Nicola, let’s suppose the restriction in traveling would not exist and we could now meet at your studio. Please describe the local situation and the atmosphere. I live in a parish oratory dated 1548. It turned into a silent movie theatre in 1913 and lastly a printing press. In 2007 it became my studio. It has a big nave of 7,5 metres of height where Moorish, Gothic, Doric, Liberty and Modernist elements coexist. The studio is in the historical centre of a small town – Bagnacavallo – 20 km away from the Byzantine city of Ravenna. It is a plain land of orchards, fog and mosquitoes. Maybe we are sitting at your favorite place.In my studio there are only a few, uncomfortable chairs. I do not like to rest at work and in order not to fall into temptation all around me is uncomfortable. Very likely we would stand. Where do you come from, where were you born when? I was born in Forlì (25 km from my hometown) on May 13th 1977. My parents are farm workers and I lived in the countryside until my 25th birthday. How and where do you currently live and work? I work in the place I already described. I sleep and eat in the same building together with my partner (kitchen and bedroom are quite uncomfortable, too, but far tidier than the studio). Which stations and people have shaped you? The closeness to the rituals of the farmers in the beginning, the visits to the museums after and, lastly, the luck of meeting great collectors, art dealers and colleagues. Which authors and books can be found on your bookshelf, which books have influenced or shaped you? What are you currently reading and where is the book now lying at hand? Countless art books and a good deal of essays. Very few novels.I read The Life of Michelangelo when I was eleven, it marked me deeply.Currently I am reading the last book by Antonio Moresco, (my favourite Italian writer), “Canto degli Alberi”. It is laying on a low table by the hall of my studio, shall the dust not cover it. What music do you listen to and when? I only listen to the strident noise of the metal mills while sculpting marble and to the sound of pumice stone dust that I mix with pigments when I paint. At night, sometimes, when I draw, I listen to music I find without searching. It is mostly electronic music. If you would cook something for us, what would it be? What do you like to eat most? What do you think about breakfast?I would take you to the restaurant; never would I dare to make my visitors swallow something prepared by me. I could ask my better half – she is a terrific cook.I like crustaceans because it takes little cooking abilities unlike their complicated consumption.Breakfast is the first ritual of the day and I could not do without. What kind of sport or counterbalance do you practice? Never practiced any sport in my life. Do you have special passions or hobbies for which you are burning, and if so, which ones?None. I am a man with no hobbies and very few – devouring – passions. I could paint and sculpt endlessly.Do you have a concern that you would like to share with us, or a personality trait that defines you, special thoughts, a fetish, typical idiosyncrasies?I am superstitious and I have various personal rituals whom I shall never disclose.
Nicola Samorì, Portrait, Photo Riccardo Piccirillo
To begin, please tell us your artistic vita in a few sentences.
At age three I drew a dinosaur which had never existed but I wanted to make my mother buy me the reproduction. While drawing my hand followed me without hesitation and with little ingenuity. Then, I fell for the Egyptians and, year after year, I went through the History of Art. In my twenties I discovered Contemporary Art. Since then I have been trying to be a part of it.
Two sentences about your current project / the upcoming exhibition at Gallery Weekend.
“In abisso” is the fermentation of “Black Square”, my personal exhibition inaugurated in Naples, on January 17th 2020. Between one exhibition and the other the pandemia broke out and the Berlin project was postponed for four months.
Into the womb of EIGEN+ART gallery, twelve steps underground, is “In abisso”. Once there, the eyes are attracted to the works of art. Each one of them is a presence whose device builds around the wounded matter, suspended between Baroque and the waste land of images.
Öl auf Onyx
40 x 30 cm
What are you most concerned about at the moment; what is on your mind?
Extinguish myself without leaving any trace.
How did you come to art? Why art?
Painting and sculpture don’t let go of me. I started because it came easy to me. Then it all became enormously more complicated and now I can’t let go.
What makes you happy at the moment? What is currently scaring you?
Some ideas that came up to me while working make me happy.
I fear people screaming.
Do you believe that art has a social responsibility? And what do you think it can do?
No, none. I believe in the irresponsibility of Art. Perhaps, Art could teach us to stop thinking the matters of the world progress in a similar way we think science does. In Art things do not improve, they can only transform and, often, the best is already behind us.
Artist Studio Nicola Samorì
What makes your art special? What are the central themes of your work?
Its indifference to the spirit of the time and the will to repeat issues with no solutions such as the flesh getting older, desire, fear, faith.
How do you protect yourself from too much inspiration these days?
It is not possible to protect oneself (normally an artist does not work on closing but on opening). It helps to be very selective.
How much in your works is planned in advance – how much is created intuitively?
It all starts with a rigorous planning, then things go astray and intuition is the only key to the salvation of the lost image.
Artist Studio Nicola Samorì
What should your art effect on the viewer?
Persist in memory.
What are your (next) goals?
Put ‘Arte Povera’ to sleep in Italy.
What is your opinion about faith? Do you have principles of faith or is there a motto?
Faith is something that will always penetrate, somehow, through the cracks. I have faith in the mystery and the energies that we are no longer able to recognize.
Artist Studio Nicola Samorì
Which project would you still like to realize, if lack of time, courage or financial resources would not play a role?
I would like to accomplish works that force me, more often, to ‘sustain a feeling for months’ as Philip Guston said about the old masters. Nowadays it is difficult to meditate on a work for too long a time because the Art business demands continuous feedback.
What do you consider to be attributes of good art?
Not aging regardless of time passing.
La degenerazione di Daniel, 2020
Öl auf Holz
40 x 30 cm
Photo Rolando Paolo Guerzoni
Is one born as an artist? Or is studying art compulsory in your view?
There are no rules. I prefer ‘natural monsters’, those endowed of natural, undeniable talent. Nevertheless, if we all believed so we would have never had a Paul Cézanne at the origins of the Historical Avant-Garde.
To whom do you show a new work first?
To whom sneaks into my studio without permission.
What does the first hour of your day look like?
The photograph of a sleepwalker.
In Times of the internet of things, are galleries, from your point of view, still necessary? If so, why and what for?
Galleries are in danger. They are an episode connected to modernity which still makes sense but it might not in a few decades. Since the disappearance of the church, the gallery together with the museum are the only suitable places for the necessary atmosphere where a work of art can come to life. But, if that work of art does not enter the world, the museum and the gallery are destined to disappear, just like the artist.
Social media – in your view a blessing or a curse?
I can’t use them well. They have not improved my life.
The exhibition In abisso with new works by the sculptor Nicola Samori can be seen from 3 September to 31 October 2020 at Galerie EIGEN + ART Berlin, Auguststraße 26, 10117 Berlin-Mitte. The gallery is taking part in the Gallery Weekend 2020.
In times of Corona, when travel, studio visits and personal contacts are inappropriate or even impossible, the written interview remains an important medium to introduce artist personalities, to spread their messages and to stay in touch with art enthusiasts.
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