Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Art Space Talk: Nicole Natri

Nicole Natri explores diverse antique and semi-antique material in order to examine the history of dualism and double standards and our belief in the man-made Truth, often using the esthetics found in older engravings.

Brian Sherwin: Nicole, do you have any formal training in art? Where did you study? Can you tell us about your academic background?

Nicole Natri: I’m autodidact in terms of formal training, but I’m currently studying Art History (major), Religious Studies and History of Ideas at the university. These studies give me such an input of everything, it inspires me.

BS: Nicole, through diverse antique and semi-antique materials you examine the history of dualism and double standards. Can you go into further detail about your interest in these themes?

NN: I think it has to do with what I mentioned above about my interest in various subjects. I like to dissect science and make up my own stories and facts – sort of using common symbols in a new way.

BS: In your work you often scrutinize canonical, emotional, religious and psychological statements. What troubles you about these issues? Why do you use your art to challenge them?

NN: These issues challenge me everyday – all the time. I mean, we just have to look around us, it’s there! My work reflects my take on our common history, present time and what might be the future. What also interests me is the fact that so many people can relate to my stories even if we interpret them differently.

BS: Do you see your work as a form of activism?

NN: Haven’t thought about that… Maybe it is, on a more personal level.

BS: Your work often contains symbolic items. For example, knives become a symbol of danger and surgical equipment become symbols of the dismantling of humanity. Can you tell us more about the symbolism behind your work?

NN: The symbolic language is extremely important to my work. We’re surrounded by symbols and have always been, so I’m not that surprised that people read and understand my stories visually. It’s a call on inner reflection – at least I hope it to be.

BS: Have any specific artists or art movements influenced you? are you influenced by Dadaism?

NN: No, I’m not inspired by Dadaism, but I did found some inspiration in the collages of Max Ernst when I first started out working with the collage form. Instead I tend to be more influenced by painters like Tom Krestesen and Francis Bacon for their personal approach and sense of roominess.

BS: Nicole, can you go into further detail about your artistic process? Place us in your mind as you start to create... perhaps you could select one of your works and describe its creation-- both physically (the materials that you used) and mentally?

NN: Well, as for Survival Of the Fittest, I already had the theme in my head when reading a book on health from the late 19th century. The text below one of images read "An idiot child". To me she looked perfectly normal and I was trigged by how the text made me see her differently. The three children along with three knives became symbols for selection in a wider sense. Also, what would happen if they actually started playing with the knives?..
BS: What are you working on at this time?

NN: I keep on working with my paper-on-paper collages combined with antique media, exploring different techniques. Oh, I have so many stories left to tell – you’ll see!

Nicole Natri is a member of the community. You can read more of my interviews by visiting the following page--

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

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