Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Andrea Botto.
Lives in Rapallo, Italy
How do you describe your own art practice?
I use photography as a staging of reality. I like its chameleon power to show you something and to tell you the opposite at the same time, depending on the context. For me, image is a trigger to activate an imagery already present in the mind of the beholder. A plastic imagery, not ephemeral at all, with its own materiality.
Which question or theme is central in your work?
I could say it is the landscape, or better, a mental image of landscape that I like to question through the esthetics of destruction. I do this by working on multiple levels, rejecting a contemplative vision in favor of a more environmental approach, in which we are part of a relational system. Every action has a consequence. And looking is never a neutral act. That said, the subject is also a pretext for me to reflect on the medium I am using, on perceptual mechanisms and on visual culture.
What was your first experience with art?
I think it was with comics, when I was child. I guess that way of putting the world inside a frame led me to photography somehow. Even some theatrical experience when I was a teenager were fundamental to arouse in me an interest in time and fiction.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
I find inspiration in everything I see. I would say that I absorb the things that interest me through the look. I learn by watching, that for me it’s my “doing”.
What do you need in order to create your work?
Basically, I need time. Then I can quote Cesare Pavese: “A true revelation, it seems to me, will only emerge from stubborn concentration on a solitary problem. The surest—also the quickest—way to awake the sense of wonder in ourselves, is to look intently, undeterred, at a single object. Suddenly, miraculously, it will reveal itself as something we have never seen before.”
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
I’ve recently discovered the work by german artist Julius Von Bismarck. I’m taking a deep look into his book “Talking to Thunder” (Hatje Cantz, 2019) and I’m really impressed about.