Sunday, October 25, 2009

Interview with Joana Coccarelli

q)Please tell us a brief info about yourself.

a)I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and have been living here my hole life. I´m 33 years old and part of my family came from Italy to work and live in Brazil during the 1st World War. I´m single and got four cats. I´m also a Marketing Coordinator for an IT company focused on healthcare. Besides my interest in Arts, I´m also a free-lancer journalist for the internet, fashion consultant and a sitar player.

q)Tell us about your humble beginnings. When did you first realized that you wanted to be an artist?

a)I´ve never thought about being an artist. Instead I was always aware that I would become a journalist or a writer, because of my curiosity and good text. But I was raised on an “artistic” environment: my father is an architect and an artist himself. His main subject is the naked female body. I built him a website to show his works online ( My mother used to work as a fashion producer and consultant and today she is an interior designer. As a child, I´d love to draw. I won a prize at school´s Art class. When I was a teenager, I used to cut photographs from my mother´s fashion magazines in order to illustrate my diary. I would write down what happened in my life and put an image that could translate the general idea and so on. My interest on collage started to show because of a friend of mine that is an awesome collage artist, Iuri Kothe. I published an interview about him and asked for some tips so I could start to make collages myself – it seemed a fun thing to spend time doing. I never really started until April 2008. That month I wasn´t able to attend my shrink and then instinctively started to cut magazines and create those random compositions. Later I felt like showing them to my shrink and she was able to relate them to my inner self. I couldn´t stop making collages since then. It´s a inner necessity, so sometimes I have a hard time recognizing me as an artist. I understand that this is Art, but for me my work has a bit of a different meaning.

q)What are your tools of the trade and why?

a)I use books and magazines to get the pictures. I call it the “research and edition” step: I go through the publication and choose what images are interesting, cut them and keep them on my file. I usually don´t have a previous idea of composition when I do that: I simply choose an image that I find inspiring and keep it with the others. Then I eventually sit down, open my file, grab some cuts and start to create a composition. I use actual scissor and glue to make them. I don´t know how to use Photoshop so nothing is digital. Everything is handmade. Because of that, I say I work with limits: limits of size of the cuts, their colour, quantity, quality. I actually find it exciting.

q)Who or what gives you inspiration on your morbid art?

a)My inner demons, for sure! I think it´s a great way to know them and deal with them. I try to make them look good so they bother me less!
q)Is your artistic background self-taught or did you go to college to study? a)It is instinctive, self-taught. My Art lessons at school have some influence, though.

q)How do you keep “fresh” within your industry?

a)I visit around 70 Art, Design and Science/ Technology blogs and websites daily. The Art and Design pages have images that say a lot about the moment we are living, what´s about to change, what´s next. The same with Science and Technology pages, I am completely thrilled about the latest discoveries on space, robots, our bodies, nature. They have an amazing impact on my collages.

q)What are some of your current projects?

a)Well, I just extracted one of my wisdom teeth and I am using it along with collage, a computer circuit and canvas. It has a cavity, so that´s its name. I´ll extract two more wisdom teeth next month and will use them on two more pieces, and then make a triptic with the first one.
I´m also finishing The Zodiac Attack series, which brings collages that represent each one of the 12 zodiacal signs. You can see it on my Flickr page.

q)Which of your works are you the most proud of? And why?

a)I have a special feeling for Uterus. I hanged it on my bedroom wall. It´s the only abstract collage I made and I think it shows a strong aspect of the female subjectivity. It is not one of my most popular works, though.

q)Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?

a)I´m starting to introduce computer pieces and canvas on my collages. I´m also getting the calculus (stone) my mom extracted from her bladder and will use it on a future work.

q)What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?

a)I only start a collage session when I have a need and plenty of time, and I stop it as soon as I recognize the work is done, or that I should wait an idea to mature.

q)How do you spend most of your free time?

a)Reading and writing on the internet, talking to and meeting friends, watching movies at home, listening to music, smoking shisha, buying fabric to make new clothes for myself, playing with my cats, reading magazines.

q)What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?

a)I love Yoko Ono so much. Her life is art itself. I´m a lot into street art as well, from graffiti to flash mobs. As the situationists used to say, “La beauté est dans la rue” – beauty is on the streets. I also like artists that defy the copyright notions as Shepard Fairey. As a collage artist, I´m dealing with copyright limits all the time. On my early works I didn´t mind them, but as I started to be part of exhibitions and more public projects, I started to be careful on the way I use an image.

q)We really like some of your pictures, how can we get our hands on them? Do you sell them? How?

a)E-mail me and say what picture you are interest in. If it doesn´t have possible copyright implications, I´ll be very glad to sell it.

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