Get to know the Italian artist Valentina Murabito with our latest interview in the series "Behind the Scenes".
How has your style changed over time? My style has changed quite a lot in 20 years, mainly because I have been involved in experimental analogue photography and have used a wide range of materials.
It was clear to me from the beginning that I wanted to achieve something with photography other than the classic depiction of a situation. For example, I wanted to create photographs that broke away from reproducibility, that were unique and emphasised the manual aspect of the medium. Through experimentation and accidental mistakes, which can also be beautiful, I create a non-reproducible photography and thus I open a dialogue with painting and sculpture. The most significant change in my style was in 2015 when I changed my photographic technique and pushed the boundaries of the medium further. That is, away from the classic baryta paper to new materials that are particularly difficult to use in analogue photography: Concrete, wood, metals like brass or bronze, etc.
In 2016, similar to a fresco in painting, I developed my first large-format photograph (4 x 3 m) directly on the wall. This was a real challenge for me from a technical and physical point of view.
What motivates you to create? My main motivation is a great love and passion for black and white analogue photography, which I developed as a child because my father was a great fan of this art and I grew up with this aesthetic. Furthermore, I am motivated to contribute to the technical possibilities of this medium by discovering innovative or alternative developing and image processing techniques. For example, I was very excited when, after several years of experimenting in the photo lab, I finally managed to move, manually dissolve and reshape the photographic surface.
What is the most flattering thing someone said about your artwork? A few months ago, one of my collectors visited me in the studio for the first time and as she was leaving, she told me that I was a pioneer in photography and that my works open up new paths for photography. For me, that is the nicest compliment you can give to artists. I especially appreciated the compliment because it was made by her, as she has a great photo collection and knows a lot about analogue photography.
What music would describe your art the best? Modern classical music, which relies on experiments and the result is often unpredictable for the listener.
For example, when I listen to a composition by John Cage, my moods change within seconds. This gives me the feeling that something mysterious is going on that is beyond my control, almost otherworldly and mythical.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be? The superpower of making things that don't exist, thoughts or abstract concepts appear physically. The opposite, making things disappear, I don't find exciting.
Where were you on your last holiday? On the small, beautiful island of "Lipari", which belongs to Sicily, Italy.
Do you like rainy days? Yes, but only if they are not too often. On such days I feel more concentrated. In the long run, they make me too thoughtful.
Describe your artwork ›Mostri‹ in three words. Dreamily. Magical. Fairytale-like.
Does pinapple belong on pizza? I had been talking about it with an Italian friend lately and we both agreed: impossible!
What question do you wish we had asked you? As I have a passion for biographies, I would have liked to answer questions like: What was the decisive event in your life that led you to become an artist? Who were the most important people for your work as an artist, such as gallery owners, art patrons or muses?