In conversation with Eleonora Rinaldi, winner of t...

In conversation with Eleonora Rinaldi, winner of the We Art Open 2023 artistic residency

Eleonora Rinaldi is a young artist with a series of interesting projects and a truly brilliant story to her credit. I had the pleasure of meeting her for the project: MOP not an open studio, where for a single day, 2023 May 12 at SV San Vidal in Venice, she will show the works she created during her month and a half artistic residency won after the We Art Open 2023.

Eleonora Rinaldi, photo Marcello Sponza, courtesy the artist

Francesco Liggieri: Se tu dovessi presentarti a chi non ti conosce con un’opera d’arte, quale sceglieresti e perché?
Eleonora Rinaldi: I would like choose a literary work and then it would be “Mrs Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf, or “The Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, or “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare. I don’t think I can choose a pictorial work, on this point the influences are too many and if I said a name today, tomorrow I would have changed my mind. So I choose a piece of music: “Good Bait” by Nina Simone, from the album “Little girl blue” (1959), and an album: “Just Piano” by FKJ from 2021. But without giving explanations.

Eleonora Rinaldi, 12 vite fa, una notte, oil on canvas, 200 x 180 cm, 2022, courtesy the artist

In your opinion, what is the current health state of contemporary art?
Contemporary art perfectly reflects the world we are living in: an infinite possibility of choice, confusing and labyrinthine. Having now abandoned any hinge, in a reality which perhaps has never been so much in change and so fast, there is everything. More than ever it is up to the single individual to choose and try to do it consciously, in adherence with himself or himself: especially for artists, to try to carry out a sincere research. In a society overwhelmed by visual stimuli it is difficult to paint, and yet it remains a necessity, something for which we are primordially thirsty. However I think the art contemporary looks great, it’s a big playground full of possibilities.

Eleonora Rinaldi, Cacciatrice volante, oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm, 2022, courtesy the artist

Could you describe the creative process of your paintings?
I start from photographs, I cut them from encyclopedias, books, magazines or I find them on the internet and I print them. I keep them all together and when I want to draw I spread them on the floor, I choose some and I put them in dialogue: when I feel that a certain combination works, with the drawing I merge the images together. Drawing is a fundamental phase for me: the transition from the mental image mentality is the first stage, with the work on the photographs, in this second one it takes a form that already calls the painting. The white spaces of the drawings are potential, in the sense that only with the painting they will reveal themselves as textures that drawing does not yet know. Drawing for me covers a fundamental reference role, a very useful guide during the more complex and articulated pictoriaphase. When I start to paint, the macro-question is that of colour: I chromatically imagine a painting already from the drawing, I know which colors I will use or at least which shades, and this is the starting point. When I paint, things always change a lot: basically the colors that I have chosen remain, but everything is transformed into the magic of the unexpected and the painting into a in a certain sense decides for itself what aspect to assume. I love to let myself be carried away by the evolution of painting, it is the best part of the work. Gradually I discover the identity it assumes and the stories that it tells, surrendering to the fact that it will always be something other than what I imagined.

Eleonora Rinaldi, oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm, 2023, courtesy the artist

As an artist what do you think is your duty towards society?
More than a duty, I think I have a role, as all of us in society, and this role in my case is defined by what I do: by painting I say something, inevitably, end that something may or may not be heard, but regardless, it is there. I think I have to be a very sensitive person, who exists and lives like the others in the confusion of our era, in this strange reality that we all share. A charged reality, which often seems on the point of exploding and from which I need to get little stories. I hope that other people see something in my paintings, that they feel something which moves their sensations. I hope my paintings can talk about what it means to exist in our time, not with the presumption of knowing something in particular, but with the placid awareness of knowing myself as part of this period.

Eleonora Rinaldi, Mezzora dopo, oil on canvas, 160 x 120 cm, 2023, courtesy the artist

David Hockney often recalls in his interviews that painting will never die, what do you think about it?
I think and hope he is right. There is something in painting that, despite the technological development survives, no one knows why: perhaps one of the reasons is the fact that when we find ourselves in front of a picture we cannot ignore being in front of the surface someone else has worked on for hours, for days. It is something that brings traces of another person. We have to get closer and further away, we ask ourselves how one certain area may have been created, with what tool: it is an active dialogue, not a passive one. Looking at a painting means to be in conversation with something that is not just an object, but a presence in the room.



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