We spoke to the enigmatic Barbara Nati on her practice as a visual artist and her most recent work being exhibited here in London at Mall Galleries. Influenced by some of the greatest painters of all time Nati creates work which is both stunning visually and intriguing.
Hello, tell me a little bit about yourself and what led you to your current practice.
Hi! My first approach to visual arts has been oil painting. I’ve been working as an assistant to photorealist painter Anthony Brunelli upstate New York and I’ve always been fascinated by investigation on true colours as they actually are, a search that goes beyond the common misconceptions that ignore the surrounding lights and colours affecting them. Because my aim was to be as photorealistic as I could (yet being able to visualize my own, dremlike ideas) the next step was trying to use the photographic medium to obtain the final picture, still using my painting skills applied to a technological realm.
Tell me about what you’re currently working on.
I’m currently working on a body of work called Cages of tranquility. It delves the wild and unknown and the human sick approach towards it. Having explored almost all of the land above sea level, and most of the submarine world, man ended up anthropizing nature and wiping out the unknown, or just reducing it to a tick box in its agenda.
You choose to print your work with theprintspace, what do you enjoy the most about printing your artwork?
I mostly print on metallic paper and I was very impressed by the quality I get at Printspace. Plus the team is young, dynamic and qualified. I trust the printers to the point that I seldom do proofs before the final print. Besides, I noticed on my last order that Fujiflex is now available on online orders and I’m very pleased about it.
What do you want to turn your hand to next?
Possibly a new body of work including clouds and storms. However it’s not entirely clear in my mind yet, I’m just waiting for the final creative spurt. I’m also approaching sculptural/miniature work, as I’ve always wanted to give a third dimension to my production, but I’d like to keep doing photographic art, so maybe it might be a parallel project or an integration to my current production.
Making art sales can be hard, how has thehub changed the experience of selling art online?
It’s hard to say as it’s still early days for me as a hub user. This has been a quiet year for me in terms of exhibiting my work so I haven’t had much chance to print and share my work on the hub. Hopefully there will be more chances in the near future.
What’s it been like being a hub user?
So far so good. I was very pleased to receive a discount on my next order in January which unfortunately, for the aforementioned reasons, I ended up not being able to use, my bad..
How do you go about promoting yourself and your artwork?
As a foreigner not having attended an art school in Britain it’s quite a challenge, however I mostly visit the galleries which represent the artists I genuinely admire, then one thing/person leads to another.. Also, there’s quite a few artist-led fairs one can send applications to. The Other Art Fair is likely to be the best when it comes to enthusiasm and expertise. Not to mention art competitions which are probably the best option for outsiders, only in 2015 I was shortlisted for three prizes and I was awarded the Ashurst Emerging Artist Employee Choice Prize.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Definitely Wayne Thiebaud, De Kooning. Vik Muniz, Kendell Geers, Oleg Kulik and obviously photorealist painters such as John Baeder, Ralph Goings, Mel Ramos. As I said before sculpture inspires the most, I wish one day I can purchase a Thomas Doyle, Patrick Jacobs, Gabriel Dawe, Guy Laramee.
Whose artwork/photography are you currently excited by?
My favourite photographers (or artists using the photographic medium, just like I do): the forefather of photographic manipulation Man Ray, then Erwin Olaf, Gregory Crewdson, Richard Mosse, Loretta Lux, Ansel Adams, Berndnaut Smilde, Noemie Goudal and Emily Allchurch who will be exhibiting with me in early September during Merge Visible group show at the Mall Galleries.