Interview with Alice Pasquini

  Hello Alice Pasquini! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Please start by telling us something about yourself and your background. I grew up in the 90's with hip hop culture and my hero comic called Sprayliz (designed by Luca Enoch), a girl who made incredible political graffiti during the night. The passion for drawing began when I was a child, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do for a living. So, after an academic course, I ventured with conceptual art. I went to Spain, where I worked as a designer of children's playgrounds and then I realized that I was interested in art that interacts with people's everyday life! When I returned to Italy in 2006, I started to work on my first posters and street art has become an escape from my work as an illustrator. I approached the world of street art initially through posters taking my 'comics' in the streets: naughty girls, strong women, curious, independent. Then I met C215, who taught me a stencil technique that is fast to work with and lets me leave a trace of the free hand work I could't do in a short time. Together we have traveled and painted a lot in the corners of many cities. For some time now I'm traveling on my own and mainly do large walls freehand.

Q: Do you think that graffiti art can make a social impact in some way?
A: As an artist I primarily try to express myself and I don’t necessarily know what I want to communicate. The meaning and the value comes from the exchange between the artist and the viewer. This exchange happens on the street in a more unexpected, surprising and freer way than in a gallery. At fine Art Academy professors told me: Art is death with Duchamp, forget the drawing! But then you find yourself working in enclosed areas, which do not communicate at all with the world around them. When I started designing spaces for children in Spain, I saw real people overlap with what I had done, my live art, I realized what I really wanted to do.

Q: You work on many art mediums, which one do you like the most?
A: I worked as an illustrator, animator and set designer. Using spray, acrylic, stencil, oil, watercolor, pen bic, notebook, computer... depends on what you want to do and on what surface. But in the beginning everything comes with a pen on my sketchbook.

Q: Philosophically and creativity, seems like you try to blur the boundaries between the popular media and your own perceptions.
A: I paint the world that I want to see.

Q: Where would be the "dream" piece?
A: I'd like to paint on a air balloon.

Q: You say that strong and independent women are your inspiration. How do you feel about the popular media and the taboos that are still present in some countries?
A: As an artist I think is important to show yourself as you are. The value it’s more about style and personality. But from a woman’s point of view, I think it is important to propose a real woman as a model in a world where TV and magazine ads paint them basically as cooks or given sexy dolls that are supposed to reflect, or because their aspiration is to be nothing but beautiful. Things haven’t changed that much, even if sometimes seems on the surface as it has. I'm interested in using female models outside of the typical clichés. I get annoyed by female stereotypes where women are seen either as sexual objects or cartoon heroines. My work, instead, depicts the lives of women from a young girl’s perspective, portraying the (sometimes brutal) aspects of today’s reality. In general, I'm interested in representing the human feelings.

Q: You love to travel and paint. Where you feel most comfortable?
A: I am constantly on the road, the tracks that leave are my way of crossing a city that I don't know or how to find the way back. These are the places where I leave a piece of my life, a personal map of the world. What matters is that the sign continues to live and change with the city once I leave it behind me.

Q: Tell me about your new book "Vertigine ed Rizzoli"
A: This book is a collaboration with the writer Melissa P. In this graphic novel, we address two taboo subjects in Italy: homosexuality and drug addiction. The book is  ruthless and tender at the same time. Anna and Claire are cousins. When the two girls get together, after years of separation, something unmanageable switches between them: love, passion, the discovery of tenderness and sex. But the marks of the needles in the arms of Claire are a sign not to be ignored, Anna: his cousin, his first and only love, is a junkie. And you will save it, whatever the cost.

Q: Do you still still have the sme enthusiasm?
A: Painting for me is like breathing. I could not do otherwise.

Q: Have you ever thought to change something about your style?
A:  A little everyday. 

Q: Art could be a great influence on someone's personality. What is the best lesson that you learned from your journey?
A: Unfortunately, art doesen't have the power to improve people. Often the artists are selfish assholes. I don't want to believe that cinism is loud, vigorous, and strong, while good is quiet, gentle, and passive, whereas you're likely to feel smart and powerful when you're sneering at the ugliness around you. I learned not to fear that when you're in the presence of love and beauty you tend to become softheaded.

What are your plans for the near feature?
During Christmas I will be working on a large mural in a social space for children. I'm working also on two solo exhibitions in Europe. I have some ideas for a new series on the street.