Ask the artist: Marina De Carlo

It is almost summer and, going over the months that have passed since the start of our chats with artists thanks to this column, we have got to know very different personalities and poetics to give the public a chance to discover the Italian art scene now present in Holland with the project Contemporary Italian Art in Holland, supported by the neo-Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Oosterwolde. Today we will discover the vision of the young artist from Terracina Marina De Carlo, whom we met through a mutual friendship, and who I am proud to present in northern Europe precisely because of the freshness, authenticity, genius and philosophical depth of what she achieves. An aerial art for the perspectives used, a conceptual art full of symbolism that teaches respect for Creation, a material, living and tactile art to allow everyone to enjoy it: an art that is able to transmit inner peace and wonder.

But now let us move on to the interview with Marina De Carlo:

Your artistic production is based on the use of a very particular and interesting mixed technique that is tactile and alive at the same time: would you like to explain what it consists of and if it is difficult to maintain for those who wish to become your collectors?

My islands follow the lines of real ones, I try to reproduce them as close to reality as possible. They are made of concrete and I carve them by hand. To recreate the typical nature of the islands, after a long research, I have included stabilised live moss to bring my works to life. The stabilised live moss comes from various parts of the world: Finland, Chile, Siberia, Provence; it is hand-picked and subjected to a stabilisation process that makes it unchanged over time. The musks I use for my islands are therefore able to maintain their characteristics of softness, colour and structure. They do not need water, soil or light, but only feed on the humidity of the environment. Stabilised moss also retains a light forest scent. The only thing I recommend is to place the work away from heat sources.

Let’s talk about the subject you love so much and which is present at the Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Oosterwolde in Holland: the sea and islands. Why did you choose this theme and how do you represent it?

I was very inspired by the place where I live: I can see the sea from the windows of my house and the sense of freedom that the sea, even if only by sight, expresses, has filled many of my sorrows. I like to be able to travel on my canvases, to imagine myself elsewhere. Art is an escape for me, and being able to ‘fly’ over the sea is the ultimate expression of freedom.

In your artistic production, however, there are not only seas, but also works dedicated to space and extremely conceptual works closely linked to the Holy Scriptures: would you describe them to us?

I have recently started “flying” in space. Since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by NASA photos: I loved feeling infinitely small in the infinitely large. For my “space” canvases, I use resin, which I colour black with natural pigments, and alcoholic inks, which make up the heart of the work. With the inks, I try to reproduce the explosions and bright colours typical of Nebulae. I also love to reproduce the planets, the stars and everything that arouses a sense of wonder and amazement in my eyes. The last (for now) cycle is dedicated to the focus of my life: God and the Holy Scriptures. Putting God first in my life has been my greatest victory, giving meaning to my whole existence. For these works I use epoxy resins as a background, while the letters that make up the sentences are made of cement. The play of light and shadow under the letters is, in my understanding of art, the pinnacle of perfection.

To sum up, your art can be defined as aerial, symbolic and conceptual: what is the profound message that the artist Marina De Carlo wants to communicate?

The message I would like to communicate with my art is one of Freedom: there are no limits! My imagination has taken me very far, while remaining still. I have managed to break down many barriers and create art that is not only visual, but also tactile, that can be not necessarily only “seen” but also “touched” for the blind.

Plans for 2021? Besides being present at the Art Explosion in Assen on 3 July and at the Nationale Kunst Dagen in November in Nieuwegein, do you have other events on your agenda? Covid permitting.

It is a very difficult period for exhibitions and events, but in July I will participate in the Biennale di Genova with Satura Arte, and in September I will be present in the exhibition in Crema for the 750th anniversary of the birth of Dante Alighieri. On 5 June, one of my works was selected to participate in an exhibition event in Catania to celebrate the 160th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy.

I would like to thank Marina De Carlo very much for her time. I am sure that her works of art will certainly be appreciated here in Holland; in the meantime, I invite you to take a look at the page dedicated to her:

From the Islands cycle

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