Today we are virtually touring Maria Giovanna Morelli's studio.
Morelli is a 360 degree artist, she experiments with many mediums and her inspiration comes from everyday life and conflicts.
Born in 1978, she studied engineering and architecture at the Bologna Alma Mater while attending another small art school in her hometown: Bagnacavallo (Emilia-Romagna, Italy). Her background distinguishes her from many artists on this platform but that does not make her less interesting. On the contrary, her passion is visible on every piece she produces - even experimenting with NFTs!
Let's have a look into her workspace and some of her coolest works.
Which were your first steps in becoming an artist?
I began to draw when I was a child. Our parents allowed us to draw on the external walls of our house. I remember that I used to spend whole afternoons copying Mickey Mouse or cartoons characters. Even now, drawing is an activity that relaxes me and keeps me calm.
Then, at school, I discovered technical drawing and the planning which is behind its realization.
I decided to enroll in civil engineering and architecture in Bologna from that moment. At the same time, I felt the need of expressing myself in a freer way and I began to attend the Ramenghi art school in Bagnacavallo. It is a little local school, where you can learn many different techniques. Here I began oil painting, opting soon for the abstract. Then, over the years, I gained experience in engraving techniques, and in this last period, I’m focusing on sculpture and installation. We can say that the “first steps” of my way to making art are due to an innate need that I always felt and tried to listen to.
How do you define yourself in the creative industry?
I am a forge: I give shape to objects and new images to better understand what I am and what I feel. When I feel a need, I build something and put my work at the disposal of whoever has an interest in it: it is a sort of trade that always causes a strong emotional impact. Furthermore, I try to reinvest in new work whichever I manage to gather from this process. This allows me to grow and start new relations.
What is indispensable while working in your studio?
When I work, I need solitude and the radio on.
I also have moments when I don’t work, but I go to my studio to observe and smell the pieces I’m working on. Feeling that smell activates my thoughts: I sit, observe, breathe and I try to understand which direction, for example, a painting should take. Then I get up and write a list of activities that need to be done, in a very rational way, organizing the following days. The following day, I enter the studio and I begin working right away using the list as a track. I try to get out of the studio always leaving a list of activities for the next time.
Who are your favorite artists and who are the ones that built your creative imaginary?
First of all, Francis Bacon, then Mattia Moreni and Velda Ponti, Cy Twombly, for their materic use of paint and the power of their gestuality. I also follow the work of Daniel Richter, Andreas Golder, and Alessandro Pessoli for the themes and the use of color. The painting of the Lipsia school, on the other hand, interests me for the way these artists organize the space and build the scene on the canvas. For sculpture and installation, I can name Tatiana Trouvè, Franz West, Jannis Jounellis among the most important. I love the irreverence of Carsten Höller and Thomas Hirschhorn.
I try to keep updated on the work of other artists, emerging ones too, as I am curious and like to confront myself.
Now that we are almost out of this pandemic, what are you planning next for your career?
I don’t have plans regarding the post-pandemic world: on the contrary, I adapted and took advantage of this period to study, update and work with more concentration. I missed traveling, so I could say that regarding the post-pandemic period I’d like to open new collaborations and projects out of Italy.
I don’t have plans regarding the post-pandemic world: on the contrary, I adapted and took advantage of this period to study, update and work with more concentration.
But I can tell you that an aspect of art that I find stimulating is the chance of having a confrontation out of my artistic discipline as well: for this reason, I’ve recently started a project with the photographer Michela Pascucci and I’m collaborating on a musical project. The NFT world and crypto art are interesting as well, so I believe that I will devote some time to this new way of promoting art, using technology as an instrument, but without altering my research.
The NFT world and crypto art are interesting as well, so I believe that I will devote some time to this new way of promoting art, using technology as an instrument, but without altering my research.
What is your relationship with social media and how do you use them?
Social media are an enormous opportunity: they keep a sort of creative excitement active and are an infinite source of inspiration. I have an Instagram page that I manage: I like to think about it as a sort of room/studio that is part of my atelier. I use it to post experiments, failures, ideas. In this way, it becomes a sort of archive, a collection of what crosses my mind, a door to my laboratory. In addition, from social media you immediately obtain feedback from the users who follow you, so I can understand right away when a work is effective, if it is successful. Through social media I like observing the work of others as well, how they manage their workspace, their studio… this voyeuristic aspect sparks my interest!
Through social media I like observing the work of others as well, how they manage their workspace, their studio… this voyeuristic aspect sparks my interest!