FLORIANA RICCIO

CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

FR: This is such a hard question to answer to! I like to experiment a lot with photography, I also use it as a tool to explore the world, to create meaning through visual narrative. I try to keep my style honest and genuine, intimate but also related to perceptions and feelings.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

FR: Mainly from the natural world but also sharing experiences and collaborating with people with different backgrounds. I draw inspiration from the feeling of being connected with other living beings.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

FR: At the beginning it’s messy, my thoughts wander a lot to the point that I can feel lost. But I trust my instincts, uncertainty is part of the game. Starting a new project is going on a quest. I step outside without knowing where I will end up or how I will get there.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

FR: I have no control on what people will take from my work and this is so fascinating. I’d love to make them feel something unexpected but delicate, like a whisper, or the presence of a forgotten ancient memory. Mixing the viewers’ experiences with mine through images.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

FR: It’s rather plain and simple, but I love it. I live in a small town in the mountains. I own a business with my husband. I work as a commercial and portrait photographer too and I’m happy to make a living out of photography. I read a lot. I take long walks in the woods. Silence is one of my best friends. I’m an early bird and I’m happy when I can be in my bed by 9:30 pm.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

FR: I think it really depends on who you are and what you are planning to do. For me it’s a mix of both, I always have to find balance between impulse and plan. Too much impulse and you’ll burn all your mental and physical energies in no time as well as your most precious resources (time, money, collaborators…). Too much organization and you’ll make a product not an artwork.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

FR: To deal with the unknown, to trust my instincts and to make genuine connections with people.

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

FR: They are important but not of the highest importance to me. They can become the golden cage that prevents you from improving. As a photographer I think I have to experience reality, to push myself outside boundaries, especially the ones I build on my own!

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

FR: Making a living out of art or even find a way to conciliate your life as an artist and daily life, relationships, family and work. I’m not a full time artist and I don’t know if I want to be, it’s a hard job, both physically and mentally. When I work on a personal project I’m fully immersed in it, I can isolate myself from the rest of the world for days or, on the other
hand, throw my emotions to my loved ones, usually with the strength of a tornado, asking for too much support and attention.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

FR: It makes me feel alive, ever-curious, I learn something new every day, I meet new people. I can destroy and rebuild the world every day.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

FR: Too many. I’m inspired by classical music: Chopin and Debussy. Romantic painters like William Turner, John Constable (his skies!) and Caspar David Friedrich. For what concerns photography: Francesca Woodman, Rinko Kawauchi but also Gregory Crewdson, Richard Avedon and others. Too many influences!

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

FR: It’s a double-edged sword and a sharp one too! Nowadays it’s possible to showcase your work in any way that was unthinkable ten or twenty years ago. You can reach the unreachable ones, find new opportunities. But you aren’t the only one on the Internet. Your competitors are there too, and there is so much “noise”, repetitive and shallow works. One can feel the urge to publish something that’s not finished yet, or dull, just because “you HAVE TO show something”. I also have this feeling that many artist are spending more time “performing” for the Internet than working on something valuable.
Fake and dangerous fame. Do you know that many photographers out there are more worried about their Instagram feed visual coherence than working on the content of their images? Aesthetic is important, I know, but substance too.

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

FR: Yes, I do. To me its about being inquisitive, never take something or someone for granted.

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

FR: Yes, I love traveling and I used to travel a lot in my twenties! Porto in Portugal, Akureury and Neskaupstaður in Iceland, Berlin, Takayama in Japan and Turin. Again, too many cities, too many influences.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

FR: My first love from childhood: Roald Dahl. Haruki Murakami for adult life.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

FR: I’m working on perceptions and mental images. I’m exploring portraiture from different point of views too.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

FR: To create value and make connections.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

FR: Of Monsters and Men – Dirty Paws

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

FR: Maybe ambiguous, but in a positive way.

CHECK OUT MORE ON: FLORIANA RICCIO

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