Art, Argentina and Other Love Affairs: A Quick Convo with Antonella Castiglione
“Far as I can remember there hasn’t been a day when I didn’t draw something – or at least, sketched something,” Antonella tells me, “I believe this passion for art was born with me.”
I managed to snag an interview with the Italo-Argentine artist after she created a beautiful sketch of one of my Instagram photographs in which for once, my eyebrows were – if I may – on fleek. Only a true artist can make that happen.
This may be your introduction to the beautiful Antonella Castiglione but it’s also an inspiring conversation about talent that every creator should be able to relate to on some level. While Antonella is fairly new to the Instagram art scene her sketches, even to the untrained eye are a cross between what is modern, and what is classic and tamed: This may have caught my attention but what held it was her humility and tranquil personality. Talented as she is, she has not lost the rookie mentality and that is ‘exhibit A’ of her passion for the arts. I’ll let you be the judge of everything else.
So tell me how does one get to be so good at this? I mean a lot of kids are fairly decent at sketching so how did you take this to the next level?
When I was younger, art was one of my subjects at middle school in Cameri, Italy. After middle school, to please my parents who didn’t see much of a future in my dedication to art, I enrolled in the Bermani School of Economics and Foreign Languages. When I returned to Argentina my native country, I decided to follow my passion and enrolled in a college of arts.
What kind of things to you like to draw?
I’m a very curious person when it comes to others. There are so many stories and secrets hidden behind a single stare, a single smile, a single gesture: this brought me to broaden my work on portraits. Each person is different in their own way, and I find that most fascinating.
What artists influenced you?
Because I’ve lived in Argentina and in Italy, I was more influenced by society itself than by any particular artist. I like the somewhat mathematical and precise techniques of classic artists, but also the unmindful freedom of the Latin-american artists.
Do you prefer to use models or to sort of go with the flow?
I believe models were essential in discovering the human body. Seeing and observing are two very distinct acts. Once you acquire a bit of visual memory, you’re free to invent movements, bodies and gestures.
What makes you go ‘yes, I need to draw this’ or ‘yes, I need to draw now’. Basically, what inspires you?
People inspire me. I observe faces and gestures, so I can read a bit of their story or invent a story, creating a sort of novel in which the person is the protagonist. Like one time, I met this little girl with a pink hat shaped like a cat’s head, with the whiskers and the sharp ears and all; I drew that kid at least three times! Every single person is a whole world and I try to recreate a bit of that world on paper.
Would you say your art has evolved over time?
I think art changes as the artist changes: it grows, it makes mistakes, it tries again, it improves, it matures alongside the artist because art is an expression of what the artist sees and goes through. The subjects change, the colours adapt to moods, the techniques can be a lot more precise if we are calm, or more disorderly if we are nervous. In any artistic work you get to know aspects of the artist’s life.
Which is your favourite amongst the works you’ve done?
I don’t think I’ve created that yet but I’m working on it.
Would you choose a profession in the industry?
I’m already working in the industry; there’s no fixed profession for an artist, it’s the artist’s job to create one. At the moment, I’m working on some art that I’m going to exhibit. I’m also designing an entire music video for an Argentine singer and I design tattoos for tattoo artists that like my style.
Who gave you the most motivation and moral support?
My love for art comes from my dad. When I was a child he would buy me special pencils and colours even if I didn’t know what to do with them and I would’ve preferred Barbies. He must have known at the time that he was guiding me step-by-step in the direction of my passion.
Describe your art in one word.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Don’t look, observe.
What advice would you give other artists?
Everyone has a signature style, when you find that, you must try to power it and perfect it to the max, in order to exploit all your potential.
What’s your favourite colour?
Grey; I too would like to know why.
Have you got any projects we can look forward to?
I’m currently working for a chain of stores here in Buenos Aires called Cheska Bazar. Like I mentioned earlier, I intend to exhibit the paintings I’m working on at the moment and I also hope to return to Italy where I may deepen my art studies.
How does the artistic ambience in Argentina differ from that in Italy?
I love the politicaland abstract art in Argentina. I think in Italy we are more influenced by the great Italian and Greek maestros with technique and precision. My next works will talk of these two differences that I’ve experienced having been influenced by both countries.
‘Anto’ as her family and friends call her is 24 and when she’s not painting awesome things, she’s either fishing with her dad or singing in the shower.