Ilaria De Plano is also part of the Double Date exhibit that I’ve been writing about, which has been at Radiant Space in Los Angeles all month long. She also has work, along with Alic Daniel, at Arcspace. If you remember, I wrote about Alic a few weeks back. I met Ilaria last year at Radiant Space and was immediately drawn to her work. I love seeing work that is vastly different from what I create. Her work has a very magical, yet natural, element to it, and from what I can tell, so does she. I threw some questions her way and she threw back some answers. That’s how it works, kids.
Many abstract artists are actually landscape artists. What sort of landscapes do you find yourself painting?
Horizons and amorphic patterns in nature have always fascinated me, and my work probably reflects that. More specifically, in the natural world, I am attracted to fractals: rock formations, sea shells, snowflakes, leaves, moon’s surface etc…
What does Arte Povera mean to you and why is that such a fascination?
My interpretation of Arte Povera is the use of discarded or obsolete materials to create something new, fresh, and even rich. A rebirth of sorts. Gathering and then painting with the materials I find has always been a meditative experience for me. It started out as a childhood hobby which then became an adult fascination. It means being resourceful whilst caring about the world and hopefully delivering the unexpected, surprising, and sometimes even ironic. I’ve got the trash to treasure syndrome.
Is it becoming harder and harder to survive in this world in which we are supposedly advancing in so many ways?
Technology, specifically, is racing ahead of humanity in so many ways that it’s becoming the driving force of our existence. The printed medium in my works reflects and celebrates to a certain extent, a simpler time.
Where did you study art, or are you self taught?
I’m self-taught but have always had the fortune to be surrounded both here and in Italy by beauty and culture. My grandparents and parents have collected art and antiques all their lives. My fondest memories from childhood always originate from some sensory memory, be it flipping through art books in my grandfather’s library, swimming in the Mediterranean to catch sea urchin, or rummaging through textures in my mother’s colorful closet. I’ve always been a tactile person and a DIY wiz. But I never dreamed of the day I’d be working on canvas.
Note: Out of college, I worked as a window dresser in Rockefeller center and Production designer
Who do you love and can’t live without, in terms of painters or other artists?
Sculpture and installations is really where art started to move me! These are a few of my loves: JASPER JOHNS, CALDER, FONTANA, DALI, ROTHKO, MONET, PISTOLLETO, CATTELAN, ARSHAM, KUSAMA, VAN GOGH & BOSCH.
Note: Both Arte Povera and Abstract Expressionism have been a real influence in my new series, “R.I.P”
After studying some of your pieces like “Moss” (2018), it seems as if there is a vortex that the materials are floating towards in the center, as if they are being swallowed or soaring into a blackhole. Is this intentional, and is it a reflection of your feelings about the chaotic nature of life?
VERY GOOD POINT. Just like I wish the viewer to be sucked in by my pieces, I, too, become entranced with my works, always starting on the corners first, then “lazy Susan-ing” my way around the sides and finally to the center. It is a method that seems almost opposite to a lot of my contemporaries, albeit it is one that allows me to find the central point organically, thus creating this vortex-like effect. I LIKE TO THINK THAT IN ART, LIKE IN LIFE, THERE IS ALWAYS A NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS…A CHAOTIC ORDER NEVERTHELESS!