PAINTER. Lausanne. Switzerland.
My name is Raffaella Bruzzi, born in Milan. I’ve always loved this popular quote from Luis Buñuel. “Fortunately, somewhere between chance and mystery lies imagination, the only thing that protects our freedom.“
I´ve always wanted to paint, but it wasn’t until after the birth of my first child, between my career in the Bank and my job as a mother, that I armed myself with brushes and paints and painted, somewhat on a dare, my first canvas. Art came into my life as evidence that I did not expect I immediately felt at ease and found in painting a space for myself, a moment of escape, but I would also say meditation. In the ninth month of my third pregnancy, I had my first exhibition.
The following years were very intense. Because of a very demanding profession and the young age of the kids, I frequently painted at night or in the evening. I felt that I could paint for hours without feeling hungry or sleepy. Since 2017, when I started working part-time, art has taken a bigger role in my life. From the earliest beginnings I approached abstractionism, fascinated by the material and driven by the need to manipulate shapes and colours. Abstract allowed me to paint without any conditioning of the real world, to express in full freedom my feelings, my mental states, associated with a need for expression of my identity, a need for freedom and peace.
I feel that I work in phases, constantly trying new techniques, again and again. I generally address two themes: that of the material (as “Metamorfosi”, “materia” and “coulours” series) and that of the abstract landscape, a combination of brush and palette knife work, trying my hand at oil painting in various layers (as “Paesaggi dell’anima” and “Il mio mare” series).
In the “METAMORMOSI” series (I would say perhaps the most materic) in blue and red: in which I develop imaginary shapes of an intense color and covered with resin (vitrified effect), carved into a material, as if it were a bark or a crust of the earth. These are quite intense works. The form emerges from the painting almost naturally, spontaneously without premeditation, the process is long and evolves by layers of matter and color in a succession of moments of frustration and exhilaration. I later developed other themes: “MATERIA” in which it is matter that dominates over color; the paintings in this case are mainly mono- or biochromatic, “COLOURS” in which it is color that dominates matter, it follows that more colors are also used.
Particularly closed to my heart the series “Il mio mare”, my blue phase, which comes back from time to time. Here colours and emotions are intrinsically connected. The subject represented was often the sea, memories of travels that it carries with it and that it transforms thanks to the luminosity that it breathes into it. I dream of it at night. It brings me peace and serenity.
I like to continually experiment with different techniques and discover the effects that arise from mixing different types of material and colour together. In my abstract landscape I work in layers, and each layer has its meaning. The first is generally the acyclic one. Then, I add oil paint for its singular effects on the canvas. Indeed, it brings out the richness and brightness of the colors. Added to this, natural pigments or even inks, sometimes.
When I work with the material, I mainly use chalk, marble dust, ashes (the one from the fireplace), sand (the one from the beach), string, wood or iron dust (which I rust), gold foil, and whatever comes my way. Apart from all this, I can still add: enamels, paints, resins, inks, wax crayons, tar, cement and the special mediums found in the market to give more brilliance or transparency to the colour.
The relief that we detect on the canvas is the trace of what has been and designates the starting point of which I was perhaps not convinced. I sometimes have a subject in my head but is not limited to it, she makes it a point of honor to leave her creation free. I then feel soothed when I arrive at the goal. Experimenting and discovering a result by trying is an integral part of my process. Painting for me is like deciding to set off on an aimless journey.
My artistic inspiration comes mostly from my own life then it is filtered by my mind, metabolized, re-read and the idea is born. Everything around me influences my art, a vision, an encounter, a music, an emotion, a thought .. , nature and sea, waves crashing, salt air breeze, the endless horizon… are always present in my mind when I paint.
My primary motivation is to connect myself to another person’s soul through my paintings. It is certainly a great satisfaction and an indescribable joy to know that I can exhibit my works and enter with a painting directly into the soul of another person, to generate deep emotions in the viewer, without needing to speak or to know each other. It is the work itself that becomes a ground for encounter, exchange, dialogue, the beginning of a journey. The viewer observes with his own eyes what he wants or rather what he feels at that moment and subjectively interprets the work that may (or may not) provide intimate feelings.
Seeing the material that transforms, the spontaneity of the gesture, the experimentation on the canvas and the material that takes shape represent another source of motivations.
There have been so many artists who inspired me The first ones that come to mind: Rothko, Soulages, Ryman, Burri. When I started I think I was more inspired by the classics of Impressionism, the master of light Monet with his Water Lilies series or Amedeo Modigliani with his unbridled passion for women.