Interview with Elena Rapaq)What is your name?
q) Where do you live and work?
a)Now in Lucrezia, the village where I have grown up, but I’m going to Milan for some time soon.
q)What is your creative process like?
a)Of fixed habits. From late in the morning up to late in the afternoon.
q)What is your favorite medium?
q)What is your current favorite subject?
a)Nature: animals, people, landscapes and flowers.
q)How long does it take for you to finish a piece?
a)I’m slow in doing things which I’m most interested in and fast when I’ve to do some theme work, well, such as for an exhibition.
q)What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
a)Having thought of “Meringhe Rosa – Dolci incontri diabetici” festival, a container of many artistic languages, started in 2006, which takes place in the borough where I live, Cartoceto. The meaning of the festival is in its sub-heading “diabetic sweet meetings”: it’s a project which works on the sense of relationships among people. The people who take part are all friends invited as artists, collaborators, editors and logistic help. The team modifies, by suiting and widening according to the programme and every year new people are called to give visibility to good young artists. The basic idea is a co-operative participation to carry out a low-budget event which tries to show itself through a relationship net each artist and friend is able to put into motion, by multi-layer agreements, both institutional and not. Since this year, the festival has been part of the provincial contemporary art system in Pesaro, and this is good for all those who take part to it in order to have a more sectorial visibility too. As for me, having arrived at the third edition after so many obstacles which are part of a little village dynamics, both economic and human, and knowing that next year too the event will go further, makes me very gratified. I don’t think I’ve achieved my goals yet in my job, specifically artistic one, or at least I’m still rather far from the work I’d like to get to.
q)Are there any contemporary artists that you love?
a)A lot, here in Italy it’s full of very good young draftsmen who come from all sector languages, from illustration (both for children and not), to comics, from painting to writing, I mean draftmen and draftswomen like Karin Andersen, Nicoz, Lucilla Candeloro, Allegra Corbo, Silvia Argiolas, Silvia Idili, MP5, MaicoleMirco, Ratigher, Tuono Pettinato, Umberto Chiodi, EricailCane, Blu, Dem, giuliano Sale, Maicol Rotondi, Massimo Gurnari, just to mention some of the most well known artists.
q)Can we buy your art anywhere?
a)If you mean in galleries which I work with, some of my works are exhibited at Galleria MondoPop in Rome and at Galleria SanSalvatore in Modena. My next exhibitions in September at Dorothy Circus in Rome and in Perugia at Trebisonda place organized by P-Grouppe, in October in Arezzo at Mega+Mega and in November about in Rome again at Galleria MondoPop.
q)Anything that people should know about that we don’t??
a)Well, I don’t understand very well what you mean … let’s say that besides my graphic job there’s nothing else about me to tell people who don’t know me, I’m better in my drawings than in my life … so it’s better like that.
a)To study without prejudice what I happen to have at hand, personal selection comes later in a spontaneous way and the later it comes the freer you feel.
Moreover to draw as much as possible.
q)What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
a)The job is never frustratine if you like it just a bit, if this happens I stop immediately and start it again later on; when a stop isn’t possible because of working times, a glass of good wine let fade everything very fast.
q)How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?
a)I don’t like speaking about my job. My illustrations, either on paper or other kind of media, like all story-telling art forms shouldn’t need too many explanations. At the most, if I meet a very optimistic person and I realize he could feel a little embarrassed towards my work, I state beforehand that my works are, let’s say, sad … not very jolly … nothing more.
q)What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
a)Mine was a human training more than an artistic one. I think I was very lucky: as an adolescent I had the chance to know and meet people of this field, of all ages, who somehow helped me to grow up and supported me. My consideration goes directly to the Museo-Laboratorio in Città Sant’Angelo managed by the mythical Enzo De Leonibus, to the people I’ve met there and all the marry dinners we had together, who welcomed me as a twenty-year-old scapegrace and helped me in my job as well as in my life.
q)Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?
a)A basic set: pencils, pens, inks, a brush perhaps and some paper.
q)Who are your influences?
a)This requires a quite extensive answer; well I think that every artist I’ve loved a bit, gave me a reason more to draw, the way to do it and why to do it.
I love art which I’d define as expressionistic in its etymological and not historical value, ex-pressus to get out, to compress, a motion to a place, the shifting from the soul towards any beach far from the balance of rationalistic and real form; I give some examples: from primitive art to the 15th century Ferrara works, from Bosh to Ligabue, through Groz up to Maruo.
q)What inspires you to create?
a)In my opinion, inspiration is more a commonplace rather than a fact. A romantic vision of doing art. All people who create has got either an intestinal need to do that or a cerebral one. What “inspires you” could be defined a fetish of an interior process which is mysterious for us too, rather than an incentive which let you think and which renders an object or feeling a reason for creating.