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Interview with Antonella Quacchia & Maciej Pajak

Interview with Antonella Quacchia 
Maciej from Arthentico:
"Hello Antonella! I am very pleased that I can now get to know you and your art better in a short interview. Thank you very much for the invitation!"
Antonella Quacchia:
"Hello Maciej, I am very pleased!"
Maciej from Arthentico:
"Then I would like to start with the first question, which I am very interested in.
Where do you get the inspiration for your paintings and how did your artistic journey begin?“
Antonella Quacchia:
"I've actually been painting since I was a child and I've always loved painting. But as you know, my real profession is something completely different. My academic background is in computer science and I have worked in this field for more than 40 years. I started at the European Centre for research and then later I worked in the International Labour Organisation. And yes... because of this full time job and the raising my children, there was always very little time to devote to art, to painting. I have painted, but only very little and rarely. But I have always loved it. That's why a few years ago I attended courses of different painters a few years ago, who also taught me new techniques. During this time I painted more figuratively. There I painted - quite classically - with flower motifs and landscapes. [Laughter] I tried out a lot of things during that time. Different techniques and colours. Watercolour, oil paint... all kinds of things... But yes... it was only a little more than two years ago, when I came to Vienna in early 2020 and quit my job, I finally had the time and I finally had the time and the space to devote myself fully to art and to develop my own style. Now I move more into the field of of abstract art, as I think you can see here. [Smile] That probably also came a little from the courses I took here in Vienna. I was able to develop my technique and also began to dare to use completely different materials for my paintings. These include, for example powders of stones and metals, for example. But also, in general, the mixing of colours... for example, mixing acrylic paint with ink and powders. And yes... that is also now what you can see here from me. My paintings consist a lot of experimenting with different materials."
[Smile]
Maciej from Arthentico:
"An impressive career. I can also imagine that it probably not that easy at the beginning of 2020, when suddenly Corona played a huge theme, to turn your life around like that, was it? In that time, how did you managed to put your emotions on canvas?"
Antonella Quacchia:
"When the pandemic started, I was here all alone. I had just moved to Vienna, I knew very few people and was naturally separated from all my friends and family. from all my friends and family. During this time I got a lot of inspiration for painting from my memories. This painting we are sitting in front of we are sitting in front of right now, I have given the title "Friends" and it is addressed to all my friends that I left behind in Geneva. Geneva is a very international place, as is Vienna, and I had friends who came from all kinds countries and professional backgrounds. And that's exactly what I have tried to express here on canvas. These memories that I have of of these friends. And yes, but in general I really took a lot of inspiration from from memories. Also from the many journeys I have already made. I've done. It all moved me a lot inside and gave me the right impetus. I was also lucky that I met a very nice gallery owner here in Vienna who believed in my art. who believed in my art. He also really helped me helped me to get more self-confidence in relation to my art. Panto Trivkovic, that's his name. And despite the pandemic and everything around it, he gave me the opportunity to exhibit in his gallery in 2020. He really really encouraged me to keep painting and to make more of it. For that I am incredibly grateful. And luckily, even during the pandemic, between lockdowns, I was able to go back to classes. And yes... so there were always opportunities to further develop my painting - despite the difficult times. Above all, I was able to go more into the abstract. And today I find that I can express myself much better with abstract painting.“ [Smile]
Maciej from Arthentico:
"That is very nice to hear. It's also important to be surrounded by people who believe in you. who believe in you. Especially as an emerging artist, it's probably difficult to believe in yourself right away. artist, it's probably difficult to believe in yourself right away and also to kind of and also somehow express your own inner voice on canvas. I think you do that really well in your paintings. Your paintings arouse so many emotions in me and I could really look at each one of them for hours and each of them for hours and interpret my own story. Especially the painting "Beloved One", which we are sitting in front of right now, I find extremely exciting. Can you tell me more about it?"
