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Elizabeth Candy

Artist Spotlight

Learn to see, not to look, to catch a smile, a happy memory, the importance of simple things like the pleasure of giving a little one a piece of candy and receiving a joyful expression in return. Let's go back to life!

Born in Italy, Elizabeth studied fashion in Milan, where her creative process often resulted in a combination of fashion and art. Her artistic research led to a preference for the use of candy: transforming simple commercial sweets into precious coloured pieces. A choice that appeals to the child in each of us, those sweet memories that are so often forgotten.

Elizabeth often reinterprets contemporary icons in her brightly coloured confetti sweets, reinventing the tradition of the Pop Art movement by transforming commercial products into precious works of art, urging the viewer to re-think the familiar, to see things differently.

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INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST


Q. How did you come to transition from studying fashion to being a fine artist?

A. I remember it perfectly - it was an art history lesson, the professor in front of a class of 30 people, all with the same dream, aspiring to have a place in the Italian fashion industry. After 4-5 people answered his question in the exact same way, he stopped and said that we would become designers, but first of all we were creatives! Our final path could be anything, even creating fabrics or decorations for the inside of graves. The life of a creative person is a maze, and each will find their own outlet and form of expression .. and he was right!

Q. Why do you choose to stay anonymous as an artist?

A. Being anonymous is a choice I made immediately, when I created my first work and maybe this choice itself already says too much about me. Today, who you are, how you are, what you represent, creates a strong prejudice and has come to be of enormous value for those who observe your works. The perspective changes based on: whether you are a man or a woman, your political orientation, sexuality, physicality, and this takes away from the works, it does not add anything. 

Of course, the observer may just be curious, but looking at who you are first, before what you want to express, has, in this social era, become the only process of judgement. By not giving any indications about my person, I hope to reverse the process of observation, for it to start from the works, not the artist.

Q. What appeals to you about candy? Do you see it as your medium, a tool for expression, or does it become part of the subject matter of your work as well?

A. The candies are a choice, a challenge, a piece of a puzzle that, just like in the ancient mosaics, becomes part of the composition, evoking memory or desire. But they are also an integral part of the meaning of the work - a conscious choice with the ability to appeal to the childlike aspect that is still part of each of us, but which we often forget.

The three-dimensionality of the work was born out of a need to amplify the play of light and shadow that the candy creates. They are the protagonists after all, all my works are made with candies.... At least the ones I haven't eaten!

Q. Why do you choose to re-imagine iconic brands and icons of pop culture? What effect does the reinterpretation of these well known figures have on the visual impact and perceived meaning of your work you think? 

A. Icons, comics, objects, logos ... pop culture is a vehicle for representation. My works reinterpret the icons of our time using colored candy. Commercial products of common use change their function, they provide a different point of view and have the ability to bring back a memory for the viewer, to reopen a drawer that has been part of our lives or dreams for a long time and that we have closed and forgotten about. 

Q. There is a playful element to your work, is this reflective of your general artistic approach? 

A. My approach is certainly playful and carefree. I think it reflects my personal need to escape more than ever from the state of the world that surrounds us, but at the same time to give something to those who own one of my works. Homes have become our safe haven and surrounding ourselves with the beautiful colours and things we like has become vital.

Q. Could you describe your artistic process?

A. I must admit, that my process is also a mnemonic effort, a search for images that are part of a certain childlike happiness. Memories of fingers scrolling over the number slots of a vintage telephone at my elderly aunt's house, which did not leave much room for technology, make me want to recreate that object that is now abandoned in a dusty cellar. This is how a sculptural project takes shape; it's an exploration of the memory which then explodes in vibrant colours and exaggerated forms.

Q. Which other creatives do you admire? 

A. Anyone who has dexterity, lots of imagination and that can add even a single comma to the book of art history.

Q. Could you describe your work in three words? 

A. Sculptural - Sweet - Mosaics


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