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Danielle Rovetti

Artist Spotlight

I want my work to be more than just someone looking at my artworks. I want them to want to touch it and feel an emotion tickling their senses.

Only after having spent 20 years working as a graphic designer and creative director in the corporate branding space, Danielle Rovetti shifted her focus to visual art. Working across media to include concrete, oils, raw canvas and resin, her pieces often blur the border between painting and sculpture. This way, the artist investigates our multi-layered reality through a textural form of expression that invites the viewer to experience the work viscerally, to pursue the temptation to go deeper, to dive below the surface, to dig within.

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INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST


Q. How did you come to make the move from working in corporate branding to being an autonomous artist?

A. For many years, I was so passionate about graphic design. I loved my work and my clients, but I began to lose my passion. I was turning work away and I wasn’t enjoying the corporate constraints. In graphic design, you rely on someone else’s opinion to approve or reject your work. I wanted to create my own art, to create for myself and my soul, and if the world loved it then that would be a bonus, but my soul needed a change.

Q. Do you feel like your work as a graphic designer and creative director has had an influence on your artistic practice, or do you see the two as separate disciplines entirely?

A. I definitely feel that being a graphic designer has helped me in a myriad of ways and influenced a lot of my decisions. As a designer for so many years, I have learnt so much about colour, composition, depth and dimension. Being a freelance designer has taught me about discipline, deadlines, clients, customers and business in general. Instagram and social media are vital tools for an artist today, having knowledge and ability in photoshop and other design tools has been invaluable. 

Q. How did you arrive at your unique mix of materials to create your heavily textured pieces?

A. I guess the same as in life, it’s been a journey. When I started painting again I worked on mini canvases. I wanted to experiment, to try all kinds of different techniques  and mediums till I found my own unique style. I have always loved texture, so I played around with anything I could think of – thick impasto, concrete, canvas, resin, and slowly I formed my heavily textured artworks.

Q. What does this textural or tactile aspect of your work mean to you?

A. These aspects create a sensory experience, the first being for me, the artist, when I am creating my artworks, I love the feeling of applying thick paint, moulding raw canvas and applying concrete with my hands. The second  experience being for the viewer – the sensation of wanting to touch and feel and be enveloped by the paintings. I want my work to be more than just someone looking at my artworks, I want them to want to touch it and feel an emotion, tickling their senses.

Q. Where, do you think, the division lies between painting and sculpture and is it your aim to, in some ways, dissolve this line?

A. Art is so subjective, my line might be different from yours and there is no right or wrong when it comes to art, in my belief. I would say my tools are that of a painter and not of a sculptor, but my work might display aspects of a sculpture, as it is more multidimensional than a flat painting. 

Q. What would you like this layered-ness - this distinctly different experience between seeing the work from afar and up close - to convey?

A. I have always believed that things are never straight forward, there is always a much deeper story, that is with people and life. Every experience in our lives changes us in some way, this creates another layer within us and will affect the way we react to or see something. When we meet someone for the first time, we initially only see what’s skin deep, but if we get a little closer that’s when we get to understand them. That’s the same with my work; from afar we can see one image, but if we get closer – that’s when we see all the little details that are so unique and special. 

Q. In some of your pieces you re-imagine iconic figures in your artistic language, what do you think happens to your subject when you re-contextualize it and show it through your artistic lens?

A. I think it shows the power and strength of the original image and pays homage to its photographer, figure or artist. It brings it to life again in a different artistic light. It shows that although the face might be blurred, or is missing an important aspect of the original work, for example her bright eyes in The Afghan Girl, we still know exactly what the artwork is. That is the power of true art. 

Q. Other works are much more abstract, how do you feel your more figurative and abstract works relate to one another?

A. I feel that I am the relationship between the two. I have developed my style of painting over the last few years, it’s been my journey and I like to think that my style is my own. Sometimes, I just want to mix colours and paint and not think about what I am going to do next but rather just feel the artwork I am creating and not be bound by composition or form. Other days, I like to create more figurative artwork that requires more concentration and precision. That is the connection.

Q. What would you like your work to evoke?

A. I could be wrong, but I think most artists want their viewer to feel an emotion when they see your artwork. Some people see my work and they don’t like it, and that’s okay - I have still evoked an emotion. Then for the people who do love my work, I hope I evoke a sense of excitement, of understanding, of appreciation. 

Q. Which other creatives do you admire?

A. Wow, there are so many amazing talented artists, it’s so hard to narrow it down, but I will give you three: Anselm Kiefer, his large scale textural works just blow my mind; My favourite sculptor is Johnson Tsang, I love how his mind works and his skills are exceptional; Lastly, Zhuang Hong-yi, he can be both meticulous and unrestrained, his use of colour is outstanding.

Q. Could you describe your work in three words?

A. Authentic - Delicate - Emotive

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