Name: Alessandra Maria
Birthday: November 5th, 1989
College: Pratt Institute
How would you define yourself as an artist? I make things I love.
Why art? How did you get involved with art? I have always had images in my head, and I feel the need to create them. I have been making art since I was a child, and I never stopped.
What art do you most identify with? I love all forms of art, and try to evaluate them according to the parameters of quality appropriate to each category. I love everything from minimalism to conceptual to work from the Italian renaissance, all are worthwhile and can be drawn from.
What does “being creative” mean to you?
Being curious about the world, asking questions and answering them visually. But I do believe it’s different for everyone, and there’s no one set answer.
What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? Have a schedule and adhere to it. Amateurs work only when they’re inspired, professionals work regardless – even when they have no ideas or no desire to create. When you realize this as an artist, regardless of your skill level or whether the world recognizes your work: you become a professional.
What are you trying to communicate with your art? It varies greatly from piece to piece. Sometimes a feeling, sometimes a philosophy.
What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually? That’s a difficult question for me to answer! Nothing is broadly successful across all my work (I think), I more evaluate based on each individual piece, and whether it accomplished whatever goal it was that I set for myself.
What themes do you pursue? Feminism has always been profoundly important to me, and I also have always wanted to pursue creating sensations in my viewers. If I can make people “feel” what it would feel like to be in a particular situation, I’ve succeeded.
What inspires you to work? My creative goals, the idea of being able to help push visual art forward through my small contribution.
Colour: All of them
Book: Ouch, this one is tough. It changes frequently, but I have been on a Dostoyevsky marathon recently. I loved The Idiot and Crime and Punishment (The Brothers Karamasov not as much). Right now I’m working through Don Quijote, and it’s a lot more ridiculous and fun than I thought it would be.
Movie: I’m not a big movie person, I can’t seem to focus on the correct things – like the plot. I’m too much of a child to sit still for 2 hours.
Food: Many, many things, but I’m an absolute sucker for authentic Chinese. Sichuan cuisine and ma spice might be my go-to for comfort food.
Quote: Many, many. But, I’m going to be ridiculous and quote a line from Eat Pray Love (and yes, I don’t care – I loved that book!): “Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth”
Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start? I often will have an idea that just comes to me from all the daydreaming I’m prone to, but if I am struggling with inspiration I will sift through a folder of images I love, which will often spark something.
What Role does the artist have in society? I like to think we collectively contribute dreams and fantasy to the culture as a whole. But I’m sure many artists would have differing opinions on that.
Do you suffer for your art? Anything worth doing is worth doing correctly. I certainly work hard for my art, but I am not interested in harming myself or unnecessary suffering; I actually make my best work when I’m happy. I think the tendency towards masochism in art is really just another form of selfishness, and often results in work that is melodramatic and self-pitying. But that’s just my opinion, everyone is different.
What do you think about the art community and market? I love the fact that there is a community of people who are passionate about art! We all sustain each other. I often think the prices can get a little out of control, and can take the focus off the work itself, but it makes me so happy to know that people can live well making things that other people love and enjoy. There is something beautiful about it.
Should art be funded? Why? At the end of the day, money is just a means to put food on the table, a roof over your head, and care for your health (and children, if you have any). If people are willing to trade their own resources in order to own works of art, I think there should be nothing in the way of that process. Personally, I find that working on art full time is the most fulfilling joy I could ever imagine; and I would never be able to do it if people didn’t buy my work, or had an aversion to mixing commerce and art. I am grateful to be able to do what I do, and because people buy my work, in reality they buy me more time to keep pursuing my goals and improving.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how? Many, many artists. Everyone from Anselm Kiefer, Fuyuko Matsui, and YZ Kami, to Da Vinci, Klimt, and Egon Schiele. All have found their way into my work, in some small capacity or other.
What other interests do you have outside of art? I really like books and hiking, and good food. But I try to keep all my hobbies art-centered.
You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today? When I lived in New York, I would go to exhibitions often. I try to read a lot about art, in order to perfectly understand it’s history. Now that I live in Maui, the computer and books are my resources.
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? The purpose of my life would be lost, and I would need to find another art form. I suppose I would probably turn to music or something, but I would probably be really bad at it for at least 10 years before I made anything of note. But that’s how life is.
some short questions now…
Textures: Flat versus rendered
Describe your style: “Define yourself”… No style, just individual goals for each piece
Define your art: Can’t do it!
Art Fairs: I’ll go to any of them
Museums: The Met, The Neue, Pace Gallery, Jack Shainman Gallery
Cities: New York, Seattle, the entire island of Bali, Shanghai
Travels: Backpacking through Indonesia
Artists: All of the ones I listed above
Music: Jose Gonzalez
Cars: Neutral. Give me a toyota and I’m happy – base needs accounted for
Drones: They’re interesting
Mobile App: No opinion
Who are the artist’s you admire the most? The ones I am influenced by
What are your next projects? Lots! Plenty of body’s of work are coming.
Define Klassik Magazine for the audience? Precedent accurate artistic selection and impressive international cultural content. Visionary.