Art is alive: Antonella Prasse

For Italian Artist Antonella Prasse, her emotive paintings are an extension of herself. Through combining her love for poetry and painting, she breathes life into each of her canvases; exchanging energies so they can tell their own stories. Antonella works intuitively to find balance in her art, acting as a metaphor to how we as humans seek to achieve balance in our everyday lives. She shares her creative process and some of her biggest learnings.

I feel alive, able to transcend my body and become something bigger than my physical self.

I love how expressive, emotive and explosive your art is! What are the main inspirations behind your work? What is the message you are seeking to convey with your art?

Thank you Harriet! I am constantly working from the visual perception of my body’s movements and sensations. All of my canvases are journeys within my deepest self, I always analyse myself and the spaces around me. I usually work in layers starting from the natural gestures of my body, then I rewrite poems or words I have already written in my notebooks. They usually refer to the human condition or to a bigger picture I feel whilst meditating. I take inspiration from everything around me; sounds, lights, words, advertisements so that everything becomes apart of the final painting.

The message I would like to convey in my art is mainly based on a spiritual level. I would like my paintings to be alive and have their own energy; I would like to tell a story with my hands and brushes and see if the works I make can be alive in the eyes of the beholder too.

Walk us through your creative process .. what are the different stages of your work? From initial concept to the execution of your idea. 

It really depends on the circumstances, I do not always have a stable creative process. My works are always different because they are often born suddenly without any premeditation. I usually start to write things in my notebooks (sentences or poems) then I like to say that “I listen to the colours I have” and they decide where and when to start on the canvases. The process is always different because my feelings are different. I know when the canvas is finished when I can look at the work and it can actually “speak” without my help anymore, when the painting tells a story on its own and the composition is pleasing to the eye.

Let The Wind Speak, 2020

Let The Wind Speak
Do you have any art rituals? How do you like to work?

It might sound funny but it’s true: every canvas is made listening to a particular playlist or even the same song from the very beginning to the end of a work (yes, I can go on and on listening to the same track – usually it’s a techno or electronic one). I can listen for hours, whilst also listening to something completely different at the same time like audiobooks about philosophy or documentaries about nature. So the music becomes the red line behind every single work.

I like to be painting two or three canvases at a time in my bedroom and be constantly surrounded – day and night – by my works and my papers so I can write and draw every moment I need to. I really do believe that, in this way, there will be a really strong and constant exchange of energies between me and my works either if I am not physically working on them.

I know when the canvas is finished when I can look at the work and it can actually “speak” without my help anymore

What materials and mediums do you like to work with? how do you like to apply these and how do you decide on your colour palette?

I prefer to work on big canvases rather than smaller surfaces. I usually work with acrylic colours but I must say, I use everything around me to help me paint. If I have enough money to buy new colours I would always choose my colour palette based on primary colours especially red, yellow and pink-ish tones but sometimes I have to adapt my needs to what I have and I find it even more fun and challenging. I love to use every “tool” that is around me in order to help in creating a new canvas (glasses, papers, train tickets, sponges, tissues and my own hands instead of brushes). I definitely cannot paint without yellow, red and black but other colours are always a nice addition. 

Studio Peckham

Antonella in her studio in Peckham
Talk to us about your collages and the meaning behind these – I love how you incorporate human elements such as lips, eyes etc to add a surreal effect. 

I was working on the collage technique a couple of years ago whilst I was living in Florence, attending the Academy of Fine Arts there. I was studying Graphic Arts so I was painting less then now and I remember I wanted to add human elements to enhance the vitality of the prints and the colours I was using. I always like to say that the randomness of my gestures are “smarter than me”  and I remember I wanted to make my prints alive; through talking (adding a tongue or some lips), walking (adding some legs) and looking (eyes) etc, in order to give them a surreal sense and let them “live” in the present moment as I do.

How do you feel when you create art? 

I feel alive, able to transcend my body and become something bigger than my physical self.

Veicolo Energia, 2020

Veicolo Energia, 2020
What are some of the challenges you face as an artist and how do you push past these?

I constantly find myself dealing with my artistic practice in relation to the public. The greatest challenge has been accepting that I am an artist and continuing to work without thinking about the judgment of others. I think the biggest challenge is to truly believe in yourself as an artist, when you do you will start to really believe in yourself and in your art and other people will see that too. Sometimes, it’s not that simple, but I try and push past all of my insecurities, reminding myself that I need to stay true and pure to my artistic practice in order to be loved and appreciated by others too.  

I would like my paintings to be alive and have their own energy

What have been some of the biggest lessons you have learnt so far within your art?

The biggest lesson I have learnt so far is that we must reserve more space (both physically and mentally) for ourselves to find and express our feelings in order to become completely free human beings. Every canvas I have made is a battle between colours, shapes, forms and I always fight within myself to find the right composition, to find a balance – and I think that’s like life. We are always moving forward trying to find a balance between our emotions, insecurities etc whilst managing the ups and downs of life. 

It’s about finding the space and time to find ourselves and be more connected to each other. We – as artists – should look out for more opportunities to meet others and make art and galleries should support more emerging artists. We should make the art market a safe space for valid and meaningful practices. 

BLANCA&Antonella

BLANCA & Antonella
Your hopes and dreams as an artist ….

I hope that people can feel something whilst looking at my art; I hope to convey a message that can be felt and remembered after me. My biggest dream is to live happily by making art every day of my life, continuing my journey on this earth whilst painting and making connections with other people through my art. 

What can we look out for? 
I am currently working on a new series of paintings and I am planning to exhibit in Milan at the end of September.
To view more of Antonella’s work:

Rondine, 2020

Rondine 2020

 

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