We have finally left the great heat behind us (at least here in Holland) and can concentrate on new projects, new collaborations, new exhibitions, and the return of the column Ask the Artist (I have to say that I had missed it and I am happy to present it to you again) on the occasion of the inclusion of two new artists in the project Contemporary Italian Art in the Netherlands. Today I would like to officially introduce you to the Brescian painter Laura Zani, who has been at the Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Oosterwolde since April 2022 for the portrait exhibition Het portreit van de ziel. Known through a mutual friendship in Milan (you can always find the best at Milonga Cornici in the centre of Milan), Laura’s poetics immediately captured me and made me fall in love with her sweetness and elegance in combining the child-animal-vegetal world with a profoundly surreal and symbolic world thanks to the use of delicate inks with large backgrounds. Laura Zani’s works give inner calmness and serenity and, precisely for this reason, they are so appreciated and sought after by American, Egyptian, Italian, Belgian, German, Chinese and Dutch collectors. But I do not want to linger any longer and would like to pass the word to the artist.
Tell us about yourself: when did Laura Zani start feeling like an artist?
I have a very romantic idea of the artist, whom I imagine as an individual totally possessed by a personal vision of reality and unfailingly original both in artistic production and in life. If I compare myself to this idealised figure, I cannot feel like an artist: my life is ordinary and my thoughts contemplate every aspect of everyday life. There are moments, however, when I am able to extricate myself from reality: when I am searching for ideas, when I am enraptured by a particular situation or exhilarated by a success, very intense moments when I am creating my work. In those hours my perception of myself changes and I can perceive myself as an artist. But since my romantic vision usually prevails, I prefer to call myself a painter.
What does the artist in you long for? Have you already realised it?
The artist within me wishes to communicate positive emotions to the viewer. But not only that: he seeks comfort and joy in the gestures that create the work, in the flow of ideas that generate it.
I don’t deny that I think about getting more and more feedback and appreciation from the public and critics, but they are certainly not my priorities.
I think I get my wish every time I see joy and serene curiosity in the eyes of the viewer, or when I hear or read words of gratitude for the positive emotions aroused by my work.
What do you draw the most inspiration from? Why?
I draw inspiration from the things I love: captivating faces and expressions that make one imagine latent emotions; the beauty, unparalleled, of the creations of nature – both of the plant and animal world; works of art by masters of painting and illustration.
And all this because I feel that they belong to my imagination and my inner well-being rests on them.
Would you tell the readers about your painting technique: from the original work to the elaboration that becomes a new original?
The genesis of my artistic production follows two different paths: one is generated entirely from imagination without relying on real images – this is specifically illustration work: having found the idea for the panel, I make numerous sketches and colour proofs to arrive at the final work.
The other is influenced by photographic images. In these cases, I use photographs to reproduce the shapes and light contrasts while I tend to invent the context and change colours in order to use my personal palette.
Why the decision to create fine art prints? Do you have other projects to bring you even closer to the public?
I decided to produce fine art prints of my works to make my work more accessible to a wide audience. By printing files obtained by scanning or photographing the original works, I can create high quality copies of various sizes, even different from the originals, at inexpensive prices.
I think that in order to approach the public, visibility is indispensable, which, at the moment, I seek through social media – Facebook and Instagram – and the support of art galleries. I am planning, and this is a scoop, to open a studio with windows in the historic centre of Brescia, my city, soon.
I would really like to thank Laura Zani from the bottom of my heart for her infinite availability. From such a wonderful person as she is, nothing but wonderful art can but spring forth.
To follow the artist, I offer you her Instagram profile and her website, as well as inviting you in person to the Manzoni Kunst Galerie in Oosterwolde and to her Facebook and Elisa Manzoni (@manzoni.kunstgalerie) • Foto e video di Instagram pages.