Country: UNITED STATES
Source: The Voice of NY
official article excerpt:
The Covid-19 pandemic and the creative impulse: now we need art more than ever
Interview with ‘artist and engineer Cesare Catania who combines science and art and shuns commercial reproductions
When I realized that artistic passion could turn into a job, well, it was a “shock” for my life … Just as an engineer breaks down and analyzes the problem before reassembling a process aimed at giving a solution, so in the same way the way in which the artist produces an artistic work after having “broken down his feelings” and after having analyzed them and filtered, slowed down in time, focused transported by them.
When I realized that artistic passion could turn into a job, well, it was a “shock” for my life … So as an engineer breaks down and analyzes the problem before reassembling a process aimed at giving a solution, so in the same way the artist p produces an artistic work after having “broken down his feelings” and after having analyzed and filtered them, slowed down in time, focused and transported by them.
Cesare Catania, painter, sculptor and civil engineer, born in Milan in 1979, combines his artistic vision with his talent as an engineer, firmly believing that science and art are inseparable. His sculptures particularly depict this combination, where Catania harnesses the power of nature’s resources and creates elegant works based on this scientific and artistic synthesis. In this short interview Catania discusses the art world today and the sources of his inspiration as well as his processes. He also talks about his passion for New York and the 2020 pandemic, not just how it influenced the art world but humanity in general.
Cesare Catania has received numerous awards during the his career: for example, the XXIII International Cultural Exchange of Art (2016 – Rome – Palazzo Maffei Marescotti). He was also selected to represent the Art section during “The International Week of the Italian Language”, an event sponsored by the President of the Republic, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassies of the Swiss Confederation and the Italian Consulate Association.
< p> Due to the pandemic on January 25, 2021, Cesare Catania will virtually speak, via Zoom at AOTA, “Artists Talk on Art”, a New York artist forum organization founded in 1975.
As an artist , what is your creative philosophy?
“I created for at least 25 years, in my teens, college and now as an adult. I am a self-taught artist, so my main belief is that the ability to create is something we are born with. I would say that the playfulness of the use of materials comes from the mind and heart of my inner child. The pleasure principle is very strong in me; therefore, I create first to enjoy my sensory expression, which knows no boundaries and is not self-conscious. People are drawn to works of art that demonstrate this quality of free spirit. My fans are drawn to my work because it responds to their need to feel free in their thoughts and perhaps in the way they live their lives. “
How your desire to create has been influenced by pandemic this year and how has it affected your business?
“My desire to create is even stronger than ever. When I am alone, in the perfect silence of my studio and the materials to work with, I have no protective equipment and I rise above the time in which I live, transcending the current reality and the world around me. In fact, I think my urge to create is even more powerful now and has taken off in such a way that it has become a kind of rebellion against all the government restrictions in place right now. So when I’m safe in my privacy, I release all the pent-up stress from contemporary events and push the block out of my system.
In terms of business, my regulars need art more than ever. . Buying art at this specific time is a safety raft for people’s souls, eyes and hearts as art appears to keep love and hope alive in their existence while bringing positive energy into their homes. “ p>
How has the pandemic changed your outlook on life?
“I want contemporary art to become exciting again not only for what it represents on canvas, but also for what “behind the canvas” means. The main thing is that we are all together. My dream is that it is natural for everyone to help each other rebuild society and that we succeed through a smooth cooperative nature that we find within us “.
How the engineer and the artist live together within you ?
“I started approaching art as a child. The passion for art has grown over the years; as well as the passion for engineering. The predisposition to produce artistic works instead is innate. And when I realized that artistic passion could turn into a job, well, it was a “shock” for my life. Over the years I have understood that engineering training has certainly favored me. Just as an engineer analyzes and analyzes the lem problem before recomposing a process aimed at giving a solution, so in the same way the artist (at least this is what happens to me) produces an artistic work after having “broken down his feelings “and after analyzing and filtering them, he slowed down over time, concentrated carried by them. In this sense, therefore, the artist in me was certainly favored by an innate sensitivity but at the same time he was educated by his own academic path, a path that certainly taught a young man who wanted to ‘play with colors’ which are the rules to express your individuality to the fullest. “
What is the bond between you as an artist and the city you live in?
” The actual artistic production was born for me more as a form of introspection, so disconnected from the city or cities where I spent my time most often. Instead it was more connected to my feelings, and in this sense it can be said that the world around me was able to condition my first artistic expressions. Over the years I have learned to channel my attentions and my inspirations also towards the world around me. At this point, therefore, an indissoluble link has been created between my artistic inspiration and the place where it has developed.
What is the most rewarding aspect for you of being an artist?
“Definitely the feeling of freedom. And this not only in reference to one’s state of mind but also in reference to one’s professional activity. There is nothing more beautiful for an artist than thinking that their emotions can be transformed into work. It is not just a question of money. It is the possibility of being able to produce artistic creations in a free way, free from constraints. “
What is the greatest difficulty you have encountered as an artist?
” Let’s say that the main difficulties are related to the fact that modern society does not facilitate pure artistic expression, but favors standardization of processes and normalization of professional figures. In practice, this means that the gallery owner selects the works to be exhibited not only on the basis of the merits of the artist’s body of work, but on his ability to reproduce it, in particular for the sculpture. In recent years, “design pieces” as “works of art” have been proposed on the market, projects that favored an easy reproduction by algorithm and which, moreover, were very easy to replicate at an industrial level. was calculated to achieve the right profit margin for all links in the artistic chain. Fortunately, customers who used to say ‘… I’m not very expert in contemporary art …’ now instead go to museums and follow the world of art not only for what is presented to them but also with a critical spirit. And in this the COVID and the online exhibitions have certainly helped, in the sense that they have led people to approach contemporary art with a critical spirit. ”
What was your impression on the New York art scene ?
“It goes without saying that an art lover cannot help but get excited in New York. A city that after the 1920s was able to show and teach the rest of the world what is now recognized as contemporary art. It is a city of emotions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, of oxymorons, of contradictions, the city where everything is ‘normal’, where everyone has their own life during the day, while in the evening, almost magically, different cultures meet to create the same kind of cultural exchange that artists usually seek when they aim for an exchange of energy and artistic mixing. “