What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
I would say nature, which greatly fascinates me. There is so much variation and diversity–all the colors and shapes, all the different animals and plants…they are so magical to me. The fact that we are organic beings and we are part of this cycle of life and death are some of the most incredible and mysterious things in this world. It is beautiful.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
To pay more attention to details. This could sound silly or seem obvious, but to develop this sense of figuring out what to do and how to do it takes a lot of time. I remember how upset I was back then, but at the end this advice was really helpful.
Prefer to work with music or in silence?
It depends… sometimes I work in silence and sometimes I listen to music that ranges from classical to folk. It really depends on my mood and the piece I am working on.
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
If I would have to choose, then it would be Scudo con testa di Medusa by Caravaggio. I have a personal connection to this piece; because of it, I became an artist. When I was five, my mother took me to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. When I saw the painting, I said to her, “Mother, when I grow up I want to be a painter”. I guess it was clear from the beginning that I was meant to be an artist.
Who are your favorite writers?
My favorite, no doubt, is Simone de Beauvoir. I simply adore her. My favorite book is Les Mandarins. I love the way she talks about life, and how she makes everything prettier. She touches upon life in a very deep and raw way, but always with a hint of elegance and extreme beauty. It is impressive how she takes you to another time and drags you to the deepest state of mind almost without recognizing it. Fantastic! I also love Fyodor Dostoyevsky for his sense of ambiguity and irony; I love Albert Camus too and of course Michel Houellebecq.