Friday, February 22, 2013

Contemporary Florence: An interview with Claudia Tulifero

illuminated letter on parchment, egg tempera, pure pigments,
genuine lapislazzuli and gold leaf 23 3/4
As an artist and designer one of the most important influences for me are other artists and designers. I believe that having a community of like-minded people who share  the same ideas and passions is essential to creativity. Art in its many forms is a language and I am continually fascinated by the message that other artists aim to communicate though their work
The ideas of the Renaissance masters was not to continue repeating the same ideas and methods but rather to continue pushing forward and create the new and unexpected and to challenge the perception of what art is while paying tribute to those that came before them.  Contemporary art aims to push the boundaries of these accepted ideas and move away from the past to create the present.  With this in mind,  I will be conducting a series of interviews here on my blog to highlight the artists, designers and creative minds of present day Florence
In conjunction with our facebook group Creative People in Florence, I will be conducting these interviews with our group members. In the coming months I hope to be able to interview each member who is currently living in Florence as a way of highlighting their wide range of talents. The questions will be exactly the same for each artist/designer and creative person, what is fascinating are the similarities as well as the differences in the answers.

Welcome back to another Friday interview! This week I have a wonderful Q and A from one of the artists who keeps the city alive by passionately restoring historic works and creating new ones with traditional techniques and materials. The incredibly talented Claudia Tulifero can be found working in her studio on Borgo San Jacapo 11, so if you are in Florence be sure to stop by and have a look at her work in person. You can also find her work online in her Etsy shop or you can stop by her blog to see what she's up to! Claudia's work was also recently sold in the Getty Musuem gift shop in Los Angeles during the Dawn of the Renaissance exhibit.
Since Claudia gave her answers in Italian, I decided to leave her original response in the interview. Enjoy! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I was born in Cagliari in Sardegna where I lived until I graduated high school. In 1193 I moved to Florence to study restauration of  historic art works and I graduated from the University of International Art with a degree in Museumology and restuaration of painted works on wood and canvas, sculpture in both wood and stone. After I graduated I began working in various studios and eventually began a long collaboration in the study of the Sinopia technique with Stefania Bracci and Enrico Remori where I began to work in the field of traditional decoration. In 2003 I opened my own alelier in the historic center of Florence where along with my restoration work I also create my own new work using exclusively  traditional techniques such as freso, gold leaf and miniatures.
Sono nata a Cagliari in Sardegna dove ho vissuto fino al diploma del liceo. Nel 1993 mi sono trasferita a Firenze per studiare restauro di opere d'arte e mi sono diplomata nel 1995 all' Università Internazionale d'Arte in Museologia e Restauro dipinti su tavola e tela, scultura lignea e lapidea. Dopo il diploma ho incominciato la pratica in vari studi fino alla lunga collaborazione con lo studio di restauro Sinopia di Stefania Bracci e Enrico Remori dove ho cominciato a lavorare anche nel campo della decorazione tradizionale. Nel 2003 ho aperto il mio atelier nel centro storico di Firenze dove affianco la mi attività di restauro alla creazione di opere moderne realizzate escusivamente con tecniche tradizionali come l'affresco, la doratura e la miniatura.

Why did you choose Florence or did Florence choose you?
I chose Florence for her traditional methods in the field of restauration and craft. I chose to open my atelier on the Oltrearno because this is and always has been the traditional artisans quarters of the city.
Ho scelto Firenze per la sua lunga tradizione nel campo del restauro e dell'artigianato e ho scelto l'Oltrarno come sede del mio atelier perchè era il quartiere artigiano.
 illumination on parchment, egg tempera, pure pigments and gold leaf 23 3/4
What is your favorite thing/place/sight in the city or all of the above?
The Church of Santa Santa Felicità, it’s a very special place.
La chiesa di Santa Felicità, è un luogo speciale.

Was there a defining moment when you knew that you wanted to be an artist? If so when and what was it?
I don’t think there was a precise moment, but I always knew I wanted to be an artist. Maybe it was when I was 10 years old and for Christmas my parents gave me a box of pure pigment to make my own oil color and I created a copy of Rafael’s La Velata on canvas with the colors I had made.
Non so precisamente il momento, ma ho sempre voluto esserlo, forse a 10 anni per Natale quando i miei genitori mi regalarono una scatola di pigmenti puri per fare  i colori a olio e feci una copia della velata di Raffaello su tela con i colori realizzati da me.

copy of Crivelli egg tempera on wood, pure pigments, genuine lapislazzuli and gold leaf 23 3/4
detail of a copy of Crivelli

What or who is your greatest inspiration and why?
My inspiration just by walking through the city and looking up to find the beautifully decorated facades in sgraffiti and freso.
La mia ispirazione viene anche dal solo passeggiare nella città e alzare lo sguardo ai   decori delle facciate a graffito e ad affresco.

What is the best thing about being an artist?
To wake up every morning with a new idea, have the ability to realize that idea and eventually to sell it.
Alzarsi ogni mattina con un'idea nuova. Realizzarla e venderla.

What message do you hope to convey with your art/creative process?
To rediscover the importance traditional techniques and materials, such as how pigment is transformed into color.
La tradizione e la riscoperta delle tecniche antiche, le materie prime come i pigmenti trasformati in colori.

What is art/design to you? How would you define art?
A necessity, and a way to transmit emotion.
Una necessità per trasmettere le proprie emozioni.
giding a frame

fresco painting in a wood tabernacle
Do you listen to music when you work? If so who or what?
Absolutely, I need music to concentrate. I adore Baroque music and Queen.
Certamente si, ma ho bisogno di musica che conosco per essere concentrata, adoro la musica barocca e I Queen.

If you could go back in time 10 years knowing everything that you know now what would you change and why? Or what would you tell yourself?
I wouldn’t want to change anything, but I would dedicate more time to research.
Non vorrei cambiare niente, avrei più tempo per dedicarmi alla ricerca.

How have your two cultures affected your work?
In my work I am very influenced by Medieval and Renaissance culture as well Japanese culture.
Nel mio lavoro sono influenzata tanto dalla cultura del Medioevo e Rinascimento italiano ma anche da altre culture come quella giapponese.

Who is your favorite artist/designer/writer/performer?
Carlo Crivelli

What is your favorite movie?
The Duellists

What is your favorite book?
The count of Montecristo, I have been a big fan of Dumas since childhood.
“Il conte di Montecristo”, sono un'apassionata lettrice di Dumas dall'infanzia.

fresco sgraffito
Describe yourself in five words.
Art restorer, painter of traditional techniques.
Restauratrice d'arte e pittrice di tecniche antiche.

When you’re not being creative what do you do?
I study ancient manuscripts online, read comic books and I like to cook.
Studio manoscritti antichi online, leggo fumetti, cucino.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
France or Japan
Francia e Giappone.

Is there anything else that you want people to know about you?
I am a collector of shoes!.....and more!
Sono collezionista di scarpe...e non solo!

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