this moment there is a strong attention toward street art and that is fine!"

Q. Has your work ever been censored? If so, how did you deal with it?

A. "It has not yet..."

Q. What was the toughest point in your career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?

A. "At the beginnig, without a doubt: when people said to me "what do you do? this is not art!""

Q. In one sentence... why do you create art?

A. "Because It is a necessity for pizza: I could die without pizza."
I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Laurina Paperina. Feel free to critique or discuss her work. You can learn more about Laurina by visiting her site:
Take care, Stay true,
Brian Sherwin

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