2 girls 1 cup

Hello

For me, drawing means that I have discovered the way to continue happily playing the games of my childhood.

serena2

Those youthful games gave such pleasure but this subsequent sequel is accompanied by a degree of knowledge that makes the enjoyment even greater and the suffering more real.

If childhood games serve to have us gain a better knowledge of the world, to continue playing games when adult means knowing the freedom to invent other variations of the same.

An artist once confided to me that if he hadn’t had the chance to continue his own personal research, he might have been driven into analysis. In fact, having the possibility of expression using a language means to wonder, questioning and finding answers continuously and, in this way, my drawings become “containers” of personal history. I draw to tell a story utilizing signs, symbols and metaphors as if they were words. If I happened to be a writer, my style would be closer to that of 19th century novels rather than that of evocative poetry because my drawings incorporate numerous elements. In them I feel that there has always been a before and an after where the observer views a space that someone has already visited, someone who has upset the time or the perspective and then exited from the scene, leaving everything in a state of suspension.

I have always taken for granted my necessity to draw but occasionally, when I have the time to ask myself why I do it today, I’m not so sure the answer is precisely the same. Sometimes I say that I draw because it is the easiest thing for me to do. Having taken up another activity, I would have had to work much harder without ever being confident that I had found my ‘place’ in the world.

As I write, what comes to mind is the first work that I did while a student at the art institute. It was a story board for an animation: a haphazard figure, my own self perhaps, was riding a cloud filled with tubes of colour which he had opened and was squeezing the contents all over the city below, changing its sombre grey tonality into a rainbow of colours. Maybe I was unknowingly writing my own destiny. My teachers didn’t find it exceptionally interesting but, I never pretended to be the first of the class anyway. I remember that, at the time, it was ‘fashionable’ to design and colour everything as if composed of the same material with a soft, shiny leathery quality which was quite attractive. Instead, I was drawn to the ‘bad’ type of execution where the human body was not beautiful but awkward and clumsy because I was searching for the ‘nausea’, the adrenaline.

I had looked for it in the theatre through acting, by reciting Artaud in the marketplace making people run away in horror. Once, eighteen of us even went in front of the main gate of FIAT at Turin staging a production of ‘The Pest’.

Afterwards I did an entire series on Alice which was very psychedelic and very autobiographical. One of my best illustrations was made after having spent an hour standing on my head, staring at the reflective glass window of the stereo as it blared out the music of the Colosseum while I continued looking myself in the eyes. The entire scene appeared and took shape as the blood slowly travelled to my head. It was an excellent work.

From that time on everything has followed a logical direction. I visited the Book Fair at Bologna, carrying my Alice under my arm. The editor of a Spanish publishing house asked to see it and, then all of a sudden it disappeared!

But by this time, the smell of books had gotten under my nose and I was enjoying it. I decided that this is what I would like doing. I had always wanted a job that would allow me to be independent and I envisioned myself ‘all grown up’ in a room with huge windows intent at drawing. Here I am now, in the place that is ‘mine’. Serena Riglietti

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