Alessandro Roma: Inner Landscapes
Working in painting, sculpture, collage and everything in between, Italian artist Alessandro Roma talks to TLmag about how his methodology has continued to change form and takes us through the inspiration behind his practice.
A work realized through stratifications, a work that finds its maximum expression in contaminations between painting, sculpture and collage. After studying painting at the Brera Academy, Alessandro Roma delved into different techniques, exploring castings, printing on fabrics, ceramics and collage. His new repertoire of inner landscapes, as he likes to call them, which arise from both real experiences and literary sources, has brought a depth to his oeuvre, turning his universe into something more tangible and yet imaginative. He likes to create pictorial places where his ceramic sculptures can breathe and with his wall paitings, viewers are immersed into the experience. He is inspired by the unpredictability of the material, its needs and performances: “I think it is a good time now to get my hands dirty”, he says.
TLmag: You started your career as a painter but soon began working with many different mediums. Do you think of yourself as a multimedia artist?
Alessandro Roma (AR): I don’t think the word ‘multimedia’ fits my practice. In the last few years, I have moved from painting to ceramic sculpture, using fabrics to making artist’s books. All these transitions have had a pictorial approach. I never distanced myself from painting, even when I used ceramic sculpture or collage.
TLmag: How did you move from painting to ceramics? Has your way of working been effected by a shift in medium?
AR: My work is a continuous movement back and forth. It is a continuous research into the sensations, emotions and pleasures that images can generate. I collect fragments and memories and try to assemble them by giving them a shape. Perhaps the collage practice has been the push to approach three-dimensionality. Things have changed but I cannot explain how, because it is an ongoing exchange between the characteristics of the medium and what I want to achieve. In many cases, it is the material that guides me.
TLmag: You called your works “inner landscapes;” In what sense?
AR: I used this definition to emphasize the distance from the landscape that we normally see. My attention to the landscape is something that happens through memory and dreams, it is experiencing the landscape.
TLmag: You often take inspiration from literature. Would you cite some examples?
AR: Literature is always a great exercise for enriching my imagination. From Haruki Murakami to Giorgio Manganelli, from Enrique Vila-Matas to Fernando Pessoa.
TLmag: What are you working on now and what are your plans for the coming months?
AR: I will have some exhibitions very soon, but I am in a period where I am trying to focus only on the work. I would like to have my work be independent from where it will be exhibited. There was a moment when it seemed as if everything was focused around the event rather than the work itself. I would like to try to have the process divided into several stages. The first stage is the studio, where the work begins and where it takes its shape; Then the work is installed and reconsidered within the space itself. And finally, when necessary, rethinking how the space works and if specific interventions are needed, such as wall-painting.
This article was originally published in TLmag’s 2019 Autumn/Winter print edition “TLmag 32; Contemporary Applied”. Alessandro’s work is now being shown in the exhibition “Chang’e-4” at Casa Testori (IT), curated by Irene Biolchini.