When I first discovered Evangeline’s artwork I was instantly fascinated by it. Her work is really powerful and raw in the sense that you have the feeling to be able to take a look into her heart and what moves her and her experiences. She truly is an embodiment of versatile art.
For the following I asked Evangeline if she’d want to do an interview with me:
Luna Maluna Gri: Tell me a bit about yourself and your work.
Evangeline: Hi, I’m Daniela Bonanomi. Through social networks communication, I often use the name of Evangeline but I’m still trying to figure out what kind of artistic and personal connection I have with her, I still don’t know if it’s a strengthening of my creative personality or a way to veil my identity on online platforms or just an alternative name to mine. For now, I don’t define myself as an artist but generally, as creative, it’s a process that I’m still working on. Getting back to me, I’m a life enthusiast of 21 years old who lives in a village in the countryside in the province of Milan. At the moment I study Cultural Heritage Sciences at the Università Degli Studi of Milan to which I fund my love for art, flowers, people, and many other powerful things. My work is essentially a hysterical and frantic summary of what I live, what I feel, I don’t have a precise artistic line. I basically do a lot of projects just for myself and over the last two years, I’ve started to realize some of them in collaboration with other artists, especially people who work and create in the musical field. I don’t identify myself in any type of artistic field in particular even if the essential source of my creative drive I found in the practice of collage and, in close correlation to it, in photography, even if I am not a person who feels the need to channel into one street indeed perhaps the basic concept is precisely that the roads I want to take are all of them.
LMG: How and why did you start creating art?
E: Since I was a child, I have always felt the need to release certain energy that I felt inside. I’m not exactly what you might call an emotionally stable person, since early childhood I have suffered a lot of panic attacks and anger management problems with which unfortunately I still have to live now. I have always felt a strange confusion and tension inside of me and I have always looked for various ways to vent it and exploit it in something that would give a result that could make me feel more concrete emotions.
LMG: What role does creating art play for you?
E: Art, creativity, the aesthetic and literary expression of interiority have given space to this process of concretization. I am not talking about a “putting in order”, a resolution of my confusion, but a way to make it tangible, to be able to live through an experience, and perhaps also to understand and contemplate it better. to get to answer your question: During my adolescence, I started to keep diaries, but I realized that the right way for me to keep a diary was not through writing, narrative, but through the gathering of images, colors, shapes, tickets, receipts, messages that I collected and once accumulated in a big box I started to compose them through the pages. I, therefore, understood that the process of collage could best vent the frenetic confusion that represents me.
LMG: What is your experience with the art word and is there something you want to change about it?
E: My experience with the art world can be said to be very diverse and in some ways contradictory. Essentially I believe that the problem lies in the relationship between the aesthetic and philosophical sense of art and what is the real art market. Indeed, there is art, the contemporary market and in the middle, there is the academic world. I can say more or less that I have experienced all three of these universes, as diverse as they are united, especially in the context of the globalized society in which we live today. I always thought that human beings invented the concept of art to try to create a safe universe. In his own evolution man has always had a tendency to reorder, to aggregate, to try to give meaning. Art is everything that surrounds us and everything that we people are. Is in nature and in our thinking, in our feelings, and in our identity.
I think that the human being is a creature as complex as it is extraordinary, so as to have too much energy that in a balanced social and political system it is not possible to support all this energy. If art is the fullest and most intense expression that a person can express of himself, in an ordered system you can do nothing but channel it as if it were something abnormal. what therefore more natural for us can become an exception, an alternative inspiration out of normality. I hope I’ve made myself a little clear.. It is as if to hold the beauty of an immense flower field they took off all the petals.
The problem of the academic and commercial world of today’s art is that this so primitive concept is transformed into something of elitists. In our society it seems that to be able to express an opinion about something that is institutionally considered artistic if you must be a connoisseur. Of course, the study and deepening of the art history is fascinating and absolutely something that enriches the experience and the artistic enjoyment an additional power, I could not say otherwise being myself a university student of cultural heritage, but this knowledge and awareness does not detract from the artistic experience of any other person. not to enter into the binding discourse of the exclusivity of contemporary art galleries.
LMG: What do you think is the role of artists and art in our society?
