In the Studio with the artist: Giada Pignotti

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Today we are discovering Giada Pignotti's studio in Milan. Pignotti holds a MA in Fine Art (Painting and Visual Arts) from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and her medium is drawing. For the artist, drawing is her way to express the most intimate side of her personality.
Graphic is not only a tool of analysis, but it is also a strategy to narrate and act out, tell stories that are a continuous exchange between the image and the narrative.
Pignotti also worked on “MONDIBUI” - a sound project structured in episodes that was born, divided, in turn, into two different narrative strands (“1. Adam, Rosemary and the Enchanted World” and “2. La Cantante”) - revealing another side to this interesting artist.

Giada in her studio working on some drawings | courtesy of the artist

What were your first steps in becoming an artist?
From what I can remember I’ve always drawn. It has always been a “game” but also a way to explore and challenge myself. When I was a child, I loved inventing stories and watching cartoons on the tv. I was bewitched by the narration’s weaving, the suspense that separated one episode from the other. Almost every day, after school, I filled piles of paper which I animated with my voice: it was like acting and watching a movie at the same time and it was my favorite hobby. I attended arts high school and then the Academy of Fine Arts. I’ve always wanted to work in the creative area, but it was only during the last years of the master’s degree at Brera that I rediscovered and reconsidered these childhood “games” as a curious and kindred bond with my actual research.

Giada Pignotti, LA CANTANTE | courtesy of the artist

Between 2017 and 2018, drawing inspiration from this, I began to develop an episodic audio tale titled “Adam, Rosemary, and the Enchanted World” and then, at a distance of a few months, another one called LA CANTANTE, which I still carry on.
I never realized, before I pursued this kind of research, how much voice was a hidden but fundamental element in my artistic practice, and today I continue working on these projects alongside drawing as if they were one the negative of the other.

How do you define yourself in the creative industry?
Sometimes, working mainly with drawing, I end up cutting to the chase and introducing myself as an illustrator, but I believe that’s not a fitting definition. Instead, I would say I am an artist and I carry on two parallel kinds of research, the first linked to drawing and painting and the second to narration and sound and maybe to performance as well.

The artist in her studio | courtesy of the artist

What is indispensable while working in your studio?
If I draw, music, most of the time. If I’m inspired and find the right kind of music, I already know that the work will begin well. However, when I can’t find anything new and interesting, it appears to me as if I were missing that common thread that can help me keep the concentration for many hours and guide me towards unexplored places.
On the other hand, if I work on audio I need silence and the certainty that no one can enter the room.

Pignotti working on one of her drawings

Who are your favorite artists and who are the ones that built your creative imaginary?
I believe that the first basis of my creative imagery, as for the people who grew up between the 90s and the first 2000, have been built throughout the world of Japanese animation and illustration: from the first childhood cartoons, I then got to know mangas and cyberpunk stories during high school and, from that moment on, I’ve always been connected to that world.
Continuing my artistic research and studies, I got completely fascinated by the manipulation of the body’s shapes and the sequentiality, by how these two aspects of the image could live together in the drawing, in a practice halfway between study and an unconscious tale. In 2013 at a Biennale in Venice I saw some sculptures by Berlinde de Bruyckere which struck me, so I began to look up to his work and to other artists who mostly worked with sculpture and three-dimensional such as Luise Bourgeois and Hans Bellmer, and I began to study bodies and their tension through the sign.
I’ve always found it very stimulating to study artists which don’t specifically work with the same media as I do, but with the ones I feel instinctively akin to: the evanescence in the photography of Francesca Woodman, the cloudy border between experience, life, and performance in Sophie Calle, the violence of the work of Tracey Emin.

I’ve always found it very stimulating to study artists which don’t specifically work with the same media as I do, but with the ones I feel instinctively akin to: the evanescence in the photography of Francesca Woodman, the cloudy border between experience, life, and performance in Sophie Calle, the violence of the work of Tracey Emin.

Now that we are almost out of this pandemic, what are you planning next for your career?
I’ve been living in Milan for 10 years and, without being aware of it, it became my home. Just before the pandemic, I thought to leave, to go abroad and gain some experience in other cities, maybe in some residencies. I’d like to pick that project up again, as soon as the situation improves, maybe this spring.
Currently, I’m working on new various projects, among which there is a little animated short film.

What is your relationship with social media and how do you use them?
A complicated relationship, I would say. I don’t know how to express myself about the topic, as I still haven’t decided what to think about it, but I believe it is the dilemma of many artists today. Without Instagram, I probably couldn’t have had the chance to get to know the profiles of many other emerging artists and in general of more interesting realities out of Italy too, or that only exist online.
There are artists who, in addition to simply publishing pictures of what they create, cleverly manipulate social media, and use them as part of their work: in this case, I believe it can become an interesting way to build alternative narrations.
It must be said that they can become detrimental for other kinds of projects which don’t adapt and don’t fit into that kind of logic, in that selective process which in some way excludes from our attention anything that can’t be caught immediately, which is not instantly visually appealing, which requires slowness and some effort, even in the fulfillment of the simple role of spectator.
I have to say that maybe I’m too attached to the idea of the creative process and the fruition of artworks as a moment which, even if brief, resists the flow of the routine and offers an opening towards thinking and amazement.
The infinite variety of visual contents at our disposal today and their resulting gradual homogenization brings art to blend in different contexts: this can represent an interesting breakthrough but, at the same time, it sometimes threatens that cathartic moment.

Giada Pignotti, part of MAD - from "MYSTIC SWAMP (questa palude è un tempo di mezzo)" series, 2020 | available here on Artsted

Written by
Anna Frattini