My name is Alina Vergnano, I was born in 1989 in Turin, Italy and for around six years I have been living in Gothenburg, Sweden. No pets, but I dream of a studio dog to keep me company while I work. The main focus of my practice is the inner world, our consciousness. Emotions, desires, memories, all those states that have no shape but constantly evolve and change. So, the question I pose myself in the studio every day is, how to depict the ever-changing?
PIECE WITH ARTIST
FEB 25, 2021. GOTHENBURG. SWEDEN.
Tell us your story, how did you come to painting?
Everything started from drawing because it has always been something very immediate to me. Drawing, as much as painting, for me is about language. A language that I can use to elaborate on what exists inside and outside of me, to investigate and make sense of it, without having to use words. With drawing, I can capture things that have no shape, that are constantly changing, like obsessions, desires or affections. Painting for me is drawing on a canvas, as much as etching on one of my flat ceramic pieces is drawing on clay. I am attracted to the physicality of the canvas format and the materiality of raw linen or cotton, and I like how they influence my drawings, eventually turning them into paintings.
How would you define your current painting?
I do not really believe in definitions, I think definitions limit our capacity to understand art as much as they limit us in life.
Tell us about your style and technique. Any secret that can be told?
I let myself be surprised both by my intuitions and my technical limitations. When I gain enough confidence with a certain process, I often need to move onto something else, at least for a while. Sometimes it is frustrating to start over, but ultimately that is what makes it interesting for me to come to the studio everyday, and what gives the work the kind of sense of immediacy I look for.
How do you usually start your paintings? With a sketch, a draft or is it just an improvisation?
No planning involved, but I draw a lot, until I feel I am intimate enough with my subjects to not be intimidated by the canvas.
What are your motivation forces? And the artists who have been and are an influence for you?
My main motivation force is the fact that I believe in my work and I love and live for what I do. It has always been important for me to look for influences within both art history and the contemporary art world, because I do not have an academic formation in painting. One of my first, and maybe most important, influence is Louise Bourgeoise because of her capacity to translate her inner world into something universally relatable, through the use of as many materials as she could work with. Then, Expressionism, Munch, De Kooning, Picasso, Lee Krasner, Eva Hesse. Recently, I have been very involved with the work of Amy Sillman (and her writing, too), Tamuna Sirbiladze, and Tala Madani, among others, all of them painters who have a very strong connection to drawing.
What can you tell us about your studio, what kind of place is it?
I had to change a few studios in the last few years. My current studio is in the semi-basement of an apartment building, but it has windows and some natural light. It’s a bit weird but I like it because I have a good space to work and an extra storage room. There is also a garden, in which I look forward to have my lunch when spring comes. But I miss the higher ceilings of my old studio, and the second-hand shops downstairs.
What is art for you?
Art is many things for me. I see it as a response and as way to interpret reality, but also as a way to embrace subjectivity, while relating with others. I would feel very lost in this world without it.