Elisa Valenti Interview - The Hopper Prize

Elisa Valenti

Elisa Valenti discusses her methodical practice & strong creative drive, being influenced by classical themes, human rituals & how they shape us & finding inspiration in feeling out of control.

How did you get into making art?

I’ve been making art since I could hold pencils. I’ve always had a strong creative drive to make things. I’ve always made art but turned professional the end of 2018.

I’ve been making art since I could hold pencils.

Elisa Valenti

What are you currently working on?

The fat female form is the center of my themes. I’m currently in the thinking process of my next series of work for 2021. Im forever influenced by classical themes but lately I’m thinking a lot about human rituals and how they shape us. I’m obsessed with understand why humans behave the way hey do. My artwork personified my questions about humanity and this life. It gives me a framework by which to understand the whys in my mind. I’m the creator of my own universe when connecting my thoughts to paint and charcoal.

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

Feeling lost in moments of 2020. Feeling out of control. Feeling the need to bring control to my thoughts and this world we did not choose to be part of. I paint for a very simple reason— to create the beauty I want to see in the world and to make sense of the ugliness.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

My work has to make sense to me. There must be a reason I create something. I don’t create for the sake of creating. I’m very methodical about my work. I like themes. I like to tell a story. I like the work to connect. Sometimes it all connects after it is painted. Sometimes the story evolves after the work is completed.

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What’s a typical day like in your studio?

A lot of thinking. Solitude. I spend a lot of time alone. I need to get out of my thoughts in order to paint. When I stop thinking, I make more meaningful work. That’s where the magic happens— at the painful intersection of removing myself from my thoughts.

Who are your favorite artists?

Matisse Mucha Ancient Greece Ancient Sicily Michelangelo Cadmus Nijideka Akunyill Crosby Toulouse Lautrec Klimt Gentileschi Hopper Chloe Wise Angela Freileigh I mean I could go on lol

Where do you go to discover new artists?

I scour the internet in search of inspiration.

Elisa Valenti is an artist based in New York who was recently shortlisted for The Hopper Prize. To learn more about the artist:

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