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Verde’s paintings mirror Mapplethorpe’s playful expressions of sexualities and intimacies.. The use of the tightly cropped frame creates an extreme closeness resulting in an uninterrupted picture frame saturated with flesh and flirty frivolity. Verde speaks with curator, Will Ferreira Dyke to discuss her practice and her inclusion in the show.
Hello Verde, how has your week been thus far?
It has been good, thank you. I have just been readjusting to my studio routine following a few weeks in Italy.
Verde take me back, how did you come to art?
I think I initially approached art with complete naivety, I was driven by the need to immerse myself in something during my challenges of adolescent. Over time, I recognised its potential in helping me understand the world, leading me to study History of Art for my BA at the Accademia di Brera in Milan. While painting remained a priority, I also sought a broader understanding of art theory. I then pursued my MAFA at the City and Guilds of London Art School, which was a transformative moment in my practice. Since graduating, I've worked as an artist, occasionally taking on part-time art technician roles that allowed me to hang out with crazy masterpieces.
I fell in love with your beautiful intimacies and cropped portraits, please could elaborate on your style a little?
I deliberately avoid confining myself to a specific style, as I can't pinpoint one that if fully representative. I see my paintings as windows revealing our interconnectedness through shared experiences. Human experience and interpersonal dynamism are reoccurring themes in my work. Unpacking these dynamics makes me understand more about myself as well as society and culture. Addressing social intimacy offers catharsis by revealing previously unknown aspects of ourselves, unveiling new possibilities.
What will you be exhibiting in Edged?
The works I am presenting in this show are part of a series I made in 2022, inspired by photos of people in their homes. The paintings highlight the subtlety of intimate moments using a blurred effect, reminiscent of how the passage of time can reshape memories, giving rise to evolving imagery that is rooted in emotions. ‘Always Loved and Never Forgotten' depicts an intimate couple, one tenderly kissing the other's leg in bed. 'I Promise I Won't Promise a Promise I Won't Promise' portrays my partner sleeping. I love stealing these fleeting moments from the ones around me.
In terms of Mapplethorpean influence, how did you come to know the artist?
I became more familiar with Mapplethorpe's work through Patti Smith's 'Just Kids’. I can remember reading this some ten years ago. While I had seen some of his images in museums before, the book gave me an emotional insight that deeply resonated. His representations of people, whether nudes or portraits, are profoundly inspiring. He captures subjects' identities and emotions through their eyes and gestures, creating an almost tangible connection with the audience.
Just Kids is a primary reason behind my personal love for Mapplethorpe and this show. Where else do you take inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from various sources: movies, books, every-day scenes. I mentally collage this information, comparing them with classical references like Renaissance Art—an enduring inspiration despite its initial pressure on my artistic expression. Growing up in Florence I was immersed in it, and now I use it to question its narrative against our contemporary society.
Finally, whats in the future for Verde, what are you excited about creating?
In the past year, I've delved into video-making experimentation, and I would like to invest more time in it. The camera processes information faster than painting and enables me to craft interactive atmospheres. In 2022, I launched a food project called Eccoci Kitchen. I organise supper clubs and collaborate with galleries and brands which fostering intimacy and partnerships. This project has offered me unexpected freedom for experimentation. My next aspiration is an immersive exhibition blending all my mediums, allowing them to inform one another. I am also intrigued by the idea of a public endeavour, like a mural in a residential area, where the work can be integrated into daily life for those living nearby.
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