Antonella Quacchia:
"With pleasure. I dedicate this painting to a friend I met when I was a teenager. We had a very close friendship, but at some point we both took a different professional path and saw each other less often. He became a doctor. And then it happened that he also worked in Africa as a doctor. But unfortunately we really lost contact a little bit... And At the beginning of 2020, I unfortunately received the news that he had died of an illness he had contracted in Africa.., I was really saddened... especially because we were both almost exactly the same age and we used to have such close contact in the past.... And yes... so I just had to do this painting.... his face in the middle and in a shape that reminds me of the African continent.... I think Africa is wonderful. I have been to Africa many times. Mainly because I I used to be married to a South African... I have seen so many places there and I have Africa deep in my heart... I love the light there, the smells........ I have always felt comfortable there. I also have a lot of African colleagues. I simply like Africa and that's why I tried to play with the colours in this painting and to use them to remind me of this wonderful continent. There are a lot of memories and emotions in this painting.“
Maciej from Arthentico:
"This is a very touching story behind the painting. Thank you for sharing this story with us. Now I would like to know - what do you want to trigger in other people with your art? Is it important for you to evoke emotions in others?“
Antonella Quacchia:
"I want to evoke curiosity in others, of course, but also imagination. The curiosity is something that has played a big role in my whole life. It has always accompanied me, so to speak. When I was three and a half years old, I went to Brazil with my family and spent my whole childhood there. I've always travelled a lot - not just for work - but because I'm interested in getting to know new countries. I'm simply interested in getting to know new countries. Curiosity has always to discover the beauty of the world. But it has also to understand how people live, or how different lifestyles can be. And how people perceive one and the same thing differently because of their experience or culture. And it is this curiosity that I also want to reflect with my abstract paintings. I wish that viewers can simply let emotions flow freely when they stand in front of my paintings.
It also often happens that someone stands in front of one of my paintings and says: "Oh, a fish" or "Oh, that reminds me of a mouse!"... [Smile] It's just interesting to see how people is just interesting to see how people interpret my paintings. Everyone has their own interpretation. And that's what I find so exciting. This exchange of different perceptions. I simply want to evoke feelings, memories or thoughts with my art. But always the good ones! I am of the opinion that art is also there to to trigger something positive in us. That when you stand in front of a work of art, you think of something beautiful and maybe even a smile is evoked. I want to let this good energy ignite."
Maciej from Arthentico:
"You definitely succeed in that. It's somehow easy to see in your work that you yourself are inspired by positive memories. I also like that you mentioned that each of us has a different perception and that you like to hear these different interpretations. In art there is no right and wrong, that's absolutely clear."
Antonella Quacchia:
"Exactly" [Smile]
Maciej from Arthentico:
"And because you mentioned it briefly at the beginning- do you still have doubts about yourself and your art? Or difficulties to express your inner self on canvas?"
Antonella Quacchia:
"I always have doubts when I start a new painting. It is then like a dialogue between the canvas and me. Even when it comes to paintings, that contain a lot of material, for example the powder of rocks or metals. For me, this material somehow has a life of its own. I like this interaction with the material. But every painting is actually quite a challenge for me. Even though I often have a clear idea in front of me of where I want to go with this painting. I can't really control this process of making it. But more so at the end, when I perceive and feel the work itself. Then I can influence the final result more. But I am often just surprised at what I end up with. [Laughter] I like that. I usually feel like I'm moving in another dimension when I'm in this creative flow. Then I can concentrate only on the painting itself, I forget everything else. That goes on for hours." [Smile]
Maciej from Arthentico:
"That's really nice to hear. So for you it's always clear when a painting is really finished?"
Antonella Quacchia:
"Yes it's just finished when it's finished. [Laughter] I just feel it, that it's finished. It kind of tells me that it's finished. Even if I'm not always happy with it. But it's just a part of me. I created it in full emotion and that's why it belongs to me."
Maciej from Arthentico:
"I see. [Smile] Thank you for the explanation!
Now my last question: What are your next artistic goals?"
Antonella Quacchia:
"Of course I will continue to paint a lot. Actually, I can't stop painting any more. [Laughter] I want to develop my art and I will also continue to work on my series and start new ones. I'm thinking more of something more colourful. It should be about craziness and freedom. So something completely new for me. I've already made sketches for it and I'm very happy to finally be able to start it. [Smile] But of course I don't want to stop exhibiting my art because I love to interact with people. I already have a few exhibitions that already fixed. One with you guys, of course, with Arthentico. This is the exhibition I'm particularly looking forward to. [Smile] But then I have a few other exhibitions planned for next year. One in Madrid, one in Tokyo, a solo exhibition in the heart of Vienna and also one for the Biennale in Florence. And maybe there will be others. In any case, I'm looking forward to all the exhibitions. [Smile]
Maciej from Arthentico:
"Wow, you have a lot planned! That's great. We at Arthentico are very excited to see how your artistic journey will continue. Thank you very much for this interview, Antonella!"
Antonella Quacchia:
"I'm also excited. [Laughter] Thank you too!"
Interview