E: Especially in this difficult historical period that we are experiencing, it seems that people, especially those who should be concerned about the thing politically, have forgotten the importance of the role that the artist has in society. Connecting to the previous discourse, the artist is someone who, from the primitive times, takes responsibility for creating something that represents the community, the person who has the deep and particular tension towards life that speaks to the presents but also to the future of its own contemporaneity through the art of memory, whether written or visual. the artist is the one who represents the continuity of the human being as such, the one who guarantees us the authenticity of our subjectivity, the immortality of sensitivity. Evidence of the progressive blindness towards this essential resource can be observed in the way the Italian government is managing the cultural sphere during the health emergency. with the arrival of the pandemic did not hesitate for a moment on the closure of theaters, museums, cultural places. and after a year these places are left abandoned. Culture has been treated as a frivolity, something useless to survival. But who are we without our culture? Everything we breathe, everything we live, how we behave, how we speak, how we express ourselves, is culture. we are our culture and our art
LMG: What does your creating process look like?
E: My creating process starts essentially from my life and what I’m living in that moment. For my journals I use clippings of magazines that I have in the house, images that hit me, flyers and memories that keep everything in some boxes around my room, I’m a bit ‘a serial hoarder, I keep anything. It often happens that I get to compose them when I have days of depression, I am a rather hyperactive person and I always feel like wasting my time, so when I realize that I have a day where I will not have the strength to leave my room I put on a record, I open my boxes and leave it for this type of work so I never have a premeditated project, it is very based on the flow of consciousness.
As far as photography is concerned, it’s almost the opposite process. to realize a photographic project it takes much more time, often even months, because I believe in art at 360 degrees so when I speak of photography I also mean all the aspects that concern it: meaning, message, palette, subject, reference, makeup, styling and even post production that often also results in collage.
I believe in the continuous renewing power of art, the collage represents a lot of this vision of mine, taking and recreating infinite times something always new but that still brings a memory of the previous one. In recent years, thanks to a dear friend and musical artist Matteo Brioschi, I had the opportunity to explore a new approach to figurative art, the one associated with the image of artists in the musical world. I mention this because it is a beautiful way to exemplify what I said before, the encounter between art and people. Art is never a one-sided communication, it is a meeting of many sensibilities and also many different languages, such as figurative and musical. In this specific field the artistic communication is not based only on my personal project but are two different projects that merge and that must be interchanged: mine and that of the artist I represent. is a great opportunity to enrich each other and go further and further.
During this lockdown period, I also had the opportunity to experience the self-portrait. I have always tended over the years to hide behind my work, I have always tried to make myself seen through external subjects. Last April I took courage to realize my first introspective series. This is a series of simple shots entitled “Forced Peace with Ourselves and Our Bodies” It’s about thinking that the unnatural self-reclusion of our entire society and the prohibition of contact with other human beings has led us to a reckoning with ourselves that has not happened to human beings for centuries.
This situation has made us find ourselves far from the eyes and the touch of all, alone with ourselves, alone with our bodies, with which to survive we are forced to make peace, a truce. a globalized society has always taught us to avoid contact with our ego, a contact for the sake of himself, a dialogue, has always pushed us just to compare with others. After that big step for my creative journey I started to experiment a lot, especially with body painting and I hope to be able to cultivate this thing again.
LMG: What inspires you?
E: What inspires me is people and their energies, whether they are positive or negative. In correlation with this, I have been thinking for a long time about projects related to more political and activist topics, which has always interested me and has always been close to my heart since I was a child. I believe that this is the art that requires the most time because strong and important messages must be given with confidence. Also in this great people and artists influence me and I am grateful.
LMG: Is there a particular artist which inspires or influences you ?
E: One of these is definitely Dacia Maraini. A revolutionary and extraordinary woman. Dacia Maraini is a writer, poet, essayist, playwright and screenwriter who in 1973 founded the Teatro della Maddalena in Rome, one of the first feminist theaters: strong, direct, political, expressive. People like her push me every day to trust humanity and power in art. I do not have an artistic field that I prefer to others, but the theater is definitely something that has always fascinated me and that I am deepening a lot in my studies, especially that of ancient Greece.
LMG: Anything you lastly want to say?
E: Finally I want to say that I still consider myself very immature in my creative and artistic path, especially because I have always done everything by myself and there are still countless things to learn, but surely this is what makes the world of art electrifying, never arrived, it is a continuous journey of rediscovery of themselves and others. Thank you so much for listening to what I have to say. I hope you all have beautiful energies in your life.
Art Uncovered is also a Patreon series that provides a membership for $5 that includes more content and interviews just like this one.
Copyright of all artwork and photos is by Evangeline
Behance: Daniela Bonanomi on Behance