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ArtsQ – Kristina

Kristina (Cristina Di Cesidio-Galli) was born in Rome, Italy, in 1965.

After discovering her artistic talent in her late twenties, started her career as watercolour painter, realizing landscapes and portraits with a classic style, but with a particular taste for bright, vivid colours and ‘photographic’ renditions.

After several collective exhibitions in Italy she moved to England, where she lived from 1998 to 2003. In London, she had the opportunity to experiment with new styles and painting techniques. Became a member of two associations of artists from the London area and Kent (Free Painters and Sculptors, The Bromley Art Society), with which exhibited her works in numerous exhibitions in central London and the borough of Bromley (Bromley and Beckenham).

Her many European exhibitions (Italy, Great Britain, France and Spain) have always been a great success. The constant search for the ‘new’ in her painting gained Kristina several fans, especially those involved with the international Mod-60s Scene, from which she took endless inspiration both for watercolors and acrylics on canvas.

Back in Rome in 2003, Kristina started a new series of acrylics on canvas, drawing characters from Sixties pop culture and cinema, often characterized by strong contrasts of color and references to fashion and psychedelic music from the latter half of the Sixties.

Her works are characterized by a strict attention to detail, from the “look” of the subjects represented to the objects and landscapes typical of a magical and unrepeatable age (clubs, accessories and interiors).

Several of Kristina’s works, both watercolours and acrylics, are in private collections in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany.

01. What were your early artistic influences?

Well, first of all, the Italian Futurism (basically ‘aeropittura’ – painting about air), without any link to politics or dictatorships of that age, because I liked the modernity of it, that groundbreaking appeal, all about velocity and dynamicism. For what concerns watercolours, Leopold Stolba was quite influential to my art, especially his abstract decorations. I tried to do the same kind of works using gouache, traditional “Marseille” soap and inks. Last but not least, French ‘Pointillisme’, especially Seurat and Signac and their absolutely unique way in which they use and deal with colours.

02. What sort of Art and themes do you gravitate towards generally?

I absolutely adore the Pre-Raphaelites, the whole Art Nouveau phenomenon, Pop and Op art, Edward Hopper, and also anything in regards to good photography, graphics and sculpture.

03. What have been the main inspirations in your working themes and style?

My main source of inspiration has always been Pop Art, and obviously the Sixties in every aspect (say, music, cinema, photography, graphics – you name it). I particularly enjoy portraying women. For some abstract watercolours I took inspiration from 50s modern jazz.

04. What about the different mediums and techniques that you use or employ? Do you use modern technology and if so how?

I usually work in two different ways. For the watercolour I’m very much on the classic side, but sometimes I do mix liquid inks and solid watercolours. I also work with acrylics, on canvas or canvassed boards, using the very same techinque (‘spolvero’, or ‘pouncing’) that has been used centuries ago by the fresco masters. I never used computers, nor other modern technologies for my art. I’m proud to say that I’m, an ‘old school’artist.

05. What other current Artists do you find appealing? Heroes and Zeroes?

At the moment, the artists I mostly rate the Italian Dave Guccione, who works on metal panels using rust as a painting medium, and the British street artist Banksy, with his ironic and provocative stencils. Zeroes? Well, Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst must be top of the range. A skull covered in diamonds is just plain kitschy crap, to me. I believe Art should be about emotions, both positive or negative, and the infamous undone bed from Tracey Emin just leaves me indifferent.

06. What can we expect to see from your current body of work right now?

I’m still focused on watercolours about 50s-60s actressess, models and singers. Unfortunately, last year I couldn’t work that much because I moved to Rimini from Rome, and had very little or no room where to paint. Yet, I started painting again few days ago in the new home.

07. Anything that you really hate and why?

I hate people, especially in Italy, when they say that “Pop Art isn’t part of Italian cultural heritage”. Sounds like 60 years of International mainstream art didn’t touch Italy at all. Another thing that really drives me mad is all those who ask me “Where did you study art?”, and after learned I’m self-taught, they just go “Oh, really?”, and I obviously answer them that a true talent doesn’t need academies to express itself.

08. What about Commissions and awkward clients?

Commissions? I only did a few, portraits, basically, and never had awkward clients. My main interest was all about exhibitions. I had a lot of exhibitions all over Europe: many times in London and the Bromley area, when I was living in UK, and Rome, Cannes, Gijòn!

09. Tell us what you are up to at the moment and where can we view your work etc?

Currently I’m working on new watercolours and graphics. My works can be seen on my facebook page HERE!

10. Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you beyond Art?

To me the future is now, as you have to enjoy life as much as it’s full of new things to do. What really excites me apart from Art, is Mod-60s music, cinema, photography, comics, vintage fashion and cats.

11. Have you met or worked with anyone interesting on your Artistic journey?

When I was in London, I joined two different Artists associations, the most important of them was the Free Painters and Sculptors, based in central London. I had many exhibitions with them, especially at the “Loggia Gallery” an “L” shaped art gallery in Buckingham Gate, SW1E, meeting British and International artists who started their artistic career back in the 50s and 60s, including one of the founders, Roy Rasmussen and sculptor Donald Wells, who told me many interesting things about London Art scene in the 60s.

12. What does the future hold in store for you and your work?

Well, to be quite honest, I expect the best of the best of the best. I’m a Mod girl, at the end of the day, and of course I want more!

Links: www.facebook.com/Kristina-pop-art

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Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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