Laura Benetton | Interview
THE ONE AND ONLY LAURA B
So excited to have had the opportunity to interview this incredible lady artist! Laura Benetton is a London-based, Italian contemporary artist. She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Art in Venice, followed by sculpture at the TAM Art Metal-Working School in Pietrarubbia, Italy. Her current work involves creating abstract paintings that explore colour, energy, light and movement.
- What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?
- Holding my breath upside down in a swimming pool with music underwater. I was a synchronised swimming athlete from an early age and it is incredible how over the years those memories are still so strong and vivid. I spent most of my childhood in a swimming pool, the coach and the team were like family. Dancing underwater is one of the most magical yet hardest things I have ever done.
- What’s integral to the work of an artist?
- Lots of things, for sure, knowledge, curiosity, the ability to let yourself go during the creative process and to accept any obstacles along the way. Experimentation is also fundamental in order to learn different things about your work and challenge your creativity. A good knowledge of the medium and your tools are also very important in order to control and understand your work.
- What super power would you have and why?
- Definitely magic! I always have been fascinated by rituals and super magic powers but also great illusionists and magicians like Houdini. I have African origins, in traditional African culture witchcraft is largely shared as common beliefs and is being used in politics, finance and medicine. I like to think that somehow I have inherited some secret powers from my ancestors.
- What’s your scariest experience?
- My scariest experience was when my daughter was 2 years old, she had a terrible asthma attack and I stayed 3 days in the hospital with her, she was wearing an oxygen mask, every day was so hard just hoping that she would be out of danger. I never had so much fear and looking at her was just awful.
- What do you dislike about the art world?
- I probably would answer this question with a quote from Gerard Richter: "You know the whole art market is hopelessly excessive, it is incomprehensible, as incomprehensible to me as Chinese or physics.” I strongly feel that the art market in the present moment has no rules, there is a lot of attention not only to the artwork itself but to the artist, his/her personality and their surroundings - there are a lot of contradictions.
- Birds, butterflies, nature and science... Have these themes always been of interest to you?
- My artistic research has always mainly been focused on the correlation between nature and science, in particular between butterflies and bird species from the rainforest and their colour interdependence in relation to light-waves, energy and frequencies. Before I did a lot of experimentation, my background is really academic - I always loved anatomy and life drawing, and for a little bit I developed a figurative body of works during my university period before moving out of Venice.
- How has your practice change over time?
- I have mainly worked as a painter over the past 10 years, but for me, there is no difference between installation, sculpture or painting. They are all different mediums of expression. In the past two years I started to use neon and LED light with my artwork to develop more installation paintings. In 2019 I was granted a month-long art residency in China, Shenzhen, this experience strongly helped me to develop my research further and to create proper 3D metal LED sculpture. It has been a great achievement for me. I am always very excited about going large or 3D, and I feel that this is just the beginning!
- Name something you love, and why.
- I love so many things.. I love to travel especially outside of Europe. Over the past two years I traveled a lot for work, I have been lucky to be in Taiwan, Africa, Asia and America! Every place I go to I bring home with me a piece of that place, the smile of the people and the incredible memories. I feel so enriched, especially when I come back from Asian or African countries.
- Describe a situation that currently inspires you?
- Oregon, a big wooden house, pine trees in front of the lake. An art studio with a high glass window facing the lake and a little boat tied outside... This is what is really inspiring me at this moment!
- Any current projects you can talk about?
- Big news! I am working on my first Italian big solo show with the amazing HubArt gallery in Milan. Very exciting news! I met the curator Greta with my agent Artemea last week and it was an incredible meeting. The location is fantastic, it's huge and I have five intense months of work ahead of me! I couldn't be happier!
- Have you collaborated with other artists? Do you have any artists you would like to collaborate with?
- I collaborated last year with the graffiti artist Joys on a series of canvases, it wasn't that easy to match my style with his graffiti work but the outcome was fantastic. My dream is to collaborate on more multidisciplinary projects, in which I can work simultaneously with light and painting. On my top list, I have the choreographer Ewan McGregor, I simply adore his work and he collaborates a lot with different visual artists. I feel it would be the perfect collaboration!
- If you could communicate one thing to an upcoming artist about being represented what would it be?
- Always read EVERYTHING before signing anything, and ask a lot of questions. Try not to give exclusivity to anyone and be clear about the way you work. Also, make sure the gallery is reliable and do your research. Good luck! :)
- One last hard question... What's your favourite colour?
- Blue of course!