Interview: Carolina Simonelli

Please, introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you.

Hi! My name is Carolina Simonelli, I’m from Argentina and I’m 36 years old. I was born and raise in a small town in Patagonia, in the south of the country. Now, I live and work in Buenos Aires. I’m a visual artist and I do collage.

When I was 15 my parents send me to Italy to study Italian. I didn’t’ learn so much Italian. What I learned was that I want to be an artist. My parents, both engineer couldn’t understand in that time my desires, that’s why I studied Advertising and I degree as an Art Director.

So, I have always studied with different artists, never in a school of arts. In 2008, I was so unhappy with my work as an Art Director, that I quit and a new world appears for me.

I start to work with paper in 2007, in a very shy way. One Sunday, a friend of mine came to my house and brought some papers and I tried some things. It was until 2010 that I started to study with a great Argentinian artists, Hernán Salamanco when I discovered I had something interesting to share to the world.

Nowadays, I have my own place where I work with other artists, and also assist Salamanco in some of his big projects.
What kind of things do influence your work?

First thing that influence strongly on me to start to work in a committed way, was a book about the life of Camille Pissarro, and the time of Impressionism.

I studied a lot about this movement and how they used colors. For me, everything is about the color, then the form. And a book from Vassily Kandisky: “Concerning the spiritual in art”. I always come back to this book.

Nature. Mostly plants and landscapes. Reading a lot. Things and simbols from Shamanism. Desert. Forest. Wolfs. Music. The universe. The moon. The stars. Northern lights. Going to walk to nowhere. Writing. Being underwater. Reflections. Meditation. And of course share my life with my crazy husband Sebastian and our 4 years old daughter, Esmeralda.
How is your normal process of collaging? (idea or commission, where do you get your materials or find your images, which is your cutting technique, best way you have found to paste, where do you work and how, and very important: what do you do with your scraps)

In general I start to work in a composition in charcoal. The last years I used to

work a lot from nature. Sometimes drawing something I was seeing, sometimes from a picture taken from me or from another person.

Nowadays, I enjoy very much to work with characters, like if I would telling me a story. I don’t think people know that part, but its important for me while I’m working, construct a story about something or someone. And then, people buy depending their hurts, likes, souls, I don’t know.

I work with a gallerist, he is the one who shows my art and sell it.

I work with silk papers. There are not so much colors, so I work with the sun to change the tones and get more possibilities. Besides, as the paper is kind of transparent, when I put one over another, new colors appears. I used papers as I would be paiting. I don’t know how to explain exactly the feeling, but the way I create my work is very close to paint. I work fast, cutting with my hands, putting pieces of papers one on another, like layers. I use glue acid free or gel medium.

I share a space with other artists. Everyone has its own place, but is important in some moments of your life, get the chance to work with other people. The work became richer.

I have a box where goes every little scrap. Then I like to make this kind of own game. I make little works just using the scraps without modified its form. This works are more abstracts and I find a lot of freedom working in this littles pieces. Then I study the colors I used, or some combinations that I will use in future and biggest works.
– Which is your latest discovery in the collage (or art) world?

I’m trying a new technique that I found working. I’m painting with the ink used to print the papers. I take the ink from papers and do a new work. But I’m in a very experimental moment, so I don’t have works already made with this technique.

I don’t see very much other artists. I always returned to impressionism and post impressionism when I need to see something.

– What advice can you give to a collage beginner?

Paper has no limits. Work hard, and imagine the imposible and do it.

– What do say your friends/family about your collage work? And, what do you do when you are not working on art?

I’m very lucky. I think my daughter is my biggest fan! I have a lot of support from my husband, rest of the family and friends. This morning I was having breakfast in my garden with a good friend of mine I and show her this new technique I’m trying and she told me: “I love your work. Sorry, but I cant say that I don’t like something”. It took me so many years to find the magic inside me, that the people close to me know that, and they show me always love and support.

I have so many masters. No everyone from the art world.

When I’m not working at my studio, I like to stay at home receiving friends for meal, we cook a lot in our house. I like reading a lot and writing, seeing movies (fantasy is what I like the most), make some excercises, sometimes I go to walk with my dog Pearl. I like to do things with my child, work with my plants.. and travel. Always travel. Everywhere.

– Would you like to ask anything to John Baldessari? Shoot.

Yes of course. If you had to choose only one book to stay with you for ever… which book would be?