Can you tell me a little bit about you?
After completing my Bachelor at the Fine Art Academy in 2016, I was able to partake in a two-year artist residency in Basel. For my development as an artist, this was the perfect solution to remain in touch with other young artists as well as to be immersed in my artistic projects. As of this point, I was living and working as a self-employed artist. It was important for me to experience what it means to create art and create a network outside the ‘safe-space’ of an institution.
Last year I felt it was the right moment to undertake an intense and rewarding two-year journey, and this is why I started the Masters program in painting at the Royal College of Art, London.
Painting has become a necessity, an urge. The days I am not painting, make me feel empty and detached. Perhaps this is because I have always been ambitious in my work. Through the challenges I confront, I grow. And through resilience, I gain new viewpoints.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
After the first semester at the RCA, I am trying to develop figures out of the many lines and layers emerging on the (raw) canvas, rather than doing a more graphic outline of it. That is why the figures are not visible the same as they were in my former works.
Currently I am thinking of a cheese factory farm and doing the laundry as the main topic in this new series.
What is your process like?
Back in time, my works were often created through experimentation. I needed to collect, draw, compare and deconstruct impressions of various kinds, in order to create and develop a central theme. During my Bachelors degree studies, I experimented with different media: video, film, installation and performance. However, for 4 years now I am constantly painting.
In 2018, I spent a few months in my mother’s apartment in Northern Italy. Feeling thrown back in time, a new direction in my painting began to form. “Extraterrestre non portarmi via” (extraterrestrial do not take me away) is a series of 4 paintings I did during this time. My mother’s apartment has not been touched since 1990, allowing a rediscovery of long-forgotten treasures of the past as well as found new ones. I was especially fascinated by the magical box containing fables and legends by Tony Wolf (Antonio Lupatelli). His illustrations accompanied me for many childhood years. I then started to draw some of the illustrated characters on the canvas life-sized. Besides painting, I staged and photographed family members in such an environment. Some played with a childhood toy – a doll or a teddy bear –, or I made them re-enact one of the figures of the fairy tales.
In a new technical departure, I placed the canvases on the floor to paint. I found a new enjoyment devoting myself to the medium in this way and to experiencing the “Disegno” from above. The result was a mixture of the newly interpreted creatures from fairy tales, family members, and extant puppets and furniture in the apartment.
Starting my paintings on the floor, losing myself to them, and stretching them at a later point, has since then been part of my art practice. Often I work on 2 or 3 paintings at the same time. To keep the drawing and leave raw parts on the canvas / primed surface is very important to me. I leave it “unfinished” on purpose.
What is the last thing you read?
The Plague by Albert Camus
What are you passionate about?
I love dancing, laughing, getting lost, travel, spend time with my 96 year old Nonna, who lives in Northern Italy and has always a looooot to tell me !
Is there any subject or theme you’ve been particularly interested in lately?
Since I rediscovered the world of children’s books and illustration, I enjoy playing with clashing realities and a weird aesthetic of cuteness. The sources of the motifs in this series are Bavarian or Swiss illustrations from my childhood. I try to ask myself: What happens when the nostalgic illustrations and their traditions get unpacked and turn into a sketchbook style on an unprimed canvas where brushstrokes fall apart and wild gestures create childish figures? I approach this series as a retelling, where no truth or no wrong exists, getting away from communication; to create new universes, a world of cultural mutations. The intimate and private space of a folkloristic Children’s book gets jumbled. As if a child’ subjectivity is returning to the imagery…..
What is the most surprising response you’ve received about your work from someone?
“It looks like an LSD trip.”
Do you have a day job or other work that you split your time between?
Before I started the RCA I had several part time jobs, for example I worked 40% as a receptionist at the Kunsthalle Basel and was a co-worker in a kindergarten. Working at the front desk of the Kunsthalle Basel, I got to meet many interesting people. To work with children and also older people is very inspiring to me. I need other realities besides the art practice and the constant “self- confrontation.”
Find more on Instagram @isadoravogt!